Friday, April 20, 2012

A Couple Of Thoughts On 4/20

It's that day, again, and though nobody seems to know why or when it started, it's time to fire up. Or e-smoke, or bake some brownies in celebration of America's favorite leafy green substance. Usually this translates into a couple of teenage stoners getting busted by cops, teachers or parents; a handful of news pieces proclaiming  a: pot is the ruination of youth and Western Civilization or b: the miracle drug of the age, bringing bliss, pain relief and a renewed appetite to sick and aging boomers.

It's also a prime market day for purveyors of test-at-home pee kits.

I would like to suggest an alternative.

How about a day dedicated to thinking about our complex, contradictory and generally messed up drug laws, with the intention of actually developing a coherent national drug policy.

When Governor Christie of New Jersey commented against the incarceration of marijuana offenders, the howling and moaning was loud and long. when he put the flag at half mast after the death of Whitney Houston, and had the audacity to say that she had died of a disease, it was worse. Somehow, it ended with him accused of not supporting the police.

All of which serves to explain that we are crazy when it comes to drugs.

We seem to believe that locking everybody who uses, traffics and generally gets high is going to fix things, although thirty years of this has only increased the prison population a thousandfold and stemmed the tide of drugs and addiction not a bit.

Isn't doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result a definition of insanity?

Just a thought, but maybe, just maybe, the decriminalization of marijuana would save the country an estimated 13 billion dollars. Is it conceivable that a legal pot, regulated and taxed like alcohol and cigarettes, would become less likely to fall into the hands of children?

I don't know the answer, but I know that what we are doing is not working.

And this goofy stoner pseudo holiday is as good a day as any to start thinking about doing something different.

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