Bob Barr now a lobbyist…

for the Marijuana Policy Project?!?

From the Politico:

“I, over the years, have taken a very strong stand on drug issues, but in light of the tremendous growth of government power since 9/11, it has forced me and other conservatives to go back and take a renewed look at how big and powerful we want the government to be in people’s lives,” Barr said.

Aaron Houston, the project’s government relations director, said Barr brings a “great deal of credibility, particularly among people on the Republican side of the aisle.”

“He certainly would not have been the first person I would have expected to sign off to us, but I’m very pleased that he has,” Houston said. “I’m very pleased that he has come around, and I hope he serves as an example to his former colleagues.”

Ironically, Barr said he will help lead the fight to give District residents a say on whether to allow medical marijuana — the very thing the “Barr Amendment” denied them in 1998. He will lobby for the rights of states to set their own medical marijuana policy without federal interference.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

36 comments

  1. dingleberry says:

    Before he does any lobbying, I need him to eat some cheese made from the milk of my wife.

  2. drjay says:

    is this his final initiation into the libertarian fraternity? does he have to dress up like a joint and sing “one toke over the line” in the captial rotunda to learn the secret libertarian handshake?

  3. Demonbeck says:

    Bob Barr: Say, man, you got a joint?
    Legislator X: No, not on me, man.
    Bob Barr: That’s cool, bro. Although, it’d be a lot cooler if you diid.

    I am sorry, but that is the first thing that popped into my mind.

  4. Icarus says:

    It took me a while, but now I get it.

    The State Senate passed the bill restricting marijuana candy.

    And if they can take our candy, they can take our guns, and if they can take our guns, they can take our women, and…

  5. Icarus says:

    “I wonder what the Libertarian Barr would say about Sunday Sales? ”

    Of what, alcohol or dime bags?

  6. Jason Pye says:

    There are so many issues that the Libertarian Party and libertarians need to be focusing on.

    I agree with MPP in principle. I just believe that our efforts are better served elsewhere.

  7. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    I was once a member of the LP, but was driven out by the marajuana as mesiah philosophy that too many members had.

    The problem with pushing drugs (sic) as an issue is that it acts as a lightning rod to make the party look like a bunch of drug heads. The LP needs to drop the legalization planks of their platform and instead focus on something that is more relevant to people, like eminent domain abuse.

    Sadly, I think the pothead wing has so damaged the credibility of the LP that it would be better to form a new party without the stigma.

  8. Jason Pye says:

    The LP needs to drop the legalization planks of their platform and instead focus on something that is more relevant to people, like eminent domain abuse.

    I’m not necessarily saying that they need to drop it. What I am saying is that if the party had as much passion for other issues like eminent domain or cutting taxes and so on…the party would be in a much better position.

    However, I will still keep my membership in the party.

  9. Doug Deal says:

    JP,

    I didn’t phrase that well. I agree that drugs should be legalized, as the terror that prohibition has wrought has been horriffic. However, that is not going to sell in mainstream politics, and simply makes the party look like kooks, when the legalization evangelicals represent the party.

    If libertarianism is sold to the public, and the results of freedom can be demonstrated, it will be much easier to succeed at legalization at a later date when people have trust in the party. In the mean-time, it is the only issue that gets press, and all legitimacy for the party gets thrown out the window.

    In the minds of most people LP stands for Legalize Pot, and nothing else.

  10. Joy says:

    Hey Doug, you forgot to include the other two words frequently used for the P in LP: Porn and Prostitution.

    I think that the LP stance on drug legalization should be left in the platform. I’m even happy to see Bob Barr step into the debate. I would like to see him focus more on the trampling of rights which occurs in the War on Drugs.

  11. Icarus says:

    Pot, Porn, and Prostitutes?

    I might not vote for you crazy folks, but I’ll bet your county conventions are a lot more fun than the crap we sat through last weekend.

  12. Jason Pye says:

    Joy,

    The point I’m trying to make is that there many other issues that Americans are concerned about that we, as libertarians , should be spending our energy on. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be in the platform…but it is something that mainstream America isn’t ready for.

  13. Holly says:

    Personally, I’m terribly sad that whitemalevoters hasn’t weighed in here.

    Other than that, I’m kind of wondering what caused Bob Barr’s foray into Libertarianism? Not that I don’t think it’s fascinating, but is this a case of “money talks”, or has he truly changed his core ideals?

  14. StevePerkins says:

    When Bob Barr first came on board as a national advisor to the LP, the blogger reaction was two-fold. Half the people wondered if he would run for President or some other office under a Libertarian banner. The other half grumbled that he isn’t palatable to a large chunk of the LP faithful due to his drug-warrior past.

    I wonder if Barr’s statement has to do with one, or both, of those two reactions.

  15. Jason Pye says:

    Holly,

    Money talks? Mr. Barr doesn’t have much to gain by joining the Libertarian Party.

    I wasn’t much of a fan of his when he was in Congress, but I’ve followed him over the last few years. Most of us within the party saw him joining as an inevitability due to his constant criticism of both George W. Bush and GOP in Congress. Personally, I’m glad that he did joined and I was one of the state chairs that voted him into a leadership role with the national party. I believe that he will do some great things in his role, but I’m a bit disappointed by this MPP move.

  16. StevePerkins says:

    By the way, I agree with Jason that there are tons of issues that should take priority for libertarian activists… that the public is not prepared to hear a serious debate on drug legalization at this time… and that the fire-breathing activists would do well to take a more pragmatic attitude and focus on issues they can impact.

    At the same time though, I groan when I hear commenters say things like, “Libertarians would be taken seriously if they weren’t against the war in Iraq”… or “Libertarians would be taken seriously if they didn’t support gays”… or all the other such suggestions. Give me a break guys, if the LP adopted all those suggestions it wouldn’t be a Libertarian. It would instead be a party of Republican values… and not even Republicans seem to take Republican values seriously these days.

  17. Joy says:

    Jason,

    I agree with you. I hope Barr won’t focus only on medical marijuana, since that would marginalize his effectiveness on other issues.

    Radley Balko does a great job bringing government abuse of people and property in the drug war without getting into the legalization of drugs. I don’t recall seeing too many people dismiss his ideas as being the ramblings of a pothead.

    I was hopeful after seeing him step up on privacy, and am willing to wait and see what other libertarian banners Barr picks up before tossing away my support.

    I do have issues with the LP on a few items. I was very happy to start sending campaign donations to Ron Paul after realizing that Steve Kubby is the best LP candidate I’ve seen so far. Kubby is a great guy, but not who I want on the ballot.

  18. Chris says:

    Jason,

    It was your (and my) sobriety which is why we couldn’t stand more than a year of leadership in the LP. The only way to get through it is to be high.

    Heck, drop some LSD and you’ll even think you can win. 🙂

  19. Chris says:

    Barr’s foray into the LP was a response to the Bush Administration’s (and the GOP in general) war on privacy and civil liberties under the guise of fighting terror.

    It was only a matter of time before Barr realized that privacy, property rights and civil liberties were already being eroded by politicans pandering to “do something about the drug epidemic”.

  20. Holly says:

    Chris, I also have a Libertarian streak about me, so I can understand the first statement. However, as someone who is a Republican, I’m not sure I can ever make that leap to the second one, though again, I understand the principle. Barr has always been far, far to the right of me, so I guess I’m confused as to why he’d choose this issue as his focus. It’s just weird to me.

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