20 April 2012

An Open Letter to the Marijuana Community

South Park put it best, that more than likely the worst thing that's going to happen to anyone smoking pot is absolutely nothing, that its worst effect is making you alright with being bored. On the whole, I don't care if people want to get high by way of the cannabis; it's no different than any other vice or addiction, be it liquor, tobacco, caffeine, sex, roller coasters, or videogames to name a few. What matters is whether you're in control of your habit, or it's in control of you. Either way, those on the pro-marijuana side of the issue, we need to have a talk.

Here's an encounter I had with a neighbor some years back as I was on my way to work.

Him: Hey.
Me: Howdy.
Him: Say, do you know where I can get some pot?
Me: No, I don't.
Him: You don't?
Me: Nope.
Him: Why not?!
Me: Because I don't do pot.
Him: But you have long hair!
Me: That doesn't mean anything.
Him: Whatever.

The funny part of that story is that he had a crew cut. The really funny part is that I was clean-shaven, wearing a dress shirt, and spoke without a hint of a slur. The sad part is he asked me again a few weeks later. The sadder part is that in the meantime, he would condescendingly yell, "Hippie!" at me from his balcony as I walked out to my car. The worst part is that I have to live in the same building as this guy, this guy who now harbors an irrational resentment toward me because he believes I lied to him and then added insult to injury by pointing out the fault in his ability to sort people out by appearance. As I've implied, I think the illegal status of marijuana is an arbitrary double standard, but situations like what I've described haven't exactly endeared me to stand by you guys in your campaign.

I know you don't keep any sort of census or roster and it's utterly unfair of me to hold you all accountable for the actions of a few bad eggs. That said, it's no use playing dumb, either. It's also not going to do you any good to see your campaign as a black-and-white issue. Look, I don't like being lumped in with those pro-active/social anti-drug people with their lame slogans and ineffective ad campaigns, and I know you probably don't like being lumped in with the people I'm describing, the ones who can't comprehend that people who choose not to get high aren't always looking down their noses at them. I have no problem taking that step to seeing that the stereotypical "stoner" is archaic, sensationalized, and largely inaccurate, that correlation is not causation. So, why are you holding onto it? Why am I being profiled by way of only-partially fitting an image you know doesn't fully or properly represent you?

Seriously, at the risk of sounding like I'm making fun of you, with all the colors you can smell and music you can see, if you're still seeing things in black-and-white, then maybe you should lay off the pot; clearly, it's not expanding your consciousness or broadening your mind as much as you want other people to believe. Just because I'm not a help to you doesn't mean I'm a hindrance by default.

I don't want "NO means NO!" to become the new "Just say NO!" and I doubt any of you do, either.

So, like I said, I don't want to write off the Cannabis Community as a wastrels and a cancer upon civilization, but you need to respect a few ground rules if you want to be treated like responsible adults that can usher in a change in policy, namely that, even if I did partake in recreational drugs, I'm under no obligation to keep you appraised of this fact and that your habits are ultimately your responsibility and yours alone. If you do have to ask, and the answer is no, take the hint.

Happy 420, and to crib a phrase from a wise man,

Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

P.S. Oh, one more "ground rule" before we part: Would you please stop using famous artists like The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and others as "case studies" for why marijuana should be legalized? Creativity isn't a substance you can breath in as smoke or bake into a brownie or inject into your veins or put under your tongue, and last time I looked, no one in any of those bands ever said otherwise. Besides, if that were the case, there'd be a lot more White Albums out there.

Peace and bacon grease.
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