The Evils of a Good Buzz

John Stossel is one of my favorite TV reporters. He rubs against the grain of both liberals and conservatives, and has been vilified by both Ralph Nader and Al Franken. Ted Turner walked out on one of his interviews, after Stossel questioned whether it is more virtuous to donate to charity or create jobs through successful businesses. His new book “Give Me a Break,” has many worthy and quotable sections, including this exchange with DEA director Tom Constantine, about legalizing drugs.

“When I asked him why alcohol was okay, but not marijuana or cocaine, he said people drink liquor for the taste, not to ‘get high.’ This inspired me to provoke him. ‘I hate to say this, but when I have a shot of gin or vodka, I’m doing it to get a little buzz on. That buzz is bad? Should it be illegal?

‘If you drink for that purpose,’ said Constantine, ‘that’s not too smart.’ Should we be outlaw smoking? His answer had a Taliban-like quality to it. ‘I would say 10, 15, 20 years from now, in a gradual fashion, smoking will probably be outlawed in the U.S.”