Doobie-doobie-doo — the choice is up to you

“Sure an’ if it wasn’t a sin we’d all be doin’ it,” said the old priest.

Maybe. Certain activities are proscribed for adherents to scriptural precepts of good and wicked behavior. You have your mortal sins, and your venal sins, and your 10 commandments. And, not entirely surprisingly, most of us adhere to the rules of moral behavior.

By and large we don’t murder, and most of us don’t rob. Yes, we covet quite a bit, and we may look upon our neighbor’s wife or maidservant with unmitigated lust. Do we act upon it? Depends on the risks we want to take and whether or not the rules against adultery are merely suggestions.

But, going back to the priestly statement at the beginning, would no such rules of behavior make us all want to do it? Whatever ‘it’ might be. In this case I want to consider advocacy for the legalization of pot – weed, grass, ganja, wacky-terbacky, or cannabis sativa.

Whenever somebody relatively responsible and intelligent posits the obvious fact that weed should be legalized objectors come forth (not unjustifiably in their minds) and express fear that we’ll evolve into a crazed and stoned Cheech and Chong society and therefore it must remain a criminal offence.

That stated, there has been a great deal of reasoned discourse around BC – one of the pot-growing capitals of the world – stating the obvious fact that huge financial resources are being devoted to, well, busting folks and tying up the cops and the courts for possession of what seems to be, by and large, a pretty damn innocuous substance.

My personal bias is this: I don’t give a sweet goddamn what people do with their lifestyle behaviors as long as they don’t interfere with mine. Having been actively involved in the field of addictions counseling I shall certainly agree with the argument that pot produces far less societal harm than booze – the legal drug.

So yes, legalize the shit. It will make no difference to me whatsoever. That’s because legal or illegal it will have no impact on my use or non-use. I expect that applies to most people.

In my case, I won’t smoke it because I frankly don’t like it. I hate the smell, I hate the taste, and I don’t care for anything that makes me instantly brain-dead. Horny yes, but brain-dead nevertheless. At my age I like to keep them ‘leetle grey cells’ functional. Me and pot=instant moron. An equation that applies to more users than would like to admit it. I make an exception for Willie Nelson as regards any negative comments, however.

And the advocates, regardless of how determined they are to say pot is harmless, should maybe be a little more realistic. No psychoactive substance is harmless in the pure sense. Furthermore, there is a myth that cannabis is non-addictive. Not so. I have dealt with clients who were profoundly addicted to weed. Psychologically addicted indeed, but let’s face it, that is the only addiction that counts. Even alcoholics after a binge kick off the physical addiction to booze within three days. But, alas, the psychological one can last a lifetime.

And yes, I have smoked. I have even inhaled. And it did make me horny and led to some great sex. But non-use also led to some great sex. And, for me, I found pot to be a profound depressant, and overall had negative effects on me. So, I don’t choose to use.

But, I do believe the choice should be yours. Legalize it and tax the bejesus out of it and take it out of the hands of fucking gangsters. But also, as a caveat, actively discourage juvenile use. It truly does have a deleterious effect on brains that aren’t yet fully formed. In that context, there have been studies showing a connection between heavy pot use and schizophrenia in the young.

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8 responses to “Doobie-doobie-doo — the choice is up to you

  1. I agree on all points, Ian, but I would like more information on studies linking pot use and schizophrenia…Also, what constitutes heavy pot usage?
    From my experience with addicts, this can vary widely, as can the effects. I smoked weed during high school and university intermittently but almost never experienced the contented relaxation of my peers. Instead, I often became edgy, sometimes paranoid. I think that brain chemistry and differences in perception account for some of these variations and that neither is discussed fully enough. We need to better understand not only drug interactions on brains not yet fully developed, but differences on adult brains as well. These days, I seek contentment, relaxation and satisfaction from a variety of pursuits, all of them drug and alcohol-free.

  2. Well considered comment. You captured pretty much what I was suggesting and the point about brain interactions with drugs — any drugs — is huge area that should be studied much more thoroughly.
    As for lifestyle, you and me are pretty much peas in a pod in terms of substance use, and I find that so much better.

  3. Central American politicians, their countries caught in the supply and demand line from South America to North, want to discuss legalisation, to free their countries from the narcotrafickers and the violent crime attendant on the trade, let alone the corruption of the public service and government that goes with this trade.
    The U.S.A. is exerting pressure to discourage them.

    I’m all in favour of keeping drugs of any sort well away from children…weed, booze have no place in a child’s development, but I’m certainly in favour of decriminalisation for adults. I don’t smoke, have never tried drugs, so can’t offer a view on their effects, but if legalisation reduces violent crime then I’m for it.

    When we see all the measures of so called ‘security’ that ruin our lives, I always have a suspicion that this trade could not go on if governments were not somehow implicated in it.

    • You capture my sentiments in the matter perfectly, and especially the point about keeping this stuff away from children. Of course the drug trade from your part of the world and the horrors in Mexico wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t the huge market in North America. Therein lies the tragedy.

  4. I have read so many good arguments for legalization that I am for it. My main reasons are 1) The organized crime part 2) Freeing up the judicial system and 3) tax revenue. I don’t imagine I would smoke pot if it were legal, but I think the arguments for it are valid. And as for different people having different reactions to it? The same can be said for beer and coffee and jalapeños and perfume and rap music.

    • You and I are virtually on the same page with this issue and I suspect the majority of sensible adults are. I also think that most non-users would continue to be non-users even if it were legalized.

  5. If booze is legal, there’s no reason why pot shouldn’t be. Of course, it would screw up the premise of Weeds and that would be a shame.

  6. Hear-hear re the booze and pot argument. As for screwing up Weeds, well that would be sad since I wouldn’t have my op to see the delectable Mary-Louise Parker and that would be a personal tragedy.

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