HLN host Nancy Grace has an impressive record of being wrong about marijuana. Last year she predicted that Colorado's marijuana legalization initiative would lead to "one of the biggest crime waves you've ever seen!" (crime was, in fact, essentially flat in Colorado last year). She went on to argue that marijuana users "shoot each other ... stab each other ... strangle each other, drive under the influence, kill families," a claim that was deemed "mostly false" by PolitiFact.
In short, when it comes to weed, Nancy Grace has elevated the practice of confusing anecdote with data to an art. Her mastery of the form was on display again last night in a "debate" with rapper 2 Chainz, which you can watch in full below.
Among other reasons, Nancy Grace says she opposes marijuana legalization because she found some YouTube videos of stupid people letting their toddlers inhale. "If this is legalized," she says, "then everybody is gonna have unlimited access to pot. Irresponsible child abusers are gonna have free access!" She fills up more than 20 minutes of airtime repeating this argument.
2 Chainz gamely plays along, parrying with appeals to logic and common sense -- that everybody already has access to pot, that we waste a lot of money enforcing dumb drug laws, and that, like people who drink, most people who smoke weed are not the type of idiots who would give it to their toddlers.
He mentions that, as a responsible parent, he doesn't let his kids try booze or weed, or cigarettes, or even caffeine or soda. "You won't even let your daughters have a Coca-Cola or a Pepsi," Grace asks him at this point, "and you're advocating the legalization of marijuana? It doesn't fit together."
But it does. There are plenty of dangerous or harmful things that we don't let our small children do. Drink. Eat too much junk food. Watch too much TV. Drive cars. But! We don't make those things illegal, and throw adults in jail for doing them. Like 2 Chainz, I don't give my own toddlers soda because it's probably not good for them. But that doesn't mean that we should outlaw Pepsi.
As a former prosecutor, Nancy Grace likely knows that her case against marijuana legalization rests on a handful of emotionally-charged anecdotes -- and unconvincing ones at that. Maybe she is undertaking an epic trolling operation to satirize marijuana prohibition. I just wonder how many of her viewers are in on the joke.