I imagine the editorial meeting (or assignment email) went something like this: “All right, baby boomers! Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana, and Colorado’s putting it on sale Jan. 1. So, who’s going to suck it up and write the anti-pot column?” David Brooks and Ruth Marcus evidently drew the short straws at the New York Times and Washington Post (respectively), each 50-something writer filing an anti-legalization screed made highly awkward by the fact that both have done their share of toking in this lifetime. Since their hypocritical, poorly supported, and logically suspect rants basically refute themselves, we figured our time would be better spent condensing each article into a string of contradictory statements for maximum absurdity and amusement. You decide what kind of deadly poison you want to welcome into your body while laughing at what some might call Brooks’ and Marcus’ stoner logic.
David Brooks, “Weed — Been There. Done That.”
1. Smoking pot as a teenager enabled me and my bros to get our (strictly heterosexual) “uninhibited frolic” on.
2. We stopped smoking pot.
3. We did not stop smoking pot because… vague statistic-y things about marijuana use that are kind of a joke compared to actual statistics one could cite about alcohol.
4. We stopped smoking pot because once I got stoned and totally bombed a class presentation.
5. We stopped smoking pot because this one guy we knew “became a full-on stoner” (read: went to a Grateful Dead concert and came back with a tie-dyed T-shirt and some incense).
6. We stopped smoking pot because it didn’t make us great artists or get us laid “(academic studies more or less confirm this).”
7. Soon, we proceeded to pleasures entirely incompatible with smoking the marijuana: running, reading books, “enlargement of the heart” [ed. note: gross, David Brooks].
8. Did I mention that you can’t exactly put “I like to smoke weed” on a college application?
9. Abstaining from pot, we realized, made you “coherent”; if you think this shit is bad, you should have seen the stuff I was writing as a stoned teenager!
10. I grew up and stopped smoking pot, is the point, and if you’re still juvenile enough to do it sometimes I won’t judge you, except look how I judged you a little bit anyway, just now.
11. The news peg here is that Colorado and Washington legalized weed, which means everyone is going to start smoking it, inciting some vast and still-unarticulated variety of tragedy, because economics.
12. Lots of people will argue against legalization for health reasons, but I’m bold and noble enough to cut the bullshit and condescend to you about your morals and life choices.
13. The government exists to save us from marijuana, which is bound to ruin our enjoyment of “the highest pleasures,” such as art and nature.
14. People in Colorado are morally rotten to the core.
15. Paul Krugman is off today, so don’t even think about blaming him for this one.
Ruth Marcus, “The perils of legalized pot”
1. Listen, I’m no “fuddy-duddy,” but even a liberal-minded columnist like myself starts to worry when the tide of public opinion turns in favor of unspeakable horrors like gay marriage and marijuana legalization.
2. I know what I’m about to say is “not entirely logical and a tad hypocritical” (direct quote!), because I spent the greater part of the 1970s smoking a bong while dressed in a highly flammable shirt and velvet bell-bottoms, but how ’bout you keep reading anyway?
3. “Excuse me, young man in the dreadlocks and ski hat, could I trouble you for a gram or 20 of that delightful ‘Bubba Kush,’ which I so enjoy?”
4. Weed should not be legal but I’ll smoke it when it’s inevitably legal but weed should not be legal but I’ll smoke it when it’s inevitably legal but weed should not be legal (repeat infinitely).
5. Smoking a joint is no worse than having a drink, and tobacco is the evilest of all.
6. But weed should remain illegal because it’s already illegal.
7. To be entirely honest, I have nothing to say in my own words about what is actually wrong with pot, so here are some quotes from the American Medical Association.
9. Weed is making the New Zealanders stupid.
10. Actually, it’s just making the teenage New Zealanders (a little bit) stupid.
11. Here is a quote from the above study; have I reached my word limit yet?
12. Don’t tell me limiting the sale of marijuana to people over 21 will accomplish anything, because as the mother of teenagers, I can tell you that those kids are already drunk all the damn time.
13. Think about the children, and how sorry we’ll be when they’re all giggling in front of cartoons instead of checked into the ER with alcohol poisoning!
14. I mean, the kids are already smoking a ton of pot.
15. Doctors are prescribing medical marijuana to teens, as though it can be used to treat real, physical and mental ailments (it can)!
16. “Throwing people in jail for smoking pot is dumb and wasteful.”
17. Pot should be illegal.