Esquire interviewed Barney Frank about the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009.
BARNEY FRANK: Announcing that the government should mind its own business on marijuana is really not that hard. There's not a lot of complexity here. We should stop treating people as criminals because they smoke marijuana. The problem is the political will.
ESQ: That's my second question. There's already been a lot of change in the country. Thirteen states have decriminalized pot. What's holding up Congress?
BF: This is a case where there's cultural lag on the part of my colleagues. If you ask them privately, they don't think it's a terrible thing. But they're afraid of being portrayed as soft on drugs. And by the way, the argument is, nobody ever gets arrested for it. But we have this outrageous case in New York where a cop jammed a baton up a guy's ass when he caught him smoking marijuana.
ESQ: You're kidding.
BF: Actually, I've just been corrected by my partner — it was a radio he jammed up the guy's ass, not his baton.