Will Saletan -- who I will admit wrote one good thing once, and then rode his "if you don't acknowledge the possibility that the world could be flat, you're just a science-hating creationist" bit to eminently predictable disaster -- has apparently found a new shtick:
On medicinal THC: Every feat of re-engineering challenges our moral and legal assumptions. In the case of Sativex, two positions are under attack: the left's lazy tolerance of recreational marijuana in the guise of legalizing medical marijuana and the right's opposition to medical marijuana on the grounds that it's just a pretext. By refining, isolating, and standardizing pot's medicinal effects, pharmaceutical companies are showing us how to separate the two uses. Are you for symptom relief or getting stoned? That used to be a fuzzy question. Now it's concrete: Do you want the reefer or the spray?
To pro-lifers: If you don't accept what [the murderer of George Tiller] did, then maybe it's time to ask yourself what you really believe. Is abortion murder? Or is it something less, a tragedy that would be better avoided? Most of us think it's the latter. We're looking for ways to prevent abortions—not just a few this month, but millions down the line—without killing or prosecuting people. Come and join us.
On cigarette vaporizers: Maybe what we need is a convergence of the tobacco debate with the marijuana debate. In each case, vaporization is dissolving the categories and grounds that warranted prohibition. Liberals can see this, but only in the case of pot. Conservatives can see it, but only in the case of tobacco. Go talk to one another. The engineering and re-engineering of drugs will only get more complicated as technology improves. We'd better start thinking rationally about it.
"Go ahead," he says, grinning smugly. "Talk to each other. Only through good faith dialogue will you discover that I've been right all along."
First, some questions:
(1) Why is Saletan treating cigarette vaporizers, an unregulated product generally sold in "Akbar and Jeff"-style mall hutches, as equivalent to a peer-reviewed and scientifically tested pharmaceutical product? [But Emily Yoffe casually said it might not be so bad! -- ed. Emily Yoffe, whose primary mission appears to be making Rachel Larimore look sane, also quoted a consultant to the WHO saying that "[i]t stuns me people would so willingly accept the word of manufacturers from an unregulated industry, claiming their product is safe and pure when they won't tell us what's in it and haven't done the most basic studies."]
I guess he was too busy thinking rationally and challenging moral assumptions to notice he was lecturing a group of tweens outside a Hot Topic.
(2) Wait, liberals can see how vaporization of drugs undermines existing rationales, "but only in the case of pot"? You were just saying that the vaporized THC attacked "the left's lazy tolerance of recreational marijuana"! It only took a week for liberals to adopt your position on this? Why wasn't I informed?
(3) And why is my tolerance of recreational marijuana "lazy"? I'd say it's quite robust.
Unless I'm stoned.
Anyway, in the spirit of constructive dialogue, FMK now presents "Um, Really?", a play in three acts:
Pro-Choicer: "Do you consider abortion something less than murder?"
Pro-Lifer: "Sure, but I'm still against legalizing it."
Pro-Choicer: "Oh. So the only common ground here is that we think the death penalty is inappropriate for abortion providers? Great."
The Right: "Are you for symptom relief or getting stoned?"
The Left: "Both."
The Right: "Oh. Well, nice talking to you."
Conservatives: "Wait, why am I pro-electronic cigarettes?"
Will Saletan: "So how are you two doing? Have you withered under the challenges I've laid down to your moral and legal assumptions, and come to the conclusion that my clearly superior logical abilities have divined the only correct answer to these timeless dilemmas?"
[Liberals and Conservatives clasp their hands together, then punch Will Saletan in the face.]