The real ‘reefer madness’ lies in holding onto nonsensical laws


OK, I’m entitled to change my viewpoint.

I’ve long been of the opinion – not ‘stridently’ of the opinion – but of the opinion that legalizing marijuana would be a mistake and would open up a Pandora’s Box of unanticipated societal and medical woes that we shouldn’t welcome.

And then I concluded that my views were plain silly for a number of reasons.

In the first place, legal or illegal, pot is abroad in society and there really isn’t any sensible reason why it should not be. That doesn’t mean I’m suggesting pot is necessarily ‘good’, it just means that it’s there like ingrown toenails or the music of Justin Bieber.

Secondly, of our two ‘legal’ drugs (alcohol and tobacco from which governments glean huge revenues) if you add pot to the twosome it becomes, from a health perspective, the most innocuous of the trio.

Thirdly, the massive legal costs incurred to ‘rid society of this plague’ are just plain ridiculous and in essence are as illogical as the mental meanderings of the most heavy-duty stoner. Watch any episode of Cops and regard the time, money and energy devoted to apprehending some poor schmuck who possesses a Baggie of weed in his car. Fer crissakes! And a Canadian citizen sits stewing in a US prison for daring to advertise the sale of cannabis sativa on the Internet. You’d think Marc Emery was a contract killer. What silliness.

That said, however, I do have some caveats about the matter. First and foremost, it is a mind-altering drug, and there is no such thing as an innocuous mind-altering drug. Being stoned is being stoned no matter how you slice it. In similar context the consumption of two martinis does not leave the guzzler with the same state-of-mind as zero martinis.

Secondly, pot is not as harmless as its advocates attest to it being. It can be a profound depressant; it certainly renders the partaker impaired in terms of driving or neurosurgery. It has been linked with mental illness, especially in the case of young people, and it is addictive. Advocates will say “yeah, but it’s just a psychological addiction”. So are all addictions in essence and in my years addictions counseling I had clients who were addicted to cannabis and were having a difficult time kicking.

Have I partaken? Of course I have. It is not, however, my ‘drug of choice’. Frankly, I don’t care for it. I hate the smell, and a couple of good tokes and I am immediately very stupid – or at least stupider than normal. I don’t like being unable to complete a sentence because I can’t remember what was at the beginning of the sentence. I also find it depresses me horribly. I haven’t touched it in years and have no intention of taking it up again even if it’s available at my corner store.

But, that’s just me and really has little to do with my essential argument, which is: Pot should be legalized!

The carrying on with ancient laws and ancient prejudices coming out of the Reefer Madness era is just boneheaded. Police shouldn’t be wasting their time with the matter and it should never see the light of day in our courts of law.

Furthermore, it has a proved clinical virtue in the case of some conditions so why should people have to go through such nonsense – and it is nonsense – to access a drug that is far, far, far less damaging than some other drugs that are prescribed every day of the way, and is also far,far,far less damaging to all concerned than is alcohol?

Would legalization increase usage? I suspect not. Any more than I would suspect the legalization of heroin would drive people to the needle, or legalizing crack would bring forth some Rob Ford wannabes. (cheap shot, they’ve proved nothing, but I thought I’d get it in because everybody’s doing it.)

People in a free society will do what they do whether or not it’s illegal. So lets save society a lot of money and free up our courts at stop the farce.

By the way, as I wrote at the beginning, I never thought I’d say that.


16 responses to “The real ‘reefer madness’ lies in holding onto nonsensical laws

  1. Love that ad. It’s the most hilarious thing ever. This said, I’m all for legalization myself. Seems to me that law enforcement has much more urgent things to devote itself too. I have several friends who smoke now and then and honestly it doesn’t seem to affect their daily lives. Hell, I’d get wasted myself now and again if it didn’t make me blow my cookies. I think most people would have it under control, just like most people have their drinking under control.

  2. There is -one- issue that troubles me: the pot currently grown for sale is much, much higher in THC than, say that of 20 years ago. I understand that it is four times the amount. People who pay attention to the levels will have no problem. Kind of like alcohol, but without the aggression.

    The addiction part… well… people become addicted to running, and running is supposed to be a good thing…

  3. If they legalize it, I hope there are restrictions, such as do not toke and drive. I also think they should tax it. That might help the situation with the schools should they designate funds to go to schools. And I think if they are caught driving under the influence, they should be treated like drunk drivers (although in some cases drunk drivers get off way too easy).
    I worry about guns. My estranged son, who uses pot constantly (I have no relationship with him anymore) has been arrested 2 times that I know of for being high on pot and threatening people with a gun. Luckily he has nto shot anyone so far. We do need restrictions,

    • There must be restrictions. As a later commenter opines, it is surprising that pot would render your son so hostile. I too would suggest that another drug may be at play in his case.

  4. I suppose governments are agin it because people can grow it in their backyards so the big boys don’t get either tax, as with alcohol, or backhanders as with the drug trade.

  5. I’m not sure how I feel about this subject. I think, like you, on the whole it would make more sense to be legalised but this is becoming a dangerous drug as far as mental health in the young is concerned, and that really worries me

  6. I’m with you on this. My main argument is about all the taxes that would go to the government and the removal of the criminal element. It reminds me of prohibition. Not only did our government lose out on the taxes for those years but they created The Mob. Marijuana is not addictive and is not a “gateway drug.” I’m not a lifelong smoker like some very productive citizens that I know. I grew out of it after three years (1980), but I know many people who smoke and are regular people and the most important thing about pot smokers is they never, ever, ever, get mean or violent. They just chill. How many drugs can you say that about?

    • I set it aside long ago and have no desire to go back. At the same time I, like you, know people who toke fairly regularly and it certainly hasn’t led them to ruin. I know a few drinkers, on the other hand, who have been ruined by our ‘legal’ drug.

  7. Okay I just read Rose’s comment. I do not believe it was the pot. Her son was obviously drinking or doing some other drug. Actually; the account is consistent with what you see with meth users.

    • His behavior is very much like that of the meth users I dealt with when I was addictions counseling. Even old fashioned junkies hate meth-heads because they find them scary.

  8. My own evolution isn’t as dramatic as yours, as I have always believed it should be legal, and regulated along the lines of alcohol. But as a college student, the motivation was “But it’s less dangerous than booze!” whereas now, as a fiscally responsible adult, it’s far more “We should tax that shit!” Ah well. However, like you, it’s been YEARS and I cannot imagine partaking again. Control issues and all that. Maybe that is as much a part of my evolution as the rest.

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