There are plenty of bizarre reasons anti-marijuana advocates give for why states should not legalize cannabis. But every once and awhile you get a new argument that really surprises you.
Republican Congressman Steve Pearce, who is running for governor in New Mexico, was asked recently about his thoughts on legalizing marijuana. Pearce replied that he believes only wealthy states can afford to do so.
“I do not see how in combating poverty you can put one more obstacle in front of people who are struggling to get out of poverty,” Pearce said. “So I don’t see where I would support recreational marijuana.”
He then discussed the differences between Colorado and New Mexico, and how the former state can afford to legalize marijuana when the latter cannot.
“Colorado has a much deeper economic base to rely on. Colorado has much deeper pockets to rely on," Pearce said. “We’re at the bottom of everything ― and to say that we want to make one more [obstacle] for people who are just trying to get themselves on their feet and get back in the workforce and work their way out, I just don’t see how it fits. I don’t see how it fits that we’re going to deal with addiction and yet we’re going to people, ‘This one is OK.’”
Of course, keeping marijuana illegal also leads to poor people getting arrested and being unable to keep jobs due to their criminal records, which would reinforce poverty.
Pearce isn't exactly known for having the most well-thought opinions on issues. He once said that allowing gay marriage would lead to people "marrying everyone in California with AIDS."
He's currently running unopposed for the Republican nomination for governor of New Mexico.
(h/t Huffington Post)