How’s your liver?

Proposition 19, the pot legalization initiative which was recently defeated in California, brought out the familiar arguments on both sides.  I was a bit surprised to read Josh Marshall’s take on this:  against legalization, but in favor of “decriminalizing” marijuana.  The idea is to keep usage in check by keeping it in the closet.

Here’s what I think.  Legalize it, and the use pot would increase somewhat, but use of alcohol would decrease.  And that’s good, because a number of people have a need to put themselves into an altered state of consciousness, and it’s a lot easier on the body to do that with marijuana than alcohol.  The stoner might gain a few pounds, but he can maintain his habit over several decades and still remain in reasonably good health.  Especially if he invests in a vaporizer.  Years of heavy drinking, on the other hand, will destroy the body.

There are former marijuana smokers, vehemently opposed to legalization, who will say that they lost years of their life toking up daily when they could have been doing something productive.  (The fact that their problem occurred when pot was illegal is usually lost on them.)  And to them I would ask a simple question:

“How’s your liver?”

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One Response to How’s your liver?

  1. April says:

    I’m disappointed in California for voting against this proposition. Even though the DEA promised to still enforce federal laws regardless of whether the voters passed state legalization, it would have let the lawmakers know that we’re fed up with such a relatively harmless substance being criminalized, wasting our resources, and turning good, hard-working citizens into criminals.

    And as someone who admittedly has a tendency to drink way too much given the opportunity, as soon as I discovered the wonders of marijuana, I drink far less and think far more. I may sound like a total stoner dummy, but I believe that weed has literally made me smarter. It probably hasn’t actually improved my ability to think critically, but it has caused me to seek out new information and become actively interested in a huge variety of new things.

    Also, it doesn’t make me drive dangerously or say stupid shit that I regret (or don’t remember) the next day.

    Really, there is absolutely no logical reason why marijuana is still illegal, until you consider the bigwigs who have money riding on the deal. From what I understand, the only reason it was criminalized in the first place was because hemp was a huge and cheap competitor for the logging industry, and they successfully tricked the vulnerable public into believing that weed would make people insane. If you haven’t already, I recommend watching The Union. It’s available on Netflix Instant and goes into great detail about the history of marijuana politics in an engaging and interesting way.

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