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Bill O'Reilly: Why Americans don't like to be told what to do

By Bill O'Reilly

It looks like marijuana will soon become acceptable in this country. Millions of Americans like to use the drug and do not want to be told they are wrong to do so.

On the flip side, most drug counselors will tell you pot harms children big time and many adults cannot handle it either. On this and other issues, most Americans do not like to be told how to behave in their personal time. When the government outlawed alcohol in 1920, many Americans simply disobeyed the law and prohibition was repealed in 1933.

Today, the primary argument for legalizing pot is that booze is legal but when you think about harm reduction that argument is foolish. You don't add another intoxicant to the marketplace unless there is a good reason to do so and really there isn't a good reason. People who smoke pot and eat the brownies and that stuff want it. They want it and that's that -- the consequences be damned.

That being said I'm not anti-pot crusader. Here is what I said four years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: I would decriminalize marijuana in the sense that I wouldn't hunt it down but I would still prosecute dealers and if anybody was in a car under the influence they would get the book thrown at them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Simply put, the law of the land should be no public use of marijuana but, what you do in private is your business if you are an adult.

Now, the USA was founded on individualism. And that rugged tradition has taken deep root. Many of us just don't want the federal government to control our lives. We want to be able to protect ourselves. That's the gun issue. We want to be able to make a living without the feds taking 50 percent of our pay. And we want to be able to recreate in a way that pleases us. And for some that means getting high.

"Talking Points" is somewhat amused that the liberal agenda is pro-drug but antigun and pro-nanny state. Today in "The New York Times" they scorched the cigarette industry telling the readers that nicotine is the devil.

But the same newspaper doesn't think THC, the intoxicating agent in marijuana is so bad. Last November, the "Times" made all kinds of excuses why pot should be legal. So, to the avid left-wing "Times" cigarettes no, pot yes. Believe me, the health hazards both physical and mental of using marijuana are at least as pernicious as using tobacco on a regular basis.

In a perfect world, all Americans would discourage the use of destructive chemicals, right? And that has happened with tobacco. In 1990 excuse me 1965, more than 42 percent of American adults smoked, including my mother. Now just 19 percent of Americans smoke. The reason? An anti-cigarette campaign -- an intense one.

So why don't we have an anti-pot campaign while we decriminalize it? Why do we want children to think that intoxication is a good thing? Why?

In my life experience, I have seen hundreds of folks get hurt. Get hurt while intoxicated. It doesn't matter what the substance. You alter your state of consciousness, bad things can and do happen. Children should hear that message over and over and over. Is that too much to ask?

And that's "The Memo."

O'Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O'Reilly, airs on Weekdays at 8PM ET on Fox News Channel.