Andrew Sullivan’s casual marijuana usage explains a lot. (The past 18 months or so illustrate why one shouldn’t toke and blog, man.) But whom, I wonder, is trying to protect him from the legal consequences of same? And it couldn’t possibly be related to the general direction is blogging has taken, could it?
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore — but a federal judge isn’t happy about it.
U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes “small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice.”
While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.
The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.
But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.
Update: for the record, I support legalizing it, and I don’t think a minor pot bust should be grounds for keeping you out of the United States. But Glenn Reynolds puts it best: “Andrew would no doubt make a big deal out of any special treatment afforded to a member of the Palin family under similar circumstances.”