Sen. McCaskill: If Pot is Legal "Kids Will Get Handed Joints Like They Get Handed Beers"

"I'm in close contact with my colleagues in Colorado and they're having some unexpected problems, some activity that they're not happy about. So I'm continuing to talk to them." McCaskill said, offering no specifics about these problems.

See also: Irregular Increase in St. Louis Flights to Denver Linked to Marijuana Legalization

She continued: "You know, there's no question that marijuana impacts your behavior. It's a mind-altering drug, just like nicotine and just like alcohol. I can definitely understand there are some arguments to be made that nicotine and alcohol are as bad or worse. I get those arguments. But I'm not sure that putting another one easily accessible -- besides nicotine or alcohol -- is the best way for us to go."

At that point, McCaskill was interrupted by Duell Lauderdale, a student at Mizzou who is also president of the university's chapter of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, a nationwide drug law reform group.

"Everybody's already consuming it, is the problem," he told the senator.

"Yeah, well, it is accessible. In some cases easily," McCaskill conceded.

"Actually more [accessible] for children when it's illegal because there's not somebody to check - a drug dealer will just hand it to them," Lauderdale responded.

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wikimedia/a7nubis

And then Senator Claire McCaskill, the former prosecutor and the 24th wealthiest member of Congress, delivered her argument for continued marijuana prohibition, which leads to more incarceration and less tax revenue:

"I guarantee you that there are kids who are getting handed beers everyday. So it's not like those same ones handing them beers aren't gonna hand them a joint. So that, that doesn't work. I'm open to watching and seeing what happens with this but right now, I'm not gonna give you the answer you wanna hear but hopefully you know that's what I do. I'm not gonna tell you I'm for it. But I'm gonna watch carefully and see what happens in Colorado."

See also: St. Louisan Owns Marijuana Dispensary in Colorado and Hopes Missouri Legalizes, Too

Like Yelvington, Lauderdale wasn't too thrilled with McCaskill's answer. But he admittedly wasn't surprised, given the senator's consistent anti-reform stance. However, he says, there was a bright side.

"She actually did admit at one point that alcohol or tobacco could be as bad or even worse than marijuana and I thought that was a pretty big concession from somebody who maintains a prohibitionist position," Lauderdale says.

"But other than that, I was dissatisfied, she kind of just alluded to these mysterious problems going on in Colorado, but she didn't put a single thing forward."

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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