A few thoughts on 420

Many newsfeed reminds me that today is 420, the pot smoker’s holiday. I don’t celebrate the occasion but I thought I’d offer a few thoughts because I’m an overly opinionated loudmouth.

First, to the people I’m seeing post pictures of themselves smoking weed: I believe your actions should be legal. I don’t judge you negatively for this hobby of yours. So if you’re retired, independently wealthy, successfully self employed, or you work for a head shop and plan on making a career of it, proceed as you wish with photos of yourself blowing smoke into the camera like Snoop Dogg. BUT if you’re unemployed, and currently scanning Monster.com for a well-compensated position with the opportunity for advancement, and you’ve just published images of your marijuana habit on the Internet — Well, bro, it might be time for some serious self reflection. Like it or not, fairly or unfairly, most reputable employers probably aren’t going to be super stoked to see pictures of their job applicant smoking a blunt on Facebook. I know, crazy right? Just a tip. Take it or leave it. But I prefer you take the tip than you take another 20 unemployment checks while you ponder the mysteries of how it is that so many companies are choosing to decline your sticky icky services.

Second, with that awkward business out of the way, let me say this: Can’t we all agree at this point that marijuana prohibition is a completely absurd sham? In my life I’ve literally never heard a coherent argument in support of it. Never. And this is coming from a guy who, admittedly, and to my everlasting shame, used to MAKE arguments in support of it. But then, in a moment of clarity, I said to myself, “Hmm, self, it appears you agree with the criminalization of marijuana for the simple and intellectually unacceptable reason that you, personally, don’t like pot. You can either continue to be like every other moron who confuses emotions with principles, or you can jump off of this particular ship and instead be right”. So I chose to be right, and I would urge you to do the same. We live in a country where half of the population doses itself on prescription narcotics, millions of kids are forcibly put on prescription speed and legalized hallucinogens, tens of thousands die of overdoses from drugs they bought at Walgreens, tens of thousands more die from alcohol poisoning and drunk driving accidents, and yet marijuana,the safest, least addictive, least potent, most natural, and the only non-lethal substance on the list, is the only one we put people in prison for using. It’s insane. It really is. We’re the most drug addicted, chemically dependent society in the history of civilization and yet, somehow, we still have a 1950’s government PSA-esque view of cannabis.

Last year, the Feds confiscated over a billion dollars worth of weed from the dirt poor population of eastern Kentucky. And while we stop them from feeding their families by selling a safe, useful plant for profit, pharmaceutical companies raked in another few hundred billion dollars dealing synthesized heroin to soon-to-be addicts across the country. I know why we do this. I get it. The anti-marijuana crusade is an extremely profitable jobs program for the government. But there’s no reason why Jane and Joe Schmoe taxpayer ought to cheer this lunacy on.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a slight tooth ache so I’m going to go chug painkillers until my liver explodes. It’s the American way

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3 Responses to A few thoughts on 420

  1. Cylar says:

    “And while we stop them from feeding their families by selling a safe, useful plant for profit, pharmaceutical companies raked in another few hundred billion dollars dealing synthesized heroin to soon-to-be addicts across the country.”

    Did you ever stop to wonder why those giant pharmaceutical companies aren’t themselves in the pot-dealing business…if it’s so safe, useful and profitable? Why aren’t Pfizer and Merck peddling the stuff?

    I’m guessing the answer has something to do with, “Because the pro-legalization arguments made along those lines are a complete sham, and besides, the supposed health benefits of smoking cannabis are grossly overstated.”

  2. Wraith says:

    To answer your question, Cylar–where’s the financial benefit in selling something that people can grow all by themselves, as opposed to a chemical hellbrew that takes a multimillion-dollar laboratory to produce? Why wouldn’t you sell something physically addicting instead of something that people could stop using any time they wish, with absolutely no withdrawal symptoms?

    I don’t smoke pot. Tried it, don’t like it. But I have seen the benefits, with my own eyes, for a lot of people who are sick and hurting. And even if you wish to discount them, I fail to see why it’s any of your business what people choose to do that harms no one except–maybe–themselves.

  3. Cylar says:

    To answer your question, Cylar–where’s the financial benefit in selling something that people can grow all by themselves, as opposed to a chemical hellbrew that takes a multimillion-dollar laboratory to produce?

    Because not everyone has the means or the know-how to do that. Cannabis advocates have been telling society for years that the “crop” is extremely profitable and that state and local governments are missing out by not legalizing and taxing its production. If their claims are true, I fail to see why Pfizer and its competitors aren’t operating huge cannabis farms in plain sight and undercutting small operators with economies of scale. It’s the same reason we buy toothpaste and soap from Walmart instead of making our own.

    And just so you know, pharma companies do manufacture and sell meth-derived drugs to pharmacies, even though meth labs are a dime a dozen in the town where I grew up. Meth doesn’t even require a special climate or soil, just chemicals. It can be made anywhere.

    Why wouldn’t you sell something physically addicting instead of something that people could stop using any time they wish, with absolutely no withdrawal symptoms?

    Probably because your statement is undiluted bullshit. None of those things are true. It’s not crack cocaine, but like alcohol it can be abused, used irresponsibly, or in a manner that affects other people.


    I don’t smoke pot. Tried it, don’t like it. But I have seen the benefits, with my own eyes, for a lot of people who are sick and hurting.

    Fine, well and good…but cut the crap. It’s a painkiller. It treats the symptoms, It makes people feel good for a little while and distracts them from what ails them. It’s not some miracle drug with a magical ability to cure the underlying health conditions. It’s unproven. That is why Big Pharma isn’t marketing it. I’m quite skeptical when I hear its users claim, “I’ve tried everything else and nothing else works!” Uhm, no. Go back and talk to your doctor again.

    Its use carries health risks of its own, same as tobacco. Twenty years ago, cannabis advocates mostly stuck to marketing legalization to people who were already terminally ill, but now it’s being promoted for everything from back pain to cancer to halitosis.

    And even if you wish to discount them, I fail to see why it’s any of your business what people choose to do that harms no one except–maybe–themselves.

    Because we live in a country that doesn’t allow people to take responsibility for their actions, remember? In a nation where one in seven Americans is on food stamps, it always bewilders me when I hear cannabis advocates nattering on about personal responsibility, and drug user affecting no one but themselves. As with alcohol, excessive use can lead to a person being unable to hold a job, raise his own children, or do other things associated with being an adult. As with alcohol, abuse affects whole families.

    I’ll concede that it’s likely that cannabis CAN be used responsibly, just as many people drink socially without adverse consequences. I just don’t like it being called “medicine.” No, medicine is something you buy at the pharmacy with a doctor’s note or over-the-counter at a licensed drugstore…after it’s been manufactured in tightly controlled conditions in inspected, certified facilities. Not grown in someone’s back yard or out in the wilderness and sold out of a jar by a guy with a long gray ponytail in a tie-dye shirt at a “dispensary.”

    I really don’t care if someone is growing a cannabis plant in a trash can in his closet, and wants to enjoy a joint on his back porch. (In fact, they’re right when they point out that it’s asinine that law enforcement will seize your house or throw you in jail for decades over that.) One of my neighbors grows the stuff, and all I care about is that he isn’t distributing it out of his home. Those deals have a way of going bad and I don’t want stray bullets coming through my bedroom windows.

    All I really ask is that people refrain from operating a motor vehicle after consuming it, don’t offer it to my kids, don’t blow the smoke in my face, and don’t ask me to pay for it.

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