reefer sanity in Idaho: “I smoked weed and nobody died ”

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

WE’RE NOT TV-WATCHERS in my house, so un­less some­thing out­ra­geously hap­pens, we are not up on what’s hap­pening with con­tem­po­rary com­mer­cials. That means that I oc­ca­sion­ally see a spot from the Super Bowl be­cause of the ex­tra­or­di­nary at­ten­tion those com­mer­cials get in the making and in the viewing. But your normal everyday ad spot never crosses my screen.

So it is that I haven’t kept up with the non­sense that passes for “fact” on the var­ious anti-drug com­mer­cials that have run on tele­vi­sion. Ap­par­ently, I may be missing out on some good en­ter­tain­ment if David Siro­ta’s ar­ticle ti­tled “Reefer Sanity Takes Hold in Col­orado” for Buz­zflash (Jan­uary 13, 2014) is an indication:

“Seven years be­fore legal mar­i­juana went on sale this month in my home state of Col­orado, the drug war­riors in Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s ad­min­is­tra­tion re­leased an ad­ver­tise­ment that is now worth revisiting.

‘I smoked weed and no­body died,’ in­toned the teenage nar­rator. ‘I didn’t get into a car ac­ci­dent. I didn’t OD on heroin the next day. Nothing happened.’

The tele­vi­sion spot from the White House drug czar was in­tended to dis­courage mar­i­juana use by de­picting it as boring. But in the process, the gov­ern­ment sug­gested that smoking a little pot is lit­er­ally, in the words of the nar­rator, ‘the safest thing in the world.’

Why is this spot worth re­vis­iting? Be­cause in light of what’s hap­pening here in Col­orado, the ad looks less like a scary warning than a re­as­sur­ingly ac­cu­rate prophecy.”

Marijuana WelcomeToColorado

This is your brain on marijuana

I do re­call reading about a spot that ran during Rea­gan’s Reign of Error: the screen showed an EEG with a normal brain-wave ac­com­pa­nied by a voice-over that told you that this was your brain being “normal.” It was fol­lowed by the same EEG showing a flat line, but this time you were told that this was your brain on marijuana.

A flat-line on an EEG or an means that the pa­tient’s brain shows zero activity—that is, the brain is dead.

And there­fore, the pa­tient is dead.

So, the War on Drugs spot lied.

In fact, after a couple of hits of pot, most peo­ple’s brain waves re­semble a sine-wave. This wave nor­mally in­di­cates a brain that is both re­laxed and focused—it is a brain at its optimum.

Sine-wave on an EEG are often found in brains that are med­i­tating. In other words, it is the op­po­site of a flat-line and makes the gov­ern­ment’s lie even more egre­gious. I could could go on but in­stead we’re back to David Sirota:

“Of course, this por­trait of tran­quility, nor­malcy and prag­ma­tism is often down­played by the sen­sa­tion­alist na­tional media in far­away Wash­ington, DC. There, amid wild spec­u­la­tion about ab­surdly apoc­a­lyptic hy­po­thet­i­cals, the fist-shaking fo­gies are neg­a­tively car­i­ca­turing le­gal­iza­tion in a fit of reefer madness.

For in­stance, there’s been tripe like Ruth Mar­cus’s Wash­ington Post screed that at once warns of the sup­posed ‘perils of le­gal­ized pot’ and ab­solves her­self for pre­vi­ously using the drug.

There was also the lament from the New York Times’ David Brooks, in which he first fondly rem­i­nisced about his erst­while pot smoking and then claimed that le­gal­izing mar­i­juana harms Amer­i­ca’s ‘moral ecology.’ You also have to wonder how many of them chatted up the ‘perils of pot’ this month while en­joying a post-workday cocktail.”

Marijuana HandWithBud 1000

In states where mar­i­juana is legal, one can no longer as­sume that a couple of co-workers openly ex­horting others to join them for a few buds after work are inviting them for a few cold ones at the pub on the corner.

The burden of bullshit enforcement

The ar­ticle is fol­lowed by sev­eral com­ments from readers. Prob­ably the vast per­centage of read­er’s com­ments are worth­less, but I have se­lected the first such com­ment (from Ti­betan Cowboy) for a point it brings up:

“Var­ious num­bers have been pub­lished re­garding taxes and re­tail sales. Cred­ible num­bers are $70,000,000 in pot taxes and $600,000,000 in pot sales this year alone. Those num­bers will be [three to four times] higher next year most likely.

Reason enough to le­galize a rel­a­tively harm­less nat­ural product, not to men­tion the over­whelming cost sav­ings from in­car­cer­a­tions, law en­force­ment of bull­shit laws, vi­o­lence of il­legal dis­tri­b­u­tion and sales of pot, etc.

Some states are now granting amnesty and pro­ba­tion to their pris­oners who are in prison only for pot in­frac­tions. I be­lieve NY state is one of them.

And this is re­moving the burden of bull­shit en­force­ment of laws against a trivial sub­stance al­lowing peace of­fi­cers to spend time on real crim­i­nals and crimes. The overall ben­e­fits of legal pot are as­tounding and dif­fi­cult to mea­sure they are so far reaching, on many levels both deep and wide.”

Ac­tu­ally, the price of legal weed in idaho should be dra­mat­i­cally lower than the former il­legal weed. This should lower the amount of spend­able cash in those com­mu­ni­ties or fam­i­lies that cul­ti­vated and sold it. Of course, the taxes will be an enor­mous boon to the state and, hope­fully, most of those people. Taxes should reach nine fig­ures rather quickly, not some­thing to laugh at in a sparsely pop­u­lated state.

Also, there should be a boom in tourism throughout the state. This will put even more money in cir­cu­la­tion and more taxes paid! For this reason, the state should see that even the smallest town in Idaho has its own corner pot shoppe.


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