Coincidentally, the least controversial California proposition I could broach a dialog about today seems to be Prop. 19, the movement to legalize recreational marijuana use. I have always been a staunch opponent of the ‘medical’ marijuana cause. (Ya ya, my close friends are all saying WTF right about now). But hear me out.
The general public is TOO SMART to pull the wool over their eyes and convince them pot is medicinal. It is absolutely ludicrous to argue one should "smoke for your health", regardless of the benefits of pot. And I think the general public tends to agree with this, subconsciously or not. People may be able to try and reason with themselves internally what the apparent benefits of marijuana are, but deep down something is telling them that it is just a recreational pastime, not a serious medicine. They know, because they smoked some for fun, at a party once in college. Of course it helps cancer patients and anorexics and is useful in relieving countless other ailments. But that does not mean it is the BEST anecdote, -or argument for legalization. And besides, anything that someone uses to make them feel better can be considered "self medicating". That's what plenty of alcoholics call their drinking but not many doctors will write you a prescription for ‘one glass of wine a night’. Using pot to self medicate is a lame excuse used to veil the truth everyone knows: We just want to get high. …But my argument is this: What the hell is wrong with that as a sole excuse for legalization?
If you are allowed to drink a beer because you like to take the edge off, then why can't I smoke a joint peaceably in my own backyard? If you can get wired on coffee and loopy as Paula Abdul on pain meds and over the counter pills, then why cant I JUST GET HIGH?
Really, it is a perfectly legitimate argument. Frankly, I feel burn out hippies who just want to cop a buzz are better advocates for our cause than PHD toting ‘doctors’ who ruin the credibility of real physicians and taint the true reason for legalization:
OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE TO INGEST SUBSTANCES.
My point is that we should be able to smoke a joint, simply because we want to, PERIOD.
Okay I’m going to say it: I like getting high. (woo hoo!!) I’m not embarrassed. PLENTY of people profess their love for alcohol without paying a second thought to it. Men pound beers and make beer bongs and invent drinking games. Women hide flasks in their purses and over indulge as an excuse to get messy and slutty at nightclubs. Forget overindulgence. Plenty of people in this society have a drink every night with dinner or after work and that is totally acceptable. They owe no apologies to anyone. So, screw the argument that we need to give the State an excuse like 'we need our meds' just so that we can smoke a joint in our own homes. That is bullshit, have a spine people!
Furthermore, the medical marijuana argument comes off as an admission that maybe there IS something more harmful about pot than there is about cigarettes and alcohol because it requires that you be terminally ill to use it. The argument for medical marijuana actually hurts the movement towards legalization. It holds progress back because it implies that it is not okay for a normal, healthy person to ingest the drug.
In truth, both cigarettes and alcohol slaughter millions of people every year, while there are no figures on annual weed-related deaths. You tell me, why is this harmless drug still illegal?
-Because of the medical marijuana argument.
The constitutional issue in question is not whether or not we have the right to use marijuana as a legitimate method to treat ailments and medicate ourselves. That debate will never end. The real issue is whether or not we have the right to smoke pot BECAUSE WE WANT TO. And yes, we do.
The marijuana legalization movement would do better to just ADMIT what we all feel is true: It is our right as AMERICANS to get high, and we deserve to smoke a joint after work just as so many of us get to enjoy a hard earned brewski after a long day. We are not trying to "get better". We are not ill! The best spokesperson for the marijuana legalization movement is not a cancer stricken sickly looking person with no hair, attached to a breathing machine. No! The best spokesperson for the marijuana legalization movement would be, I don't know, SOMEONE LIKE ME: a passionate, educated, healthy and active college graduate with a drive to succeed and make a difference.
Spark that and pass it to the left.