Timothy Egan

  • November 27, 2012

    by Jeremy Leaming

    Taking the “bolder step” of legalizing a limited amount of marijuana has sparked other state lawmakers to consider similar measures, even as the Obama administration remains silent on how it will respond to the bold measures passed in Colorado and Washington.

    University of Denver law school professor Sam Kamin covers possibilities the administration could take, such as enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, which bans the sale and possession of marijuana. Another possibility, Kamin added, is to reclassify marijuana or remove it from the CSA.

    In a piece for The New York Times online commentary, Timothy Egan hopes the administration will have “the backbone” to embrace change. He also urges policymakers and pundits to dump the lame talk about the munchies and take seriously the message sent by two “progressive Western states” that “arresting 853,000 people a year for marijuana offenses is an insult to a country built on individual freedom ….” He also notes that other states, such as Maine, are likely to follow those Western states. Indeed Egan believes that it is likely “a dozen or more states will do so as well.”

    And why should the Obama administration embrace a societal change? Egan cites a litany of compelling reasons. For starters its base hypocrisy for the government to tolerate legal drugs – alcohol, caffeine and a slew of supplementary vitamins that make all kinds of “exaggerated health claims” -- but continue to arrest people for marijuana use.

  • March 23, 2012

    by Jeremy Leaming

    As the Obama administration and supporters of its landmark health care reform law take note of the law’s anniversary – enacted two years ago today – Timothy Egan takes a look at the state lawmakers opposing the law who have found some health care regulation they can support.

    Earlier this week this blog noted Idaho’s efforts to join a slew of other states that have enacted laws requiring women to undergo invasive ultrasounds and hear government propaganda before obtaining abortions. During the state senate’s consideration of the bill Sen. Chuck Winder in responding to the fact that the legislation did not contain exceptions for victims of rape or incest suggested that women have difficult determining when they’ve been raped.

    “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue,” Winder said, “that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was the pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly cause by rape.”

    In a piece called “The Church Lady State,” for The New York Times Egan takes right-wing policy makers to task for their efforts to micromanage sex lives of Americans. He notes the Tea Party grumblings over Obama’s Affordable Care Act and other regulations, such as those promoting energy conservation, and says none compare to what “your freedom-hating Republican Party has been doing across the land to restrict individual liberty.”

    Egan continues:

    They want the state to follow you into the bedroom, the bathroom and beyond. They think you’re too stupid to know what to do with your own body, too ignorant to understand what your doctors tell you and too lazy to be trusted in a job without being subject to random drug testing. Your body is the government’s business.

    The “church lady state,” or Idaho, however, is on the verge of enacting an even more stringent ultrasound law than those passed in Virginia or Texas, he notes. It “would subject many women to invasive, trans-vaginal inspections.”