Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thoughts About Marijuana

  • Marijuana Is Not Addictive

    • How many times have you read about someone breaking into a house to steal marijuana money? Pulling a knife or a gun on someone to steal marijuana money? None, right?
    • If you smoke it and you know others who do, then you know people who have quit. Sometimes they've just lost interest. Sometimes they have had to quit because of employment - random testing, etc. How many of them had any problem quitting? None, right?
    • How many times have you run out of grass and been unable to get any for a while? We've all had it happen. How many times did it make you think about doing anything drastic? None, right?
    • How many people do you know who had trouble sleeping because they had run out of pot? None, right?
    • How many people do you know who have shown physical symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, such as weight loss or weight gain, runny nose, hyperactivity or lethargy? None, right?
    • How many people do you know who have suffered from a lack of self-esteem due to smoking or not smoking grass? None, right?

    Then by what definition is marijuana addictive?

  • But there are reasons people shouldn't smoke marijuana. Kids shouldn't smoke it for obvious physical reasons. And smoking anything isn't good for your lungs.

    And there are behaviors that should not be indulged in when stoned, such as baby sitting or driving. My brother Billy says that "Alcohol makes you run red lights. Marijuana makes you stop at green lights." That's clever, funny, and true, but . . . stopping at green lights can be dangerous.

    And for that matter, trying to stay stopped at red lights. When I was younger and more stupid, I used to drive after smoking a little grass. I remember driving stoned in Boston once, around midnight, and stopping at a red light. On the right hand corner across the street there was a neon display that alternated between time and temperature. It changed from one to the other and I proceeded to drive right through the red light. Fortunately, I was the only driver in the area, but with a little less luck I could have been T-boned.

  • Credibility Gap

    The subject of marijuana is one that teaches children that their government, their schools, and adults in general will lie to them to get their way. Most kids know someone who smokes marijuana. It might be friends, older siblings, adult relatives, or anyone. And they know, absolutely, that they are being lied to about all the hobgoblins they are told accompany marijuana use. Why, then, should they trust these people on other matters?

    The government in general and politicians in particular annoy me on this matter. Many of them know better, but will pretend that marijuana is addictive and is dangerous in ways that it is not. Two Presidents, Nixon and Bush the Elder, created apolitical commissions to look into and make recommendations about the subject. These groups comprised politicians and non-politicians, Democrats and Republicans, active and retired people. Both commissions recommended decriminilization and both Presidents buried the recommendations. They were afraid of what would happen to them in the polls and they just didn't have the  balls  courage to do the right thing.

  • Ramblings

    • Two friends drove from Cape Cod to Boston on a Sunday night. It was after midnight and they were about ten minutes from the city proper when they spotted an open Howard Johnson's restaurant. They had begun the drive after smoking some grass, they still had the munchies, and they had run out of snacks, so they decided to stop and eat. As they entered the parking lot it began to resemble a law enforcement convention. There were a half dozen cars there bearing the markings of city police or state police.

      But these were desperate times and they resolved to go through with it. Promising each other that they would act "normally," they entered and sat at a booth. After looking at their menus, they both ordered steak and eggs and a hot fudge sundae.

    • A friend, an Assistant Vice-President in a large corporation, was driving from Boston to Manchester, New Hampshire on a Sunday afternoon. He was a little stoned, alone in the car, and virtually alone on the road. He was doing about ten miles per hour more than the speed limit when he saw a state trooper coming from the other direction. He slowed down and they passed each other, and he was dismayed to see the trooper slow down and cross the median, reversing direction.

      He thought Might as well get it over with and pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the trooper. A few minutes later the trooper pulled in behind him, walked up to the window, and said, "Excuse me, sir. Would you mind telling me why you're stopped here?"

    • Perhaps a dozen of us, guys and gals, had gathered at a friend's house to watch a heavyweight championship fight, or to watch those who were watching it. Pretty much everyone had smoked some grass, and one guy, Bobby, had grabbed a Trivial Pursuit game and was thumbing through the cards, asking the group at large questions he thought interesting or difficult.

      I disappeared into the bathroom for a couple of minutes and when I returned everyone was looking at me. Bobby looked at the card and asked me a question about the Watergate burglars. My answer was "G. Gordon Liddy," and Bobby turned to the others and said triumphantly, "See? I told you he'd know. J. Lordon Gibby."

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