I have been a recreational user of marijuana for about 16 years, and I’m 32, so that means half my life (thankfully I am still capable of doing rudimentary math). And from what I’ve read, it’s people like me who are to blame for this state’s out-of-control MM industry.
As the debate in Montana rages about the medicinal application of cannabis, it seems criminals like me are always drug through the mud by culture warriors who hate pot and all the cultural baggage it carries. They warn us the whole “medicinal” scheme is really just a smoke-screen for all us nefarious imbibers of the weed, so while there may be a few medically legitimate beneficiaries of this wonder plant, people like me make repeal a necessity.
I should acknowledge that speaking this frankly and publicly about my experience with an illegal substance is probably not a good idea, but I decided to write this post because there is a huge often unspeakable world of marijuana use in our current societal set-up that doesn’t get expressed precisely because of the continued war on a plant and those who use it. We are, after all, criminals.
But when the hype around the devil weed dissipates, what I see are the vast majority of people I know who have smoked pot at some point in their life no longer partaking with any regularity, for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t like the paranoia that too often accompanies being stoned, rendering them useless at social gatherings. Or maybe they have jobs where usage is a dangerous liability. For whatever reason, most of the people I know who once dabbled with pot, no longer do. And I suspect other folks might say the same about their circle of friends.
Inevitably the culture warriors who are the most rabidly opposed to any erosion of our federal status-quo marijuana prohibition shriek and gnash their teeth about the dangerous sway this evil substance has over the youth. And that’s a hard position to argue against, so that’s not what I’m going to try to do.
What I would like to do is put marijuana use into the broader context of the wide array of both legal and illegal substances available to tweens and young adults, making their substance use a much broader conversation that should include other dangerous things, like alcohol, pills, and texting.
But doesn’t that conversation distract from what we, the supposed adults, are trying to reconcile right now with medicinal marijuana reform?
The main reason the nullifiers are so adamant about repeal is because they know the message of state-sanctioned medicinal use of marijuana will further undermine what wicked forces like Hollywood have already undermined with movies like Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.
Maybe some part of them knows prohibition is a joke, yet the thought that any legitimate profit is made from the actual sale of actual marijuana drives them crazy.
But at the end of the day I would have to say this is a cultural/generational war, and the collateral damage are the people who really do, for medical reasons, need access.
Meanwhile, I’m still a criminal for feeding cash to the tendrils of a black market that will exist no matter what the culture warriors decree in Helena.