I am surprising myself in writing this tonight. I stay away from politics and legal issues. However, a life experiences and travel cannot permit anyone from not encountering this issue. I don’t usually post anything that could be controversial, but how can I portray an honest state of the world if I avoid all such topics.
I first encountered others using pot while at parties in high school. I had a boyfriend that forbade me to participate. I did not see any danger to any of those that did partake. At the time the drinking age in NJ was 18 and alcohol was readily available to those much younger. I saw much more danger in those drinking to excess.
After high school I was surprised to meet many older adults that smoked pot. I did try it. It made me want to take a nap. I never experienced any of the horror stories that are propagated by those that rail against it. Then again, I wasn’t by any means a frequent user and never smoked any that had been chemically treated with other substances.
In college, I never, ever even took a single toke. My University had a zero tolerance policy for any drugs. I knew the son of high government official who was gone from school in a day when he was “caught” with pot. I was there for an education.
After college, it was off to law school. I never saw so many people openly talking about and smoking pot as there. To the credit of many of them, once they became members of the bar, meaning practicing attorneys, they stopped. Most said it was because they did not want to be hypocritical. For me, it was a simple choice. I would not put my license to practice law in jeopardy.
I have never bought marijuana. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been around it, experienced it, or been around people who have used it a lot. My take on what I’ve seen…..it is calming, it is not addictive, it does not lead to other drug use, it has less effects than alcohol, it has not side effects, it doesn’t contain nicotine, it helps people with nausea.
There are places in the world where it is legal. The most noted is Amsterdam. I haven’t been there. It’s been on our bucket list for years, but just being permitted to smoke pot legally is not enough of a reason to trade our other destinations.
Times are changing slowly in the USA. In some states “medical marijuana” is legal. However, it is still against Federal Laws and it is more expensive to buy legally than to buy on the street. Why are we so backwards?
There are a few places in the USA that also permit the use for “recreational” use. These are extremely limited. Doctors prescribe opioids that cost less than marijuana, are heavily addictive, and have far more negative side effects. So, if you have health insurance and are “smart” with your doctor, you can get high cheaper on more dangerous drugs. What kind of policy is this? Most of these are depressants, as is alcohol. No one claims to be depressed from marijuana, nor is it considered an “upper”. There are no published medical articles showing the adverse affects on the body that alcohol or other prescribed drugs cause and you don’t see people who smoke it needing anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs.
Why do we waste our American tax dollars on fighting a war against marijuana that does not need to be fought, especially when that money can be used for so many other good causes? Why do we permit a “roach” to be used as an excuse for an arrest and all the costs associated with that and imprisonment?
I have travelled throughout the world and have found marijuana available almost everywhere, no matter how harsh the penalties. In some places you have to be aggressive to tell those selling that you are not interested. Prohibition didn’t work in this country…..let’s stop the waste of money, police time, and damages to representations with this stupidity. When you make something illegal, you create criminal activity. We have more serious issues to confront in this day and age.