In Brief—A discussion of marijuana and other drugs examines the facts, the myths and the misunderstandings surrounding the acceptance of and resistance against consciousness-altering substances.
America’s Erratic Drug Policies—
I have a confession. I have used consciousness-altering drugs until 2011 when a tumor and an operation ended my use. I drank wine, an occasional dram of single malt whisky and an even more occasional margarita. I used these drugs in moderation or sometimes not at all. However…
All these drugs—and they are drugs—are legal, regulated, readily available…and dangerous. They contain alcohol. Alcohol kills thousands every year through disease, accidents and overdoses while contributing to violence, addiction, homelessness, physical abuse, rape, divorce and other societal ills. Alcohol costs America billions of dollars per year in costs, social, medical, law enforcement and judicial. These costs come out of your pocket.
Meanwhile, the mild hallucinogen marijuana is classified as a federal Schedule 1 drug—along with truly dangerous drugs like heroin—and far too often results in imprisonment for small amounts, even paraphernalia…and yet it is relatively harmless AND medically valuable. Deaths from marijuana overdoses? Zero!!
The United States is, to say the least, erratic when it comes to drugs. Some states allow marijuana, some allow medical marijuana but limited or no personal use, and some states allow neither. Regardless, the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to arrest and prosecute people who use this mild hallucinogen despite the fact that they may hold a legitimate medical marijuana card (as Tommy Chong does) or use the drug in the privacy of their own living quarters.
And heaven help you if you happen to be a minority. The ACLU has documented that black people are arrested nearly four times as often as white people even though they use the drug less. Hispanics are similarly targeted. The enforcement agencies deny that race is a factor. Yeah, sure. If it walks like a duck, has feathers like a duck, etc.
Earlier I stated that I had used a consciousness-altering drug in the form of legal alcohol. I also confess I used illegal consciousness-altering drugs: primarily marijuana and hashish but also small amounts of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), peyote (once; it tastes awful) and LSD (once; a positive experience). Simultaneously, my use of alcohol dropped to nearly nothing. By the way, did I mention I’m white?
Given my personality, I researched the bejeezus out of these drugs before using them. I even read material from as far back as the mid-19th century. I could find no support for the government’s ludicrous scare stories. Although I would double-check if the government announced the sun rises in the east, since these drugs are Schedule 1 drugs, I avoided cocaine and all the harder drugs because they didn’t pass my research muster.
I used marijuana and the other mentioned drugs on weekends for about fifteen years. One day I simply decided to not use them any more. I had expanded my senses, loosened up and benefitted from their use, but the life of the mind became more important to me. That fact alone knocks the government’s addiction and dependence nonsense into a cocked hat. As I said, government pronouncements kick my skepticism into high gear. I advise healthy skepticism for you, too.
Of all my friends, acquaintances and associates, only two individuals refrained from using marijuana. However, musicians, doctors, lawyers, judges, police officers and college students all used marijuana. Without exception, everybody was stoned at every party I attended. I observed the joints and bongs being passed around. Anybody who tells you they never smoked weed is probably lying.
Dangers of Marijuana—
- Arrest and prosecution!! This is particularly true for people of color. Be very careful whatever your skin pigmentation. This is also true in Sweden which propagandizes even now.
- Youngsters whose brains are not yet fully mature should not use. It is reported that the brain is not mature until a human is about 21. Children should NOT use…Period!
- Mentally unstable or dependent personality types probably shouldn’t use. Check an honest, unbiased and knowledgeable drug expert on this.
Benefits of Marijuana—
- Food, sex, and music are enhanced. I’d even say they were great.
- Numerous medical conditions are treatable or improved: anti-cancer chemotherapy weight loss; chronic pain; post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD); sleeplessness; arthritic pain; epileptic seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis; colitis, approaching death anxiety and more.
- Tax revenues can improve state and federal budgets.
- Law enforcement and judicial costs can be reduced. A side-effect might be that inasmuch law enforcement no longer targets minority people, race relations might improve.
At the top of this piece, I said that the U.S. government was erratic in its treatment of drug violations. To see just how erratic they are while being entertained, click on the link below to see four comedians discussing the treatment of Tommy Chong, formerly of the comedy team of Cheech and Chong, explain his imprisonment for….paraphernalia (bongs). It’s hilarious, but it’s mind-boggling to learn that federal agents threated to imprison Chong’s wife unless he pled guilty. This is just a glimpse at America’s discombobulated drug laws. Funny but enraging. Click on the link below.
The whole point of this piece is that marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that has never killed a soul, but there it sits on Schedule 1 as a dangerous drug. You have to wonder whose interest keeps it there.
Follow the money” suggests that your representatives are dancing to someone else’s tune, not yours. So what are you going to do about it?