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?