American Thinking Fuzzy on Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. By David Macfarlane
    Source: Globe and Mail

    I see that marijuana is now sort-of decriminalized. This doesn't seem so very far along from marijuana being sort-of criminalized. But I ask you: Was Rome built in a day? Not if there were any politicians involved, it wasn't.
    I also see that one of the few remaining rational arguments against outright legalization of marijuana in Canada is that such a step would really irritate the Americans.

    My view is that after a brief display of national bravado, and after a few weeks of standing on the highway selling blueberries, we'd realize that it would be best to avoid that.

    One underestimates American irritation at one's peril. As King George III figured out a little late in the game. As, I have a feeling, Saddam Hussein soon will. But as much as I respect Americans, and as much as I like to take the repercussions of their irritation into account, I have to say that there are certain subjects that Americans are just a little bit nutty about. And marijuana is one of them.

    It's hard to figure Americans out on this one. They are a reasonable people -- bright, likable, educated, savvy -- and if their own publicity is anything to go by, not only do they have fun, they invented it. As to the persistent grip of Puritanism on their national psyche, I think it's fair to say that they're a little equivocal here. My observation is that they take the occasional drink. And while it may well be the supposedly aphrodisiac qualities of marijuana that get their governments so legislatively rigorous in this regard, it hasn't escaped the attention of every conscious inhabitant of planet Earth that Americans take some passing interest in sex. Nobody thinks we should criminalize Christina Aguilera. Although if you're interested in circulating a petition, let me know.

    But when it comes to marijuana -- a non-addictive substance that doesn't come in bottles that you can smash over people's heads -- the governments that Americans keep electing when 40 per cent of the population is looking the other way, seem a little, shall we say, obtuse.

    No, not obtuse. I think stark-staring, raving mad captures the spirit of American drug policy a little more accurately. It's not as if it's something that any sane person would come up with, is it? After all, do you know anyone you'd trust with a butter knife who thinks that a joint and a Discman is a dangerous combination, but that a few hits of speed and a fighter jet armed to the teeth with smart bombs and cruise missiles isn't? I wonder if, in his latter days, Howard Hughes wrote the policy himself, or whether he just added the finishing touches.

    Trimming our sails to accommodate a wind that blows straight out of Cloud Cuckooland does present our legislators with some real challenges. Fortunately they are conversant with idiocy -- have you ever actually tried to register a gun? -- and will no doubt rise to the occasion. Still, you've got to wonder. What's the big deal with marijuana?

    And please don't say, "Why add one more problem to the list we're already dealing with?" As if all the disturbed, angry and addictive personalities out there are holding back, biding their time in whist circles and sewing bees, but that when marijuana is legalized they're going to start getting into real trouble.

    No, I feel that the knock against marijuana, as opposed to alcohol, has always been less to do with the substance itself, and more to do with the activities that follow its consumption. So let's see: With alcohol you laugh, then you fight, then, if you're smart, you take a taxi, and then, if you're a man, you lie in bed and mumble your apologies about having had too much wine. Then you pass out. Traditional and very American ways of killing time, you have to admit. One can picture, all too vividly, John Wayne doing each of them. And tellingly, what these five activities have in common is that none of them have anything whatsoever to do with art.

    Can it be that a deep-seated fear of a population that sits around and gets a little too carried away with art appreciation, followed by sex, as opposed to Monday Night Football, followed by snoring, is what's at the heart of all this nonsense?

    Could it be that the threat of too many people listening to too much music, reading too much poetry and staring at too many paintings is behind the vast and unconscionably expensive machinery of America's legislative antagonism to marijuana? Do objections to films with subtitles and avant-garde jazz and contemporary opera carry so much weight? I wonder. America's reasoning is not always entirely clear. In case you hadn't noticed.

    Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Author: David Macfarlane
    Published: Monday, January 13, 2003 – Print Edition, Page R1
    Copyright: 2003 The Globe and Mail Company

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  2. all in all another great read from sj..

    i just dont like the fact that americans are generalized.

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