The smug runs deep in David Brooks’s latest New York Times column, in which he advocates for the continued prohibition of marijuana, essentially because he’s over it after a few years as a high school stoner. Brooks’s basic argument is that grown-ups who do grown-up stuff shouldn’t want to smoke weed, and governments who want their citizens to act like grown-ups should keep weed illegal, because making it available means more people will use it (he’s looking at you, Colorado and Washington). “Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture?” Is David Brooks high? Maybe!
Because in addition to deploying the kind of lame, unsupported argument you’d probably use while giving a stoned presentation in high school, some of Brooks’s sentences sound like they could have come directly from a conversation over lunchtime bowls out in the creek bed near campus. Pretend, for a moment, these are not from a screed against some devil drug, but from a lackadaisical chat among stoners.
- “I smoked one day during lunch and then had to give a presentation in English class.”
- “[M]ost of us developed higher pleasures.”
- “Smoking all the time seemed likely to cumulatively fragment a person’s deep center, or at least not do much to enhance it.”
- “Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture?”
- “In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom.”
- “Paul Krugman is off today.”
Dude. So true.