Thursday, December 14, 2006

The straight dope...

I just found a very interesting blog entry that lays out 15 misconceptions about Marijuana. It's a good read and I'd appreciate your opinions on the matter.

"Well what about you, Steve?" I hear you ask. Fair enough. Confession time. I am in general, a tea totaler. My consumption of alcohol is relatively small and is limited to what the more sophisticated call "girly drinks". Mead, Smirnof, a few mixed drinks. Being of good suburban upbringing I didn't touch drugs of any sort for most of my adult life. To this day I generally avoid strong medications unless I am very sick or in a great deal of pain.

I came to try Marijuana for the fist time on New Years of 1999. I found it produced a mild euphoria and slower reactions. It did not induce paranoia, violence or even the munchies. My wife drove me home, heartily amused by my constant running commentary. (Apparently I was interested in conveying the experience in a reasonable and logical manner. Others call this 'rambling').

Trying marijuana did not lead me to trying other drugs. Why? Because I am not stupid. The damaging and addictive qualities of other drugs are well known to me. And I will never try them. Since my first experience I have 'gotten a buzz' about once a year. Typically at the end of an evening. I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) which means that I twitch when I go to bed. It isn't painful but it is REALLY annoying and keeps me from falling asleep, sometimes for hours. This can be mitigated by avoiding sugars or taking a hot shower. I have learned that after taking a few puffs of marijuana I am able to get to sleep much easier and sleep much more soundly. Even if marijuana were legal, I doubt I would use it much more often as I have a strong aversion to smoking in general.

Would legalizing marijuana bring about serious societal problems? In the short term, maybe. But the cost of prosecuting and housing tens of thousands of recreational users is staggering. If legalized, it could be come a taxable revenue stream. Grown domestically it could revitalize southern farms as well as provide hemp, a very useful byproduct. If regulated it would actually be harder for minors to get it. Could it lead to an increase in driving under the influence? I think it likely, and that is a strong setback. But people already drive while hammered. Oddly, people I know who will drive after drinking moderately (with food and waiting at least an hour or two) would not even think of driving while stoned.

In short, it's time America grows up. We're big kids now and we can handle it. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I have not yet read the Misconceptions link but I will gladly give my opinion.
In my opinion they will never be able to legalize pot because it is so easy to grow if legalized everyone could grow their own which would make it impossible to regulate. To legalize it it would need the support of big companies like the tobacco companies and they would have to be prepared to sell it cheap enough that it would be competetive with those who will just grow it at home. The big companies would also end up adding some chemicals to it to make it addictive. Also the liquor companies would fight the legalization of it tooth and nail because it would be their biggest competition.

If I could grow it at home for personal use without the fear of being busted and charged with distribution (growing it has stiffer penalties than just buying it) you can bet your ass I'd have 1 or 2 plants growing at all times for my own consumption.

I would prefer to smoke my own grown stuff if it were legalized because I would know it has not had any chemicals added to it.

I have been a pot smoker on and off since entering high school in 1977. I ocassionally do mushrooms and once or twice snorted coke about 15 years ago. I drink booze but not to the point of getting sick (anymore). I'd rather enjoy a buzz with no hangover the next day.


Anonymous said...

Mead Rules!!!!

Sir Constantine

Anonymous said...

Mead?? A GIRLY drink??? Well, ok, maybe the commercial store bought stuff...yeah, I guess I can agree with that. I suppose, in that case, we won't take offense! -Nyneve

Anonymous said...

Although I don't care to partake of it myself, and I'm an even lighter drinker than you, Steve, I think pot should be legalized for medical use. It's less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, and it's hypocritical that we allow those and not marijuana.

Steve said...

John above raises an interresting point about the economics. Would it be a profitable crop if it were legal? I believe it would. I can grow corn, but I don't I just don't have the time even if I do have the land. A mass produced crop also means better quality product and you also get the convenience of being able to simply buy the finished cig. No planting, harvesting, rolling etc. Many people would likely grow small amounts, but large crops could be regulated just like tobacco.