Democrat Who Wants Legalized Marijuana Argues In Favor Of Bottle Rocket Ban


Politics at times makes for strange bed fellows. That was clear today in watching the North Dakota House debate HB1257, introduced by Rep. Blair Thoreson, which would repeal North Dakota’s ban on bottle rocket sales.

Liberal Democrat Rep. Steve Zaiser, who was a spokesman for an initiated measure effort to legalize medicinal marijuana, argued strenuously against repealing the ban and was joined by Rep. Karen Karls, a socially conservative Republican.

To be clear, I’m for legalizing marijuana, but you really have to laugh at someone who thinks weed should be legal but bottle rockets illegal.

Arguing for the repeal was Rep. Thoreson, who read an interesting and lengthy list of all the things more likely to cause eye injuries than fireworks from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (there are a lot of things more likely to cause an eye injury than a bottle rocket) and Rep. Rick Becker who gave a passionate argument for why even seemingly trivial issues like bottle rockets are important in the overall fight for liberty.

“We are not here to protect people from hurting themselves,” argued Rep. Becker. “We are here to ensure the maximum amount of freedom.

The repeal passed 53 – 37, though it’s worth remembering that the legislation which put the ban in place originated in the state Senate. But the House vote was, frankly, a surprise so perhaps the Senate will surprise us as well and rid the state of this silly, pandering, ineffective law.

Rob Port is the editor of, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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