This topic has always fascinated me. For the record, I have never imbibed. Ever. I’ve never even smoked a cigarette. I don’t judge those who do. But smoking, of any kind, is just not for me.
However, from what I know/read/learned about pot smoking it seems to me a fairly innocuous pastime. Certainly no worse than drinking alcohol. But then I hear from some experts and law enforcement that marijuana is a gateway drug, leading to bigger and scarier things.
I’ll never forget the look of horror on my parents faces when I told them I completely understood (in all my 16 years of wisdom) pot smoking. “At least you get something from it,” I said, “Cigarette smoking is like pouring dirt into your lungs. At least from pot, you get high.”
Listening to my brother-in-law (who has worked with the DEA and ICE) his stance is very black and white. It’s a drug. It’s illegal. It leads to more crime and harder drugs. It should be outlawed entirely.
I’m still on the fence.
So, I’m curious.
Where do you stand, dear reader? (Ahhh, I feel a poll coming on…..)
Never one to shy away from controversial topics I’m suggesting we talk about Proposition 19. Next week, the voters in California will be sharing their view on whether or not marijuana should be legalized. I’m curious how you feel about the topic.
Me? I’m conflicted. For one thing, I’ve never tried pot. Ever. It’s not a moral thing for me. Just the thought of smoking anything makes my chest feel heavy and sends a cough to my throat.
I’m also afraid of anything that might alter my conscious state. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a pina colada on the beach once in a while. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had too much to drink (of alcohol, that is). It frightened me all three times. I’ve witnessed too much addiction in my life to take a chance with my own inadequacies in that department.
That said, I have no issues with anyone who wants to imbibe. Alcohol or marijuana. As long as it doesn’t affect me – drunk driving, puking on my rug, eating the last bag of Lay’s Potato Chips – go ahead, enjoy! Just don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Wait to get sick in your own home. Pay for your own groceries.
But my brother-in-law (a member of Federal Law Enforcement who has worked with Customs and DEA) is vehemently against legalizing marijuana in any form. He views marijuana as a gateway drug.
The former police chief in San Jose, Joseph McNamara, disagrees.
After 35 years in law enforcement, he feels our focus on criminalizing the use of pot is misguided. He likens it to the days of prohibition, when Al Capone ruled the black market. Once alcohol was legalized, Al Capone was put out of business.
The Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, has been outspoken in his stance against legalizing pot in the United States. He feels Proposition 19 “shows hypocrisy in U.S. drug policy.” The U.S. is asking him to crack down on drug cartels, meanwhile we’re legalizing the very drug he is trying to stop production and distribution.
I had another song in mind for today but Three Little Birds by Bob Marley has been haunting me in my dreams.
I kid you not! I had a dream last week and the soundtrack playing in the background was Three Little Birds.
I had planned a more current selection for this week’s Tunes For Tuesday. In fact, the post is finished and waiting in my queue. But I’ve decided to save it for next week.
Why? You ask.
It’s National Pot Smokers Day! That’s why!
A whole day dedicated to smoking pot. And I’m honoring it here, on my blog.
Which is really weird since I don’t inhale.
Well, air, of course. And pollen. But I have never taken a puff of a cigarette or a doobie (isn’t that the funniest term for joint?) in my life.
My daughter thinks that’s amazing. Amazingly square, that is.
I’ve never had any interest in smoking. Both of my parents smoked, although I never remember my dad smoking. He quit when I was very young. Cold turkey. The day he found out his good friend died of lung cancer. My mother quit hundreds of times. Just like Mark Twain.
“It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.” ~Mark Twain
I love that quote. It sums up how addictive smoking can be. Maybe it was the fear of addiction. Or maybe it was because I hated the smell. Or maybe it was because I likened smoking cigarettes to pouring dirt down your lungs. But I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
Now in high school I hung with a variety of crowds. The nerds. The music and theater geeks. The jocks. And the hockey players. Yes, hockey players are allowed a category unto themselves. My boyfriend played hockey and he was as straight as me when it came to drinking and drugs. So we were always the designated drivers. The hockey players were awesome athletes. What set them apart? Their partying ways. I’ve witnessed my fair share of drug induced rants and alcohol rowdiness. Tip toed through puke, squinting through a thick pot haze.
It was the pot I remember most clearly. The sweet, earthy smell. How it hung heavy in the air and on my clothes. The dazed, blood-shot look of my friends after they’d been smoking. Their silly antics and giggling jags. It seemed fun. Harmless. But I’d think about the smoke dirtying up my lungs and I’d cringe.
I remember saying to my parents once, “I totally get smoking pot. (Yes, I was a Valley Girl.) With cigarettes it’s just dirty and gross. But at least with pot you get some kind of mood changing benefit.” (Shows you how much I knew about cigarettes. Evidently there is some kind of high with cancer sticks.) My parents were appalled and thought I was “a druggie.” They watched me very carefully after that.
Ok. Brace yourselves. Because here is where I alienate 1/2 my readers……I think it’s ridiculous that marijuana isn’t legal. Especially for medicinal purposes but I have no issues with recreational use either. How is it any worse than alcohol? Again, I’m not speaking from personal experience. But from what little research I’ve done and with my limited exposure to friends who smoke, pot seems as “safe” as alcohol use.
I’m predicting a healthy debate will ensue in the comments section of this post. Before writing this I did another cursory study about the pros and cons of marijuana use. And I’m still not convinced marijuana should be illegal. By the same token, I’m still convinced I will never try it.