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High Times
Russian Official: Everyone in DC Will Become A Drug Addict

Washington, DC’s law legalizing possession of marijuana went into effect at midnight last night, in what Russian authorities say is the first step toward complete societal collapse. The Moscow Times reports:

“When the authorities take their cue from the sinister interests of the population, what happens is everyone becomes a drug addict,” Yevgeny Bryun, the ministry’s chief drugs specialist, was cited as saying Thursday by Interfax news agency.

There is much that is emblematic of Russian attitudes toward the West packed into that one sentence. There is a thoroughgoing suspicion of democracy and a pervasive faith in the ultimate wisdom of a paternalistic state. There is the conviction that the West is terminally decadent and the equally strong belief that Russia is holding the civilizational line in the face of an imminent Western collapse. And then, of course, there is the PR/propaganda tone—the snide superiority, both meant to reassure domestic audiences and to ruffle feathers abroad.

Finding statements like these is a big part of the fun of being a Russia watcher, but they also raise a troubling question: to what extent are these fantasies of Western decline actually believed in the halls of the Kremlin? Vladimir Putin may so far be playing the West like a balalaika in Ukraine, but will he go too far and grievously underestimate the West’s ultimate capacity to respond?

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  • Mixa
    • Tom

      So, the same as Russia then.

  • Pete

    It is not a fantasy to see that the West is growing more and more decadent.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      In America I see the TEA Party growing in leaps and bounds with every election, and if trends continue will relatively soon be cutting the power and authority of American government, and freeing up American creativity. As far as decadence is concerned, it is completely self defeating to try to legislate virtue as the wars against drugs, gambling, and prostitution have shown at great cost and with a real decline in virtue.

    • Damir Marusic

      Increasingly decadent on the margins and terminally decadent are, I would argue, very different things. The danger is in mistaking one for the other.

  • Fat_Man

    Will become? A thought experiment. How much worse would the country be run if every government official was stoned out of his gourd 24/7?

    As I wrote that, the thought struck me, maybe they would do nothing and stop hurting us.

    Nescis, mi fili, quantilla sapientia regitur mundus.
    {Learn, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.}

    Oxenstierna, Count Axel Gustafsson, 1583–1654, Chancellor of Sweden, 1612. After the death of Gustavus II, the dominant member of the council of regency and virtual ruler of Sweden (1632–44).

    • FriendlyGoat

      You gonna recommend weed to all the new GOP House and Senate members?

  • jeburke

    Hmmm…well I suppose that “everyone” is a bridge too far, but are they entirely off base? A cavalierly tolerant attitude toward a relatively benign drug goes hand in hand with the widespread and growing use of indisputably destructive drugs including heroin, cocaine, various “designer” drugs, and contraband pain killers, not to mention chrystal meth. Look at the heroin epidemic in Vermont (Vermont!) or the rampant meth addiction in areas as diveese as inland Maine, West Virginia and Arizona. Sure, smoking pot does not “hook” you, but the quest to get high has many paths and it’s a rare hard-drug addict who as a teenager wasn’t a pothead.

    Anyway, DC’s legalization is about only one thing: the wish of DC’s local official’s to relieve young Black people of arrest records.

  • qet

    Ha! Sez a guy from the country where 40% of all working age men (by one estimate) die from alcohol consumption. Hell, he’d probably already downed half a bottle of Stoli 100 proof when he said it.

  • Corlyss

    I thought most of the DC ruling echelons, whether local or national, dabbled in drugs, legal or il-. The only reason for legalizing it at this late date is to thumb their noses at the Republican Congress, with the added side benefits of saving DC’s underclass from the threat of arrest while reducing the costs of apprehending and processing same thru the system.

  • FriendlyGoat

    “Authorities” in America are supposed to be taking their cues from the interests of the population all the time. Whether or what is “sinister” is what we debate. In Russia, they could be debating the virtue of vodka, for instance, but the recent tone out of that place seems to be signaling they would prefer to debate “who are the authorities” and “what can the authorities decide by themselves”.

    • Josephbleau

      I think here in the US it is clear that Mr Obama is the authority who can ban pipelines, 5.56 mm ammo, and health insurance he does not approve of, and now the Internet. He can determine who is worthy of resident status by fiat. He decides by himself. How Putin must envy him,

      • FriendlyGoat

        Never heard ole Vlad mentioning that he envies Obama.

        As for the Internet, what do you want from it that you believe Obama is hurting?

        • Josephbleau

          Regarding the Internet I want unmitigated freedom.

          • FriendlyGoat

            That’s what you’re going to get with the recent FCC action—-assuming it is not litigated away.

            How could you be better off if Netflix charges fees to a bunch of idiotic movie-loading consumers and then uses those fees to buy speed advantage over anything or everything else? Letting corporations encourage a whole country to act stupidly with a wonderful tool is just goofy. The fact that the FCC and Obama are on the same side is not a reason you should be upset about them all doing the right thing, is it?

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