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. Hes like Twain in the wisdom department,
except hes 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 dont 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. Wheres 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.
Its selective morality. I ask you: Who decides what treatment
is evil? Ive 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 womens groups to grapple with. Im
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 doesnt 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.
Lets 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 its 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)." This was Justice Clarence Thomas
statement following the ruling, and it speaks volumes.
Lets 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, thats who. Once again,
we get moral rhetoric to hide greed. And thats okay. We
readily accept greed. We dont 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 cant 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 its 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 thats the hammer used to keep it illegal.
I dont smoke pot, so personally I couldnt 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 Im 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 dont 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 anyones 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.
© James Campion June '05
also Deep Throat
and other stories in out Comment
See also Feedback