Hat tip to Jake Sternberger for alerting me to this — the anonymous creator of the Tarah Toohil video has posted a detailed statement today in the video’s caption about why he or she posted the video. Jake tweeted “Guy who leaked Tarah Toohil pic didn’t want sensationalism, but a serious talk about drug policy. Clearly, he was high.”
In all seriousness, the person behind the video has some worthwhile things to say. It’s worth a read. I’d call these excerpts, but this is most of the statement:
“While I am the creator of this video, I am not the owner of these photographs. I do not know Ms. Toohil personally, I am not in the media, nor am I affiliated with either campaign or political party. …
“…no one should fault her for experimenting with marijuana in her youth. The issue is not what she has done in the past, but what she does now. As a legislator, she opposes decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, and the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.
“These photos depict a public official who promotes policies not informed BY her life experience, but in spite of it.
“There are millions of young Tarah Toohils out there right now in America, who like to party and experiment with drugs, just as she did. They’re smart, promising kids with bright futures who may one day become attorneys and State Representatives, just as she did. But unlike Tarah Toohil, some of them will suffer legal consequences for their youthful indiscretions. Because of this, they will have a stain on their record that will prevent them from ever achieving the level of success Rep. Toohil has. …
“.. this video was not made on behalf of any campaign or political party, it was made on behalf of the millions of non-violent drug offenders in this country who currently occupy our prisons, it was made on behalf of all those who have had their lives destroyed for casual marijuana use, and it was made on behalf of those currently fighting a losing battle with drug addiction who find themselves in handcuffs instead of in treatment.
“I do not hope for an end to Ms. Toohil’s political career, but for her to reassess her stance on these issues. Based on her “official statement” regarding this video, she hasn’t. Neither of us intend for young people to see this video and take away from it that “drugs are cool”. That’s totally beside the point, and frankly, young people are a lot smarter than that.
“I know this video has caused Rep. Toohil much grief and I am prepared to remove it from this website on the condition that she publicly and DIRECTLY answer the following questions:
“1. Do you believe you should have suffered legal consequences for your past illegal acts?
2. If the answer is yes, where do you think you would be today?
3. Do you believe others should suffer legal consequences for doing the same things you did?
“Lastly, while I did not expect the kind of media attention this video has received, I find the level of discourse in the news appalling. Journalists should be interested in the truth, not in sensationalism. And while this video could be accused of the same thing, I was merely trying to communicate in a language the modern media would understand. It is worth noting that for all the speculation concerning who is behind this video, only ONE news outlet (PoliticsPA) bothered to send me a message inquiring about it.”
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A reminder of what the Keystone Politics roundup of guest blogger introductions mentioned earlier this month: I blog at KP on my *own* time. As you can guess, that means any opinions I express here are my own, not of my employer.