Reefer madness


With American states legalizing marijuana, we need to rethink our mad war on drugs

With the American election bringing some changes to their exemplary proto-world-globo-law peace-confining structure, it seems to be high time we all do some thinking. Now, some people are still trying to say marijuana is a bad thing. We’ve all heard the line: “it’s a gateway drug; one toke and you’re in prison doing meth and getting beaten by guards.”  Whatever the popularity of generally misinformed sentiments, I’m here to argue the opposite case, for the good.

Marijuana is a good thing. That’s the conclusion, and we’ll take it at the start as evidenced by the fact that two American states have sought legalization. Yep, shame on you Canada. 

Now, it’s possible to think these particular states have simply succumbed to reefer madness, en masse, or something of the sort. But, in practice, there are probably some much better reasons to explain their legislative actions, and the intent moving behind them.

Firstly, recall that the substance is a naturally occurring plant and some would say it is just about as harmless as grass. Furthermore, it is generally known by the name ‘weed’. Now, some linguistic buffs, and our friends who go outside often enough, will tell us that weed is generally used as terminology to refer to plants which normally grow out of control and/or everywhere despite all human efforts to constrain them. This seems to indicate the type of plant that cannot simply be removed from existence via widespread bureaucratic paper-stacking and other such expensive gestures of typically political arm-waving. Thus we see people (Americans, no less), sensibly, finally realizing the more practical conclusion: we must necessarily make intelligent choices for ourselves, particularly where the law is inefficient or outright wasteful. Save money while increasing freedom. 

Secondly, the substance is actually a scientifically-proven medicine. So, what the fuck – let’s go ahead and keep it illegal, then, right? That makes complete sense, or at least some cents for the global pharmaceutical industry. The government is in charge of providing our health care – and with filling up our new mega-prisons – so why not just let them choose who gets to grow, distribute, and use a beautiful and beneficial natural substance?

And if you must smoke, you should go buy some cigarettes – they’re totally legal, made in a huge factory with cheap tobacco grown and distributed internationally, and the added tax will even help your government fund health care! You won’t really feel any better, or receive much in the way of worthwhile long-term benefits, true, but at least they’ll make you feel dead – or like wishing you were.

Thirdly, there’s another British Imperial fuck-ton of reasons around every corner as to why marijuana should be legalized. In actual practice we don’t need government, particularly backwards-assed conservative government, making fundamental choices that we should make for ourselves. Where is our freedom in this equation? It’s locked up in an expensive iron cage along with us. We don’t need government, spending our tax dollars, trying to outlaw and eliminate a plant that grows of its own accord and probably has existed since long before human society came to be as it is. We have more fundamental needs to address.

Besides, have you ever seen people when they’re drunk? That shit’s legal, and if you hadn’t heard, it’s taxed by the government. Have you heard about drunk driving? Have you known anyone to suffer alcohol poisoning? Worse still, in some respects, there is the familiar case of long-term alcoholism. Yet this kind of substance is fully condoned by the government.

Everywhere we hear that the war on drugs is failing. Know what that means? That we, as a generally warmongering species, are actually losing in a prolonged battle against a set of substances which maintain no standing army, no expensive military technology, and are not even consciously self-propelled. Here we are with our big scientific brains and our big profit-maximizing reasons and we’re stuck wasting capital fighting a losing battle. We can’t even afford to pay the global bills already accrued and we’re still busy trying to spend money on unnecessary, expensive government control while we can barely afford to live for ourselves.

There is even a growing list of positive economical benefits, practically promised to us by the route to legalization, aside from the inevitability of government taxation. For example, take ‘head shops’ – of which Regina already has several. Surely their business would not only increase but may finally go on to receive the response and recognition that they actually deserve within the community. Furthermore, as we all should acknowledge, Saskatchewan’s got a lot of flat ground that’s pretty much ideal for growing all sorts of crops. Add to that, the fact that farmers are increasingly looking for legitimate products to grow and take to market other than just corporate-engineered GMO grain seeds. Sure, the market would be subject to change pending legalization, but there seems to be no known types of grain that can sell for upwards of $10/gram.

We need to start trying to live a bit more sensibly, trying to think a bit more sensibly, to grow a lot more congruently within nature and our own nature. It seems almost genuinely impossible, on paper, to outlaw a species of life, no matter how many we’ve otherwise pressured into extinction.

Dustin Christianson

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