The Corner

Bennett

Jonah, gambling is not necessarily a vice, and nor is smoking pot, but that’s not the point. The most telling criticism of Bennett was that made by Jacob Sullum over at Reason’s blog on Monday. Initially, at least, Bennett defended his gambling on the grounds that he could “handle it”. That’s a respectable enough position to take, but it’s also an argument that can reasonably be made by a good number of people who would like to decide for themselves (rather than have government do it for them) whether or not to smoke dope. The argument that marijuana use and gambling are morally different because one is legal and the other is not may resonate with some, but it is an entirely different issue. Of course, as you say, gambling is not the same as smoking pot, but both have (at different times) been made illegal – and for very similar reasons. It would be interesting to hear why Bennett thinks that banning the former was wrong, but legalizing the latter would be a mistake.

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