Way back, Way, way back in the early 70’s I smoked marijuana. And unlike a certain former president, I inhaled. Yeah, right, like he was telling the truth about that! Frankly I respect our current president more for telling the truth about his drug use. I didn’t do it very much and quit pretty fast because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. Probably has something to do with having bipolar disorder. I haven’t used the stuff since 1972. I didn’t drink for a long time either for the same reason. I shouldn’t drink at all.
I write this particular blog because of the war against drugs. In the war against drugs we have lost. Worse our war against drugs is not honest. The plants from which the drugs are made would not be grown, at least in such quantities in South America, South and Central Asia and in US National Forests if it wasn’t for the fact that there is a market out there. We have blamed on and caused problems in the countries that grow the drugs when the real problem is the users. We have a percentage of users that desperately need rehab. We have another (higher I think) percentage of users that are recreational users. They buy the drugs that the suppliers sell. If no one used the drugs there would be no market for them and there would be no poppy growers, coca growers, marijuana growers etc at least none selling their products in the US. AND the drug wars in Mexico would at least be smaller. Users in America are the reason for the drug wars in Mexico. Sale of guns from America to Mexico to drug gangs is the reason for the drug wars in Mexico. And the US government contributes to the problem. The US has exported the war on drugs to Mexico and the Mexican people are paying the price.
I’m not going to talk about various forms of cocaine, opiates or amphetamines. These can be terribly dangerous drugs. But we do need to talk about marijuana. Whatever you call it, dope, weed, herb, buds people use marijuana. Its use goes back a long way. We get the word assassin from the use of hashish to get killers in the mood to kill someone. That goes back at least to the 1200s.
There are two core questions: is marijuana worse than alcohol? Studies say probably not. You shouldn’t drive while high and it does a number on your lungs and leaves chemicals in your brain synapses but it is no more addicting than alcohol.
The other is why do we try to enforce and unenforceable law? Ever since the US government made it illegal to use marijuana in any way the law has been unenforceable. There is too much out there. And frankly buying and using illegal marijuana is worse for you than legal marijuana would be. You can’t know what’s in there from weed cut with another drug to herbicides sprayed by the government.
So what should be done? Make it legal and sell it in stores that sell alcohol. Make sure no one under 21 can buy it and try to prevent teens from buying it (and fail) just like we do with alcohol. Make the seller have a license to sell. There could even be levels for taste and strength like there is with alcohol. On top of that tax the hell out of it like various governments do on alcohol and cigarettes. And make sure that the growers have to uphold stringent rules that make the product pure, like the growers of chickens and eggs are supposed to do. Make it a moral issue rather than a legal issue. Then concentrate on the drugs that do real harm.
Is marijuana good for you? Nope. Neither are alcohol, cigarettes and eating regularly at fast food restaurants or even great restaurants that slowly kill people with fat. Christians should see the use of all these things as a moral issue.
There are a lot of things out there that are bad for you and can cause an addiction, not necessarily a physical addiction but an addiction that causes certain brain chemicals to be released. Obesity is a bigger problem than using marijuana. Gambling is not good for the addicted because of those brain chemicals. So is sex for the sex addict. Are we going to ban McDonalds, gambling, sex, alcohol, glue, cigarettes, etc, etc? And if we try will it work?
So let’s get out of the business of trying to enforce laws at least against marijuana. Unenforceable laws are bad for the public because they contribute to disobedience against other, more important laws.
Let’s try something that makes sense.
Boy is this one going to get me in trouble!