(20) Legalize it...

How cliche that I make a post like this on this particular day?
If I was the type who care about what people thought of or said about me, I might not have the 200something posts in this blog now would I? That much being said, I am going to be the non-smoker devil's advocate and lend the some argument to the legalization of the reefers. As per usual, when I offer things as such, I will offer up MANY links to support what is being said as it is said here.
I am no angel, so I cannot claim total innocence, here. I tried it at 15, experimented here and there until about 17 or 18, touched it once since then, at age 23, and will not judge a dude if he decides to smoke something when the hell he sees fit.
Not that I am into my blog being accessible by my supervisor, but I would pass a random piss test without flinching, so I have no qualms with writing a blog such as this one.

Now, let's get down to it...

I have always been of the opinion that the facts about reefers have been skewed in the direction of putting more people in jail over nothing, opposed to stopping to think of the very benefits of it. And by "it" I mean both cannabis and it's brother hemp. Hemp seems to get a raw deal here on the strength of association alone. Being more useful and comparative ease of production to the alternatives. Sure, one acts and is used as an intoxicant, but the fact of the matter remains that so can be damn near every other legal drug on the market. The number of people who sit on their Klonopin, Vicodin and various other prescriptions past the time that they're actually needed -- or worse the people who SELL them after that -- should indicate the presence of such an issue, no?
Another issue to come into discussion here is that stigma applied to cannabis creates unfair and inapplicable stigma for it's not-worth-smoking brother hemp...
Also, stereotypical potheads are also never a good gauge of whether or not something should be allowed, considering the vagueness of the argument they present.
[Phlip - remember that, it is coming back up]

***Non-criminal element***
How many people are in jail or otherwise in the system for simple possession under wholly non-violent circumstances? What is the reason for this, if there are already overcrowding and a debilitating drain on taxpayers?
Seriously... Unless you benefited from the crime committed to land a motherfucker in jail, why in the hell would you honestly want to prop up someone in jail? Benefit vs. effectiveness, here. I mean, I can understand keeping violent criminals, rapists and crack peddlers off of the street, but to ruin the life of a dude who was going home to smoke a blunt -- or whatever vessel he would use to deliver his reefers to his brain -- is insane. Honestly, he would be far too mellow to care enough about anything that really matters, let alone go knocking old ladies in the head. Just don't let the motherfucker watch your kids (or his own, for that matter).
This goes not to say that problem smokers don't exist, just that they should be handled on a case-by-case basis, as their "crimes" are rarely anything more egregious than even a "social" drinker might commit behind a steering wheel, and are damn close to never violent.
Besides, I never heard of anyone suck some dick for weed.

***Safer than narcotics***
In terms of safety to the the patient, ease of production and all that goodness, the only thing more effective at management of pain compared to Medicinal Marijuana is euthanasia, and that is only half a joke, in that it HAPPENS to be funny.
Narcotics, you know the Vicodin and others of the world are not the best for kidneys and such in the long run, not to mention that they're born of materials that are NOT easily grown on the home turf (remember, most of those narcotics are based on the poppy, which is a LARGE reason why we won't get the fuck out of Afghanistan, not terrorism, BTW).
A short list of side effects of non-marijuana drugs that make LEGAL drugs one of the largest import markets in the USofA:
  1. Amnesia
  2. Dizziness/Vertigo
  3. Seizures
  4. Speech disorder
  5. Stroke
  6. Worsening of epilepsy
  7. Anemia
  8. Decreased levels of potassium
  9. Decreased levels of sodium
  10. Dizziness
  11. Excessive bleeding/Facial flushing
  12. Fainting
  13. Decreased/Increased heart rate
  14. Heart attack
  15. High/Low blood pressure hyper/hypotension
  16. Increased levels of potassium
  17. Low blood cell counts
  18. Palpitations
  19. Perpetual erection
    [Phlip note - for erections lasting longer than 4 hours... call more women!]
  20. Thrombosis (clotting)
This goes not to address the "oily/excessive seepage," compulsive gambling or sexually deviant behavior.
I stand by the EARNEST reasons for legalization, the largest of which being bringing jobs home for cultivation, harvesting and processing... I am sure there is an all-but ignored and outsourced textile farming industry that would be foolish not to agree. The fact that I HAPPEN to agree that it is not as bad as is made out to be is a footnote that seems to be foreign to a non-smoker, but is beaten into the ground at the detriment of the argument of those who do.
Whereas, the majority of side effects of marijuana are more or less relegated to laughing at shit that probably wasn't funny and of course the simple and quite understandable unhealthiness of smoking/inhaling ANYTHING, a problem circumvented by pill or liquid forms. Sure, there is the nature of an intoxicant, but I also offer that they advise not to operate heavy machinery after Nyquil as well, just for the record.

***What, what did you say about textile?***
That's right, you read that correctly...
The city in which I live and have grown up in was more or less a mill town for a very long time, with Cone and Guilford Mills once staples of the economy here in and around town. The mills are not so much used anymore, but if I so chose, I could hop in the coupe and snap some pictures. It is not by accident that all the houses right around the old, mostly abandoned/unused, Cone Mill look just alike. Comparatively inexpensive housing for mill workers and their families within walking distance was that reason. Now, the neighborhood is still mixed-ethnicity and falling into a state of disrepair as the city develops away from it, but I can't see ANYONE walking to work from them nowadays. Legalization makes more room for the processing of the newly less-vilified hemp as well, which renders things such as rope, fabric and oils for things such as cooking (very healthy, at that with high levels of Omega 3s) and skin care, for those who care about such things.
As with any plant that can be grown to size of this, wood is a product as well... You know that they make from wood? PAPER! So here we have a fast-growing plant that can produce fibers for paper and textile, plenty of other natural cosmetics, supplements, that regrows fast enough to be sustainable? Tree huggers worldwide would love the cessation of deforestation/overlogging in the name of paper mills, no? Again, there is another built-in benefit, satisfying more than one problem.
Naturally, these things would need to be processed after growing, and what better for this ends then to employ some good ol' American folk who may have been laid off or otherwise frozen out by cheap labor provided by outsourcing? Seriously, there are vast swaths of land here in my city and the surrounding (Winston-Salem and Burlington to name two I KNOW of), and I am sure there is much more in other places -- provided they were not all converted to loft apartments or left to rot after the homeless could no longer stand the filth -- all over the country where people would LOVE to be employed in the textile industry that this would provide. The quantity and quality of the materials would be wonderful. An added benefit would be that hippies would no longer be so exclusive in their use of hemp textile products, and therefore no longer "non conformists," and in that no longer having that little box to put themselves in where they're magically better than everyone else -- despite being poorly groomed, funny looking and generally undatable to anyone other than other hippies -- perhaps they might self terminate, thus alleviating the hippie problem.
Just sayin'.
Well, now that these items are manufactured, someone is going to need to SELL them, no? Well there goes a shot in the arm that the retail sector would be retarded to turn down.

***The Stoner/Pothead Argument***
Fun fact: one time in 2008, I was in court (traffic, fuckers) and there was this dude in there who had to be around my age (28-29 at the time) who was apparently in on a possession charge. Again, not that this should have even been a charge to begin with, but fact remains at this time that it is. Rather than a specified set of reasoning presented as to why he was in court on what was apparently his 3rd or more weed charge, this guy was talking to any stranger who would listen about how "Man, they can charge me all they want, fuck tha po-lice, I'mma smoke til I DIE!"
In accordance with John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, we can all but EXPECT to get not much better from commenters on internet forums and such. In addition to the above-described sentiment, we're also greeted with as many images as possible of the most exotic product and wares they can grow in a fish tank in the closet of their parents' basement. And to think, if those powers could be used constructively, we might not be having this conversation. To draw a metaphor, it is the same reason that I argue using BET programming as reasoning that young black children should not be taught to read.
[Phlip note - or something like that... That was a metaphor, right?]

"Bad associations spoil useful habits" goes the saying and it more than applies here.

I am not pointing fingers at people who smoke for having invalid arguments, so long as their argument comes rooted in fact free of the "It's my RIGHT to smoke if I want to," which is largely the same argument as the other retards described. One should be able to separate an argument based in fact from those based on the immature continued assertion that they should just be allowed to smoke, what does it hurt?, lest they find themselves on the wrong side of what could be a mature discussion and therefore undermining their own agenda.
This is not to say that a casual smoker cannot fashion an intelligent argument about the task at hand, I have a couple of childhood friends with advanced degrees from schools that net 6-figure student loan debts who smoke semi-regularly with people who are of a similar mindstate to themselves, but for every one of those I encounter, I come across FIVE of the dude who was in court saying "I don't care how many tickets they give me, I'mma smoke til I DIE!"
I will allow you but ONE guess which of these groups speaks loudest and most frequently.

Besides, it is harder to take the argument of a dude who thinks the fact that he REEKS of weed standing in the grocery store or anywhere else for that matter is somehow a GOOD idea.
"Bad associations..."

***But, but...***
Propaganda rebuttal time...

5 Things Corporate Media Doesn't Want You to Know About Cannabis

Over 100 Million Americans Have Smoked Marijuana -- And It's Still Illegal?

Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer

More Evidence That Marijuana Prevents Cancer

Campus Hypocrisy: Marijuana Is Safer, But Students Are Pushed to More Dangerous Booze

The Shocking Benefits of Legalizing Pot

NBC, CBS, ABC, & FOX Happy to Profit from Marijuana, as Long as Nobody Talks About Legalizing It

I selected only a few of the stories from a site I frequent, but if you would like to do some more reading (which I am sure most will not, simply asking in a red-eyed haze "can you gimme a cliffs?") then click here and read more.

At the end of it all, I would probably still not consume even if legalized simply because I am not about smoking anything these days.
Again, I am just sayin' that I understand those who do and my opinion remains that they should not be demonized for it if I can go and get fitshaced every night of the week, so long as my funds allow it.

Hey, California is voting on it.

(let the record show that this was typed and completed on or about 03/29/2010, the 4:20am post time on 4/20 is symbolic, I was surely asleep when that time came about)


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