Rick Steves stumps for pot
Rick Steves enjoys a cruise in France.
November 26th, 2012
11:06 AM ET

Rick Steves stumps for pot

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Travel writer Rick Steves can pinpoint the moment he decided on his career path.  He was traveling in Europe as a teenager with his parents when it hit him.

[:30]"I remember being in the Copenhagen train station seeing kids a couple years older than me with rucksacks and Eurail passes, no parents and Europe was their playground and I thought I don't need you mom and dad."

Then and there Steves pledged he'd go back every year. It's a promise he's made good on through a simple premise.

[:55]"Others could learn from my mistakes rather than their own and have a better trip and I could have an excuse to go back to Europe every year and update my material."

Steves has turned this idea into a travel empire. His guidebooks have sold millions of copies, he has TV specials and a weekly radio program. He now divides his time spending about four months of the year in Europe researching,  the rest of the year he's super grounded.

[1:20]"I look out my window and I see my junior high school."

Edmonds, Washington is Steves oasis. It's his springboard to the rest of the world.  But,  his time in the United States is as much marked by political activism as it is by the comforts of home.

Among other things, Steves is a passionate advocate for the legalization of marijuana. He argues that American drug policy is costly and counterproductive.

[3:07] "Drugs are not healthy. They are not good for you. They can be addictive.  They can be abused. But, I don't think we should criminalize things for adults just because they are not appropriate for children.

Steves sees marijuana as a civil liberty. This year voters in his state agreed with him. It's a victory he's excited by, but it won't mark an end to his political work.

Increasingly Steves sees his work as a travel writer as linked to political discussion and debate.

[3:49] "I find that you can leave our country and look back at it and see it in a higher contrast and see things that we should address."

It's all part of an evolution for this travel guru. Something that he hopes Americans will take to heart. It's a big world out there and Steves hopes Americans will travel more and worry less.

[4:16]"I find that the flip side of fear is understanding and we gain understanding through travel."

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soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Ned

    Marijuana is a harmful drug and known to alter personality. I have seen so many conservatives chage into liberals after continued use. Avoid it at all costs, especially if you are conservative.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ingyandbert

    Love Rick Steves!

    November 27, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. hillbillynWVa

    If all these "pot" haters would smoke some good herb kicked back in their easy chair this evening they would be asking their kids to find them some more tomorrow. The government can't find a way to regulate it, so they won't legalize it. PERIOD!

    November 27, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. changeisnotgood

    wow, not I really feel safe on the road. drunkers and stoners. maybe we can legalize prostitution next? that is also ok, right?

    November 27, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Why not?!

      November 27, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yes, prostitution should be legal, too. Nice try at a slippery-slope fallacy, but everyone knows you shouldn't drive intoxicated, regardless of what you're doing.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • JCM

      Even for a troll you're a real idiot.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      People who get baked drive very slowly and carefully, and only between home and the Taco Bell. Not really a problem.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      There is no logic in our drug laws. If there is no victim then why penalize it? It's not the same as theft or assault. In those crimes there is a definite victim, but if someone sits in there living room getting stoned who is hurt by that?

      Yes, marijuana can be abused, alcohol can be abused. But everything can be abused or misused. Cell phones are legal but should you be texting while driving in rush hour traffic? It has the same deadly potential in that situation yet I don't see anyone pushing to outlaw cell phones, just texting while driving. A similar logic is already applied to alcohol. It's still legal to consume but driving drunk is prohibited. Marijuana should be treated the same way: legal to use but illegal in situations where it's affects can have a negative impact.

      And as far as prostitution, yes, it should be legalized. I've never understood why a women can have sex with any number of random strangers and it's perfectly legal, but the moment she gets paid for it she's breaking the law? By criminalizing it you force women on the street where they are much more likely to be raped, beaten, robbed or killed. In countries that have legalized prostitution you don't see this at anywhere near the level here in the US (and the numbers for the US are most likely low as a woman is less likely to report an assault, theft or rape if she has to admit to breaking the law to do so). And there's certainly no victim here. A prostitute doesn't choose random men and throw herself at them. They come to her of their own free will. The john get's what he wants, the prostitute gets what she wants and that's the end of it.

      November 27, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • BTAH

        Yes, everything can be abused. Even the ability to post comments. However, making something legal makes it more accessible and therefore more likely to be abused. The average Joe (not a pot head) isn't capable of just stopping at a store to pick up some weed to smoke on the way home. Just like during prohibition, the average Joe who maybe only drank a few times a year, probably wouldn't go out of his way to find something to drink. Making it more accessible has a direct relationship to people abusing something and causing harm to others.

        November 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Denise

    Let's see...cigarette smoking is hazardous to the health, but pot is legalized? People, it's a mind altering drug, that affects the lungs as well....am I on a trip?
    Rick, who cares what you think, you're a travel guru. I enjoy your shows, but probably won't be watching anymore. You're simply a nutcase. Bon Voyage!

    November 27, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Yang Kaihui

      It's a matter of policy. The "moralistic" arguments don't work when society is worse once you ban it. Tobacco is legal too

      November 27, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott B

      The point that's kind of lost in the outtakes is that are enforcement of drug prohibition causes far worse problems with our society than the effects of simply allowing people to smoke pot.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
      • DugB

        OK, I'm all for legalizing it, but just doing that wont stop the illegal trade. Just watch one of those moon shiner shows (a guilty pleasure) and you'll see that despite the repeal of prohibition people still bootleg alcohol (though much less than during prohibition, I'm sure). For me, as a 40 year old, it'll just be strange to move from thinking of it as something you sneak to something you can do in the open.

        December 4, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • massbytes

      Sorry Denise, but outlawing anything that might be harmful in any way is just delusional. I don't want my tax dollars spent tilting at windmills. Sounds like you do. No matter, it will be legalized and if it isn't...people will still use it. Sorry you can't control it all.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Terik Ororke

        Just tremind people who use drugs that more than likely they are partners in murder: thousands have been murdered by drug cartels especially in Mexico..it is a shame that our Hispanic communities do not say more about this...so go ahead and make it legal and rembver that you are also legalizing murder as a result...have fun at other's expenxe.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
        • me

          thats pretty dumb...if its legalized, the cartels and underground traffickers will not have anything to fight over since its legal...wise guy

          November 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
        • Jeff

          Terik – when marijuana becomes legal (as it now is in CO & WA state), the state government regulates the products & distribution of the drug. Thus, the demand from illegal sources (like the ones you point out) will diminish & so to will the violence surrounding it. We saw this before with prohibition. When booze was illegal, organized crime flourished and violence was out of control. The ONLY way that law enforcement could get control of the situation was through legalization. If your main concern is the violence associated with the drug trade, then you should be a huge proponent of drug legalization.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • r schier

      Anyone who addresses the audience in the manner of "People:", should be tied and gagged. Why not
      try minding your own business, and doing what's best for yourself.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JCM

      Yes, I like a lot of other people care what he says, it's you and what you have to say that holds absolutely no value for anyone. But thanks anyway for not really trying.

      November 27, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • JCM

      PS: Denise thanks for not traveling as the 'Ugly American' and embarrassing the rest of us with your extreme ignorance!

      November 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. humtake

    Life is so not fair. This guy not only has my dream job but he also likes to enjoy his herb. That man deserves a Nobel prize for his work.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • TomN

      Rick Steves advocates for legalization, but also claims to not smoke the 'herb'

      November 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. EVN

    Rick Steves is a successful travel writer/show producer. If you don't like his take ignore him, but don't expect anyone to particularly listen to you, unless of course you too have some experience and expertise in travel.

    The article is about his views on decriminlization of marijuana. Last time I checked people are allowed to express their views in America. All he is saying is that criminalizing marijuana is a failure, a waste of money, and useless in stopping people from partaking in it, much like prohibition of alcohol was a failure and gave rise to criminal enterprises and associated violence.

    As for those views, again you can accept them or reject them, and if it makes you feel better, throw some epithat like "loony left winger" at him, even though the issue is not a right or left political issue, but is really about freedom of choice and freedom of expression.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      Funny how conservatives want government out of our business when it needs revenue, but want it in our business when it comes to pot and making everyone live by one religion's principles.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
      • davidb

        funny how libs don't mind having government in every part of their lives unless it has to do with drugs or sex.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. bob

    The exact same argument against pot was made against alcohol. it was made illegal. the illegality created a giant amount of crime. it was then re-legalized. Why do we insist on repeating this charade?

    November 27, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. BKBroiler

    Of course Socialism should never be attempted in America... They're too stupid to make it work.

    November 27, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      How dense are you people. Enough with these ism's. We already have more than a few "social" programs here in the states.

      November 27, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Zan

      This coming from someon calling themselves BKBroiler.

      Have it your way..

      November 27, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      No, the stupid people just have no idea that there already is socialism here, and that they personally have benefited from it both directly and indirectly, yet they want to ban it. It really goes back to the cold war, as the dumber part of the population continues to confuse socialism with Stalinism/Leninism.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike from Calgary

    Sort of the enlightened view in Canada, Smoking anything heightens one risk of cancer, but what good is served by criminalizing the conduct and jailing citizens at great expense. Aside from the liberty issue, how long can the taxpayer squander tax dollars on prisons, and making people criminals .. so that they aren't working and paying taxes, or smoking and paying taxes. The costs to imprison and remove workers from employment sound silly in a country with an enormous national debt.
    Oh oh ... our PM wants more jails for criminals too! Yikes.

    November 27, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mikey

    I have always enjoyed Rick's show whilst indulging in some tasty herb.

    November 27, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Midnight Toker

      Hahaha me too! It makes me sad that we're the only ones with some sense.

      November 27, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Moshe

        We are the new silent majority.

        November 27, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. nancy

    this guy is a typical Seattle LOON !!!!

    November 27, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • paul

      Yeah, he's not smart like you since you understand how effective and inexpensive the war on marijuana has been.

      "Loony" doesn't always recognize loony.

      November 27, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      Yeah, arresting all of those pot smokers has kept me safe from....um....Krispy Kreme becoming a bigger company than Apple?

      November 27, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Andy

    Free Marc Emery.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    I remember when I was 16. I didn't want marijuana illegal. Alchohol was illegal and was really tough to get. Weed though? I knew 50 people I could get it from at school.

    Question is why do we spend so much money and allow the government so much power to illegalize a substance, when the illegalization itself makes the substancec more readily availabe to children.

    Our policy really puts the moron in Oxymoron!!

    November 27, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • smith

      I agree with you.... It is a lot easier for kids to get marijuana then it is to find someone to buy you beer at the store. It's absolutely crazy!

      November 27, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. NMObserver

    Rick Steves always mentions that traveling will open your eyes to the world and my permission is that he thinks American need to travel more. That's probably true. However, I notice that Rick Steves never travels to Latin America or Africa or anywhere else in the third world that might be dangerous. He ought to go to some of those places to really have his eyes opened.

    I like Rick Steves and his programs but I think that to often he rationalizes situations and practices abroad that are not positive. The issue with Islam in France is one of them. He likes to travel and see new things as long as the new things don't disturb his Pollyanna view of the world.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      He says that he hasn't learned any of the languages and gets by with a phrasebook. Would he do well that way anywhere outside of Europe? Maybe he would in the internet age.

      November 27, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Eriberto Aguilar

        People go to Latin America and Asia all the time without knowing the languages spoken in the places they visit. And they come back just fine.

        November 27, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      I have no idea what your phrase means about 'your permission is'. Makes no sense. I enjoy his shows. He shows things that others would not see. He suggest cheaper ways to do things and see things. He encourages people to travel and see the world. He engages the natives of the places he visits. He uses local guides, goes to local spots. I don't know if he's ever gone to Latin America, so I can't comment on that. But maybe someone could research that and see if that's an accurate statement. Might not be...

      November 27, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela Birch

      I suspect he goes to Europe because he likes Europe, in addition he knows about Europe. One can't be an expert on the entire world. I really se no virtue in going out of your way to court danger. He leads tours is my understanding, he knows where he would like to work. That makes all the sense in the world to me. If you don't want to go to Belize, Cambodia or anywhere else why should you? It sounds to like saying to a brain surgeon, Yup you can slice up brains competently but why aren't you an orthopedic surgeon.
      As for Marijuana, not my cup of tea any more than alcohol but I figure in a free country anyone is entitled to be stupid if they choose.

      November 27, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      In defense of Steves (whom I rarely watch), "Europe" is apparently his passion, and he's entitled to that as everyone is entitled to have their favorite places. It's also his business model. For him to continue to make a living at it, he has to continually update his information with repeated visits. That doesn't necessarily leave a lot of time for other locales ... unless you seriously expect him to spend ALL his time on foreign travel. Then it wouldn't be fun; it would be work.

      November 27, 2012 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Orygun Duck

      He did a show from Iran once.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • cnnemma

      Actually Steves did a show on Iran and has one coming up on Israel and Palestinian Territories. He's most well known for his guides to Europe but he travels a lot beyond that region.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  16. RedwoodGeorge

    Good golly – a successful, intelligent person advocating the legalization of marijuana. Apparently he would have been -more- successful and -more- intelligent if he hadn't been a pot user, eh? Sort of hard to argue the evils of weed when someone as plain vanilla middle-of-the-road as Rick Steves comes out in favor of it.

    For all you conservatives out there, if you had actually read the article he makes a very strong "personal responsibility" argument which normally resonates with conservatives. The government shouldn't be dictating the behavior of adults if it doesn't directly harm anyone else. Between that and states' rights, the far right ought to be all for legalization in Colorado and Washington if that's what the voters want.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayneQP

      I am not a pot user (tried it, made me sleepy... I didn't see any benefit for myself), but I definitely advocate the legalization of marijuana. Alcohol is the cause of more deaths annually than ANYTHING ELSE..across the board...internationally...ANYTHING ELSE. ... but we keep that readily available. There have been exactly ZERO deaths as a result of marijuana use. None. Nada. In fact, it has benefited people with chronic pain (and doesn't destroy your life like Alcohol or H or prescription meds) and myriad other conditions. Yes, it makes some people a little goofy, but goofy isn't bad... sloppy, fight-picking drunk ... kinda bad, yes?

      November 27, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
      • BTAH

        Really, absolutely no deaths, ever? It seems logical to me that at some point in history there was accident that could have happened because someone was high and the accident resulted in a death.

        How many of you moroooons have 16 year old kids getting high and driving the family car around town??? If that is acceptable to you, you should be in jail also, right next to the loser pot-head.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
        • Dave

          The pothead should not be in jail, period.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
        • Dave

          Yeah, and that whole pot = loser thing is antiquated. Square.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
        • r schier

          You're just stupid....but I'm sure you must be aware of that already.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
        • BTAH

          Right, I guess it isn't really the point (even though I am correct). The point made was that there were NEVER any deaths caused by smoking pot. I have seen that comment several times in different discussions. Although I don't care enough to research it and find a case that is a direct result of smoking dope, it shows "ignorance" to make that claim. I almost caused one when I was young because I had a little too much.

          November 27, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
        • BTAH

          r schier: That is not what your mom said last night...

          November 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • BTAH

        Not quite old enough to be a "square". Old enough to have college aged kids. Old enough to see what smoking pot does to a kid's drive and interaction with his family. Old enough to know that when people say "there is nothing wrong with smoking pot", they don't have a clue. Or, they are not very good parents.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
        • Dave

          For every person on pot who is unmotivated, there is another who is driven. I know pot smokers of all stripes, and the stereotypical view you display is nothing short of wrong, and does nothing other than perpetuate ignorance.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
        • Jeff

          BTAH – would it have been just for your college aged kids to be thrown in jail for their "crimes" of smoking pot? What if they had sold some pot to a friend? Would a multi year prison sentence be justified?
          True, kids should not use pot, but that's not the point here.

          November 27, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
        • BTAH

          My post ended up in the wrong order:

          Right, I guess it isn't really the point (even though I am correct). The point made was that there were NEVER any deaths caused by smoking pot. I have seen that comment several times in different discussions. Although I don't care enough to research it and find a case that is a direct result of smoking dope, it shows "ignorance" to make that claim. I almost caused one when I was young because I had a little too much.

          November 27, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • BTAH

      And by the way, "doesn't directly harm anyone else" makes no sense. Because I am sure there has naver been a case in which someone without insurance smoked pot and hurt themselves and needed to go to the emergency room. Hmmm, who pays for that? Not sure if you have a job or not, but I do, so I am guessing a little of my tax money paid for that visit. So, it DOES directly harm other people. Why should I pay for some loser to get bandaged up because he/she was high and messed up.

      November 27, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Aaron

        You have quite a tortured definition for the word "direct."

        November 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Scottstams

    For the last time people, marijuana legalization is not a left or right issue!

    Statists, such as social conservatives or socialists, believe that the government should have a say on what we do in our own homes.

    Libertarian fiscal conservatives and socially progressive Democrats (as opposed to blue collar Dems) mostly support legalization and are against government intervention in our personal lives.

    All you have to do is look at who supported legalization in Colorado. The Democratic Governor, President Obama and Eric Holder were against legalization. Republicans Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul (of Texas) were strong advocates for legalization.

    Therefore, to call it a left or right issue is simplistic, so let's stop all the childish name calling. If anything beyond a liberty issue, the divide is generational.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  18. notsoslanted

    I hated to see Rick Steves so vocal about the decriminalization of marijuana. His shows are entertaining and informative. He always seemed like a witty guy with great travel tips. In my profession I work regularly with people who struggle with marijuana. I don't believe pot/weed is an innocuous substance and am not for legalization. Now I am not a Rick Steves fan, either.

    November 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      Good thing alcohol is an innocuous substance that no one has struggles with. Oh, wait....

      November 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave-0

      Your post is a strong statement against sobriety.

      November 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      NotSo, Sorry but years as a Nurse I have yet to have a patient whose body was ravaged and destroyed by pot.

      On the other hand between 18 and 27 percent of my patients, DAILY, have bodies that were destroyed by alcohol. Tax it, legalize it and keep it out of the hands of kids.

      November 27, 2012 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      If you have half a mind to understand the workings of, well, the mind, you'd understand that those people with a "marijuana problem" (as you put it) are mentally ill, with the cannabis use as a symptom or side effect, not a cause. While it is true that marijuana use can make mental illness worse (like any substance, including the ones that they prescribe to alleviate mental illness), looking at marijuana as causative or even contributory smacks of the old discredited propaganda-driven 'science' of yesterday.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • r schier

      If it wasn't pot, they'd most likely struggle with something else.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  19. D. Evil

    I hope they never legalize it.I like it when Mexican drug cartels chop off heads and hands for a few pounds.

    November 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bellenoitr

      Legalizing it would take some serious business away from the cartels. It would create a regulated industry, and possibly reduce the amount of alcoholics we have in this country. More people would stay home, relax and giggle.

      November 27, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  20. FedUpwithLA

    Travel around the world while smoking pot! Now he must have voted for Obama! No Tea Party down-to-earth practicality here! Not those right-wing idiots made up of grandmas and the like! Smoke on Rick!

    November 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • b4bigbang

      Granny gets high too – didn't ya know?

      November 27, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Jessica

        More and more Grannies smoke everyday. The hippies have rediscovered that weed, in some cases, can be good for what ails you.

        November 27, 2012 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Jeff

        That's right! The first person I knew who smoked pot was my grandmother. She was dying of cancer and it helped her feel better.
        Nothing wrong with sitting on the farm & enjoying the last few months of life the best you can. That's what pot did for her & I am glad she found some relief.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • bellenoitr

      Who said that? YOU said that!

      November 27, 2012 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  21. altapres

    Stick to travelling Steve & don't get involve with that idea.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • pusser

      Alta, stick to whatever you do. You obviously are allowed to have an opinion on only your job. Thank you.

      November 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  22. legalize

    I am 30, my parents were teachers (aka I didn't come from money), I make $90k a year, have a 132 IQ and yes a medical marijuana card. I go to work everyday, don't do drugs, pay taxes and am a good citizen. The only argument I see left is that I'm going to hell, but I don't believe in hell so please try another. Legalize it!

    November 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      The on campus cop we had in high school made it pretty clear.

      If you smoke pot and we catch you, you will go to jail.
      Jail is bad for you.
      Therefore pot is bad for you.
      Since pot is bad for you, we will throw you in jail for it.

      Hard to argue with that. Without laughing that is . . .

      November 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jessica

        Almost nothing is funnier than ridiculous circular logic.

        November 27, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
      • paul

        Now that was a Mister Macky moment.
        "ummmm Marijuana is bad. Mkay? Drugs are bad. "

        November 27, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sandy

    I think the above comments are the result of Rick talking politics – about here at home and abroad. They do not belong in travel conversation. See how it divides people (see above comments). We escape the daily grind of our lives by traveling and enriching our lives. Rick – stick w/ what you do best – bringing the love and joy of Europe to us. Just leave it at that. By the way, we've been to Europe 8 times, w/ Rick's fantastic tour books in our hands. Thanks, Rick!!

    November 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave-0

      Good for you, Sandy! Nothing represents American ideals better than telling Rick Steves what he can or cannot talk about. I mean...what could a guy who travels the world for a living possibly know about the world?

      November 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  24. mike

    I like the guy, he is a good host and as far as travel shows go, I put his right up there Globe Trekker. Prohibition needs to end.

    November 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  25. blake

    Enjoy his program, and a pleasant guy. But another far left looney. Also an advocate for European style socialism.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • meemee

      Yes, and what amazes me about him is how he is always touting European culture and seems to enjoy it while supporting the very forces that are destroying it. I just saw his show on Paris and his amazing Pollyanna dismissal of any problems with Muslims. In fact, he showcased the Arab Institute there, which seems to be little more than a organization for the Islamic beach head in France. What is called Islamaphobia is way up in France and the officials are concerned over it, but refuse to realize that the French have had it with the abuses their government has been forcing on them in the name of "universal brotherhood."

      November 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • lulu

        Maybe you should gp there Meemee before you speak. "destroying" the EU is funny...those civilizations have been around much, much longer that us with those principals. A total capitalistic society eventually turns cannibilistic. come on get an education

        November 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marc A. Ellis

        What's destroying society is people that won't let others live their lives like they want... If one isn't ripping others off, leave them alone!

        November 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Juls1314

        I love how people show you how the rest of the world is through their experiences and you still don't believe them!

        November 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • lulu

      yup, glad you dont make any decisions,...maybe you should lose your job, get kicked out of your house and have nothing to eat...maybe than you would see the need to help others. As for pot its none of your buisness what others do in their own home or do you want to control smokes and liquor too? PS, not everyone abuses the system and the few that do doesnt mean we should stop those programs that help those who dont do as well as us. Guess the voting majority agrees with me.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • bthumble

      This country would benefit greatly from a little taste of "european socialism". You will probably be the first one in line crying for your "social" security. hypocrite.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc A. Ellis

      A socialist? Maybe just a REALIST, unlike yourself...

      November 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottstams

      Since when does opposing legalization paint someone as being leftist or socialist? Legalization advocacy is Libertarian which is the opposite of of socialist. Republican Tom Tancredo in Colorado, as well as GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul supported legalization while Democratic Governor Hickenlooper is a rabid opponent, just like Obama and Holder et al.
      Even Pat Robertson supports legalization. Get your talking points fact checked next time.

      November 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  26. nick p.

    JD, what the hecks your problem, why are you critiquing other people's opinion, maybe they are not literalists who hold everyones opinions to printed words in front of them, cany you please stop being a -ack-ss and light one up and relax a bit, you are sounding like a moron!

    November 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Over Here, Captain Hindsight


    In my circle of friends, I am fairly conservative politically and I take offense to the overly broad strokes you have used. Not everyone you disagree with beholds the values you believe they do. I am from Texas, served four years in the military, am happily married and a small business owner.

    I was not pleased with the results of the 2008 election promises – like most Americans and are hungry for rapid economic change in this country. You have by now developed some sort of mental image to represent me.

    SIDE NOTE: I travel to Eastern Spain twice a year and alternate a trip to an unvisited region or country every other year. This year, we are going to explore some of the Balkans (clearly not an American invention).

    Americans do project a rather large amount of ego in terms of accomplishment. As a country, we have done formulated many (if not most) of the modern conveniences used around the world today. While the citizenry is varied, these advances were performed under the US flag and so she gets the credit.

    Yes, Greece created the art of Philosophy, France brought us Democracy, and Iran issued Algebra. We took those milestones of Humanity of took ourselves to heights few could imagine.

    Yes, we have some swagger.

    We are also the FIRST to lend assistance to ANY country in a time of crisis. Some folks tend to "forget" this nugget of fact.

    I love the multicultural aspects of this planet; I feel while bringing these cultures together to communicate, the Internet has begun to erode the individual beauties within them as we clash together and construct a world less friendly than before.

    I am not thrilled with the current GOP, but I will listen to friends and peers involved in that party as they are good people and have good ideas as well. I never understood why anyone would think one line of thinking is the only efficient way – it has never worked out well throughout history.

    I am White, 46 years old, I am married and live in Camarillo, CA with my wife of 12 years. I run a small development house with 8 employees. I am a Social Conservative and have voted Democrat since 2000.

    You may want to take a self-inventory lest you again project your ideas of who and of what other people are comprised and be thought as the redneck status you bestow upon others..

    Have a Nice Day.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • meemee

      It is so predictably odd to read your post, filled as it is, with a demonstration of misinformation, partial knowledge of the things you wish to talk about as if you have mastered such knowledge. France did not give us democracy, Greece invented it and the common era's march to democracy is traced from England beginning with the Magna Carter, then the establishment of a parliament, Cromwell's influence, etc., where French King Louis XVl went broke paying for our revolution (but that was out of competition with England, not love of democracy). France was jolted into Democracy. Philosophy is not an art, it is a discipline. If you really check, many inventions that serve us today were invented in Europe and in many cases, such as with Tesla, we claim ownership where there really is none. You will find out about how Serbs and others in the Balkans feel about this when you visit. Tesla's image is on Serbian currency.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC Yankee

      I can almost understand what you're saying, but please learn to write an English sentence before launching these lectures.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. me

    By Dr Billy Kidd, Mon, November 19, 2012
    The 2012 presidential election kind of looked rigged from the get-go.

    Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted had installed an untested, unapproved software patch for ballot counting just a week before the election. When various groups protested to the courts, Husted responded that the software patch ran outside of the federally-approved voting machinery. Therefore, it did not need testing and did not to be reviewed by the state election commission. The courts went along with him.

    A few days later, the international hacker group Anonymous released a video. In it Anonymous warned that they were monitoring all the computers of Fox News analyst and Republican chief fundraiser Karl Rove. Anonymous warned Rove personally to not interfere with the election results.

    That made sense. This was because Craig Unger warned Americans about the possibility of electioneering in his book, Boss Rove. That is where Unger argued that Rove’s software hackers hijacked the Ohio election results at 11:14 pm EST in 2004. That was when the Ohio vote-tallying computers all went offline. When they came back up, the vote counters had switched thousands of votes in favor of Senator John Kerry to President George W. Bush’s column.

    Then, during election night in 2012, it was suddenly Unger’s story all over again—almost. This time the Ohio, statewide, vote-tallying computers went down at 11:13 pm EST. That was thirteen minutes after voter analyst Karl Rove had begun to throw his 30-minute tantrum live on Fox News. Rove was angry that the Fox analysts had called the Ohio election in favor of President Obama at 11:00 pm EST. During his rant, Rove went into a detailed analysis about how that part of the yet uncounted voter—25%—would throw the election to Romney. And then, bingo—

    The Ohio computers went down in the middle of Rove’s rant. But when they came back up there was no change in the vote. Obama still led. Rove looked even more perplexed. He then argued for another 15 minutes that Romney could still win Ohio. Finally, Rove conceded that perhaps Romney might lose the state.

    Then, two days after the 2012 election, Anonymous released another video. The hackers explained that they had inserted a firewall into Secretary of State Husted’s software patch. That had stopped the Ohio election counters from using it. The hackers said that they had analyzed the patch and that it would have flip-flopped the vote in the same counties that Karl Rove, of Fox, had argued would eventually swing the Ohio election to Romney.

    Interesting, on election night, when the Ohio computers came back online, the vote tallying went on without the patch, and Obama won.

    This whole thing might mean that the patch should be subpoenaed into court and examined for its potential to rig an election—especially since no one dared to complain that it did not work. And the counting kept on going, anyway, unquestioned. But that’s not all.

    Anonymous claims that Mitt Romney’s Orca program was a fake, also. It was not meant to be used as a get-out-the-vote program as stated by the Romney campaign. Rather, it was meant to be used to divert and flip flop the vote in two other states, Florida and Virginia. Like Ohio, both states have Republican Secretaries of state who resolve voting issues. Makes you wonder, right? But there is more.

    Mitt Romney was so sure of winning that he did not have anyone prepare a concession speech for him ahead of time. If that sounds a little suspicious, consider this. The election had already been called a week earlier in Obama’s favor by the best known poll analyst in the U.S., Nate Silver.

    There are a dozen reports concerning these events. The Humboldt Sentinel, in its online version, ran a video showing talk radio host Thom Hartmann’s report on Rove’s supposed election rigging. The Drudge Report also covered it in its online version. What is more, The Daily Kos reported on this story. Yet most all of the major media won’t touch this story about Anonymous and Karl Rove. That is because it contradicts what Americans believe about their elections—that they are generally just and fair.

    Congress also would have to be pushed pretty hard before it ever touches the story. As far as the Congress is concerned, the election is over. And after all, the committee it voted in to law to fix the problems with national elections has no sitting members and goes unfunded. This shows that Congress is deadlocked about issues that would regulate U.S. national elections.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • meemee

      Well, I'm sure glad that some unknown international hacking group is hacking into our election system and presumably the rest of our government with all its branches to make sure we're doing things the way they think is just! Thank you for letting us know!

      November 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc A. Ellis

      The patch should be applied to your vacuous rant...

      November 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      What a bunch of drivel........ gawd the Left can spin up a story apparently needing to cement their thinking as if just. Look at the several voting precints in OHIO that went Democrat and yet also total more than the number of legally registered voters. You spin a complicated hacket theory. I present simple fact. In fact, you should have travelled to Philadelphia, PA where you would have had to get past the Black Panthers to get into the voting booth. There are pictures on the Internets to prove. Sure the election was rigged... just the opposite however of the yarn you've spun. And BTW – some travel guy talking about legalizing pot is as pathetic as it is what makes this country great – the ability to speak one's own mind.

      November 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Give me the name of one county where there were more votes than voters. ONE. Just one?

        You can't, because it didn't happen. Results like that would have prevented certification of the vote totals and would have been front page nationwide news.

        November 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ToolTime

      When will you accept the fact that your ideals are outrageous and not good for the general population? If you want to discriminate go back to the 1800s, douche bag. I do not support Obama but I surely don't support the GOP.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ingyandbert

      Interesting article, "me", but what does the 2012 election have to do with Rick Steves?

      November 27, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  29. JBA

    Does cnn.com not have an editor?

    "His guidebooks have sold millions of copies, he has TV specials and a weekly radio program."
    (Comma splice)

    He now divides his time spending about four months of the year in Europe researching, the rest of the year he's super grounded.
    (Comma splice again, and use of the cringe-inducing phrase "super grounded")

    Edmonds, Washington is Steves oasis.
    (Missing apostrophe)

    That's three straight sentences with obvious errors, and they only represent a fraction of the style errors in this piece. See if you can count the missing commas, sentence fragments, and sentences ending in prepositions. What do you need to do to get hired as a cnn.com writer? Show up?

    November 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clown

      CNN is thankfull for the Grammar Police, thx to you they can keep hiring inturns for less. 🙂

      November 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • meemee

        "inturns, inturns," gaaaaa, haaaa, haaaa!!

        November 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marc A. Ellis

        Interns... (SP)

        November 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • KC Yankee

        Sorry to break it to you, but writing English is a dying art in America. Interns, my friend, interns.

        November 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
        • Northwoods

          Yet none of you picked up on Thankfull instead of Thankful...

          November 27, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  30. nietodarwin

    Someone dies from LEGAL prescription drugs every 19 minutes in this country. More than heroine, coke, and meth deaths combined. More than people who die in car crashes. Proud to be in CO, (or WA) but I can't believe it's still taking this long.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • meemee

      I guess as long as we don't live in a perfect world, this justifies getting high on pot.

      November 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • KC Yankee

        I like the way you're thinking here. Take away the sarcasm, and I agree with you completely. Stress reduction is what it's all about. Alcohol is legal, and it's far less effective at killing physical and psychic pain. But you've heard all the arguments already I'm sure.

        November 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  31. n8r0n

    You're opened up to all kinds of creative solutions, when you simply drop the assumption that the only good ideas are the ones Americans thought up first.

    Conservatives believe that the American way is always the best way, and can never be improved upon. If they ever do venture outside of the Greatest Country Ever Known to Man, they make sure to isolate themselves in cozy American tourist grottos abroad.

    It's the worst kind of intellectual incest.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      "when you simply drop the assumption that the only good ideas are the ones Americans thought up first." What the hell are you smoking, and how do I get some? Please, pretty pretty please, explain to me how you came up to this irrationlized thought process after reading this article.

      November 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Max Gruenwald

        Obviously the observation made above is not based on the CNN blurb which does not make it any less true.

        November 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  32. alumette

    The traveling has made him a wise and liberal man. He sees the big picture. Good for him.

    November 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Look, I'm not going to say I know anything about the rest of his politcal stance just off a one page article with six single-line quotes, but I'm assuming you read the exact same article I did.
      So please, explain to me how ""Drugs are not healthy. They are not good for you. They can be addictive. They can be abused. But, I don't think we should criminalize things for adults just because they are not appropriate for children." makes him a liberal man? In fact, that's quite the contrary. This statement alones portrays him as a conservative at best, if not a libertarian. Just because most liberals are for legalization, doesn't make it a liberal belief on politics.

      November 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • meemee

        It's not difficult to figure it out; he's not just a liberal, but a sell-out. He makes his living touting European Culture while supporting the forces that are destroying that very thing. That he supports decriminalization is in keeping with where he lives, and where I live, too. But somehow, I am not surprised with his anything goes attitude about pot because as he takes in the best of what is left in Europe, he isn't at all worried about the loss of it or any need to promote and conserve European culture OR Europeans. He's exists in the here and now, very much like a dope smoker.

        November 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • cnnemma

        JD, there's a podcast too. I think it's awesome but then again, I created it. If you want to hear more it's there!

        November 29, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • meemee

      Are you kidding? He makes his living from showcasing European Culture, but doesn't care about preserving it. Once, I heard his radio show when he was in Wales. He was in Cardiff, I think. He was suddenly aware that his guide wasn't Welsh or English at all, but an immigrant from the Middle East. He bluffed through it, but he seems to set up his shows more carefully since then. What he usually does now is pretend that everything is fine, all working out well, when it isn't at all. At the best, it is requiring harsh government lawmaking to suppress Europeans while others are moving in and taking over. But there's Rick Steves, hanging out at one of the shrinking European locations with all its fading charm, like Pollyanna refusing to see anything unpleasant (so he can continue to make money touting travel privileges that you will likely never be able to enjoy without his connections.

      November 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |