Saturday, January 9, 2016


Language alert.

This is about the government and pot.

Not as in "a chicken in every".
We live in stupid times. The main question is, are we going to continue to be as stupid as the people who believe they can tell us what to think and how to feel and what to do want us to be.

New York State has now begun its march toward the legalization of marijuana. They don't call it that, of course. The bullshit name is "New York State Medical Marijuana Program." But I think we're all pretty much convinced that "medical marijuana" has been a backdoor means of getting drugs in the house in a legal way in which the greedy state gets a cut.

Yes, I'm totally against medical marijuana. Sure, you can say I'm a heartless bastard who wants people to suffer. Fine. Then answer this:

1) Why isn't Marinol prescribed instead? Marinol is a capsule form of the same active ingredient in weed. No requirement for "medical dispensaries" beyond the pharmacies we use for everything else. I've heard it put forward that it doesn't work as well as puffing the magic dragon. By that logic we should tell Grandma she should be crushing and snorting her Percocet. That works harder and faster, too. The fact is, "medical marijuana" has never been about easing the suffering of the sick. Marinol has been available for more than a decade.

2) Libertarians argue persuasively that we've lost the war on drugs and we would be better off allowing people to go to hell with them if that's what they choose to do; free people can make those choices. This is why I'm not a libertarian. Legalization means approval, and I do not want to condone any more drugs. In twenty years it will be cheaper and easier to legally get pot than to get tobacco in New York, and while you may say pot has medical benefits that tobacco doesn't have, I ask if you'd rather have a surgeon who smokes or tokes.

3) On the topic of tacit approval, people will point out that Prohibition was a failure and equate it to the war on drugs. But alcohol occupies a different place in Western culture than any other drug. Alcohol is a beverage that most adults can consume safely; it was a healthy alternative to choleric (or otherwise unsafe) water; it was used by Jesus in the new Covenant; and bad behavior with wine, for good or ill, goes back to Genesis 9:21. Uprooting it from our culture was always a Herculean, maybe even a Sisyphean, task. Marijuana, by comparison, is an interloper, only felt through the broader culture in the last fifty years. So while our modern scolds are making it harder for a normal man to take a drink, they're going to make it easier for him to be lit up in other ways. This is progress?

4) Marijuana is the drug of idiots. I'm sorry, but it's true, because if they aren't idiots normally, they are with a few applications. I've known many alcoholics who never reached the stage of the morning drink, but few potheads who didn't get to wake-and-bake. Even alcoholics know when alcohol has taken over, whether they admit it or not, but I think that (along with many other things) is less clear to the dedicated bongster.

5) This is not your grandpappy's dope. I'm told that marijuana now is a good deal stronger than it was in the sixties. Like, all we used to have was beer, and now we have whiskey everywhere. Yeah, that will make for a more responsible society.

6) It's harder for cops to tell if the driver they pulled over is stoned than if he is drunk. MADD is already geared up to fight drugged driving. I'm sure we're all happy that legalized pot will give them something to do, since no one drives drunk anymore.

7) People scoff at the idea of pot as a gateway drug, but it has always been connected to the drug culture, which these days includes a tidal wave of heroin that is washing away young men and women and destroying families. Legalizing marijuana is not going to separate it from that.

Back in the sixties, when hippies were a plague let loose upon the land, they said pot was good because it was mellow (no one killed his buddy when stoned, man) and alcohol was bad (squaresville). It was more a tribal thing. But can anyone say with a straight face that having all the pot around since those days has made society happier, more responsible, kinder, or more ambitious?

As medical marijuana has led inexorably to legalized marijuana, legalized marijuana will lead to more bums, broken families, derailed teenagers, weakened and sadder lives.

I've seen drugs and alcohol destroy a lot of people. Getting clean is harder than normal people think. Letting the devil in the window after you throw him out the door does not make him friendlier in the long run.

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