Legalize Marijuana Already

Aquarian Weekly 6/15/05 REALITY CHECK


MarijunaThe day everybody got stoned, it was a Thursday, The sky was blue and the birds sang pretty. Traffic moved really, really, really, really, really slow But no one cared, they had the tunes cranking loud Really, really, really, really, really, really loud. The cops stayed in the donut shop all day No one got shot, no one got robbed, Although eleven million people ended up quitting their jobs. – Dan Bern

I often turn to my good friend Admiral Bernstein in times of sociological or political crisis. He’s like Twain in the wisdom department, except he’s alive and I can have a laugh with him anytime I want. Twain would have seen the need to legalize marijuana in this country, and not because it would boost the economy and mellow everyone the hell out, but because a preponderance of us blow it anyway, and Mrs. Clemens’ baby boy hated denial and hypocrisy. And, most of all, it makes little sense for a society hell-bent on gobbling every pharmaceutical drug known to modern science, guzzle galloons of alcohol daily, and mainline coffee freely and without regret to act all high and mighty about grass.

I know this is the Age of Morality and the Republicans are using God and Family to keep jobs they don’t deserve, but this latest ruling by the Supreme Court that “marijuana may not be distributed to persons who prove a medical necessity for the drug” is patently criminal. Where’s the morality in that? And where are the Tom Delays now that sick people are being denied treatment? Is someone with glaucoma any less inflicted than Terry Schiavo, or is it that the churchgoing Bible freaks are against the evil pot?

I think we know the answer to that one.

It’s selective morality. I ask you: Who decides what treatment is evil?

I’ve recently learned there are morality clauses in some half-dozen states that allow pharmacists to deny women birth control pills based on the personal beliefs of the pharmacist, but that is so far off the charts unconstitutional I will leave it up to comedians and women’s groups to grapple with. I’m on the weed thing right now.

Okay, so Selective Morals goes nicely with our Selective Foreign Policy of whom we choose to free from tyrannical regimes and whose oppressed citizenry of tradable nations we ignore, but it doesn’t wash in the realm of sober reasoning. And this is what we deal with in this space, despite it being ignored in just about every media and press outlet in this country.

Let’s be honest, the stigma of marijuana is deep. It carries with it a demonization that rarely attaches itself to booze or gambling. Why? Detractors argue it is because it’s dangerous and leads to harder drug use. This is a fairy tale. You know why? There is no scientific proof to this argument. And this is the same argument (no scientific proof) that the Supreme Court offers on the issue of medicinal use of the drug.

To wit: “Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in the case of the Controlled Substances Act, the statute reflects a determination that marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an exception (outside the confines of a government-approved research project).”

Is someone with glaucoma any less inflicted than Terry Schiavo, or is it that the churchgoing Bible freaks are against the evil pot?

This was Justice Clarence Thomas’ statement following the ruling, and it speaks volumes.

Let’s break it down.

It is okay to refuse the prescription of a drug based on little to no scientific proof while simultaneously denying its effectiveness based on the same criteria. How is that possible? And who the hell knows what is good or bad, really? Government agencies? The same government agencies that continuously pass pharmaceutical drugs and then yank them back when dangerous side effects start mounting? The same government agencies that tell us eggs are good, eggs are bad, eggs are good, eggs are bad…what the fuck?

Thomas’ final parenthetical aside is paramount to understanding this discrimination against cannabis – “Outside the confines of government-approved research project.” Do you know what gets the government-approved projects? Big time pharmaceutical concerns that lobby the shit out of congress and share in the grotesque profits of said drugs, that’s who.

Once again, we get moral rhetoric to hide greed. And that’s okay. We readily accept greed. We don’t begrudge anyone making a buck on Fear. It is the pillar of capitalism. But using the same tactic to beat down the competition is suppose to be a form a racketeering and is regulated by free-trade laws, except ganja can’t get the same treatment, because its illegal.

Believe me, if the oil companies could outlaw electricity or the meat companies could outlaw soy products, they sure as hell would. But it’s hard to get Mom and Pop riled up about Veggie burgers. There is no stigma against that. Damn it! But there is one against marijuana, and that’s the hammer used to keep it illegal.

I don’t smoke pot, so personally I couldn’t give half a shit if it were legalized or not. I dig on absinthe, which is rightfully illegal and would likely cripple half the pot smokers in this country. But at least I’m honest enough to admit what is happening to hemp has no basis in fact or merit. It is capricious and arbitrary reasoning, like the morality arguments that support it. Furthermore, if you think about it, there is no basis in reality for moral arguments being included in the law. And don’t give me bullshit about crimes like theft and murder being symptomatic of a moral construct. These acts infringe on civil rights, how exactly does smoking dope to alleviate pain infringe on anyone’s rights?

Okay, so you legalize marijuana and everyone is lazy and forgetful and eats too much junk food, Pink Floyd makes a comeback and people say “man” a lot. So what? Its no worse than assholes dancing around football games in sub-zero weather with their shirt off or college girls whipping off their tops for a video clip or Dick Chaney going on national television and telling everyone the Iraq war would last two weeks.

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