Pot Prohibitionist at CPAC Says He Is ‘Fighting Against the Tide’

Yesterday The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball attended a debate about marijuana legalization at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and came away convinced that critics of the war on drugs are ascendant within the conservative movement. The debate pitted conservative blogger and Fox News commentator Mary Katharine Ham against Christopher Beach, a producer for former drug czar Bill Bennett’s radio show. Ball reports that the discussion “turned out to be surprisingly one-sided,” with the audience, or at least the most vocal parts of it, overwhelmingly in favor of legalization, the position taken by Ham. Ball acknowledges that CPAC skews young and libertarian, but she says Beach told her he typically gets a hostile response when he defends prohibition in the company of fellow conservatives. “There used to be a strong conservative coalition opposed to drugs, but it’s dissipated in the face of mounting public support for legalization,” Beach say. “We’re fighting against the tide on this.”
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