Because the decriminalization of marijuana will be on the California ballot this November, there's been much debate regarding its health risks. And you know what? I'm actually beginning to think the anti-pot activists are right—legalization will have a grave effect on public health. Well, at least, the discussion of it will, because every time I hear a debate on the subject, my heart bursts open and blood spurts out my ears.
It's the same setting every time. On one side of the table, you get a rabid, anti-pot conservative making ridiculously inflated, Reefer Madnessian claims about the harmful effects of marijuana, and on the other side, a mild-mannered, though ill-equipped, pro-pot liberal who never gets around to saying the one thing that will obliterate the conservative argument.
This time it was a debate / interview between Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham and Steve Fox, author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
“Would you smoke pot before a TV appearance like this?” Ingraham smugly asked at the beginning of the interview.
The blood raged in my body, and the walls of my aorta stretched to their rupture point as I howled at the television. “Of course he wouldn't, you moron!” Nor, I'm betting, would he get loaded on Rumplemintz, shave his head bald, paint his fingernails black or change into his full-body, leather masochism outfit. There's probably a whole crap-ton of things he would not do before going on television—so what does that have to do with anything?
Ingraham continued with more dopey questions (paraphrased): Would you recommend that people smoke pot every day? Would you want a stoner to operate on your brain? Would you teach your kids how to use a bong?
Fox responded to the questions adequately enough (paraphrased): No. Nor would recommend drinking alcohol every day. Nor would I want a drunk to operate on my brain. Nor would I teach my kids to use a beer bong.
Having been easily shot down, Ingraham delivered the argument that anti-marijuana conservatives rely on when their other arguments fail, the argument that stymies even the most learned pro-pot spokesperson, an argument that seems credible on the surface but ain't, the argument that says, (paraphrased): That alcohol is harmful is no reason to make pot legal.
And like all the other pro-pot liberals that came before him, our boy Fox couldn't respond. Instead, he switched the subject, without making the one point that can stop conservatives like Ingraham in their tracks: In a free society, Laura, you don't need a reason to make something legal. You need a reason to make it illegal.
There's just no response to that, certainly not from conservatives. They always fancy themselves little-government types, yet they don't seem to care that every bullshit morality beef that becomes a law increases the size and scope of government. This is why my ticker becomes a time-bomb whenever one of these hypocrites has the nerve to ask for a reason to make pot legal. The question is not: Should we legalize marijuana? The question is: Should we have criminalized it in the first place? And the answer is: Hell no! Marijuana prohibition is the result of blatant lies, ignorance and propaganda that preyed on the racial fears of Caucasian America toward Mexican immigrants in the early 1900s. It was reinforced in the '20s and '30s when it was discovered that marijuana was being smoked by wild-eyed Negroes playing that crazy jump-jive music that was getting all the white girls' panties damp.
In a free society, you need a reason to make something illegal, and the reason probably shouldn't be racism.
Look at it this way: What if the whole thing were reversed? What if cannabis were never outlawed? What if rationality ruled the day in the 1900s and pot was never criminalized? Now, what if some hoity-toity prohibition-types suddenly wanted us to vote to make the possession and use of marijuana a crime? Could you imagine? Every free-thinking person in the state would stop what they were doing and say, “What's this now!? Please cite your reason as to why we should put another asterisk on our freedom.”
There's no chance that proposition would pass. Nobody ever started a bar brawl because they were too baked. Nobody ever mugged a tourist to get a marijuana fix. Nobody ever contracted diabetes, sustained liver damage—or got cancer, even—from smoking pot.
Says Laura Ingraham: “We really don't know long-term dangers of marijuana use.” At that point, my heart finally exploded and blood spurted out of my ears. Because, when somebody says, “We don't know the long-term dangers,” what it really means is, “We haven't found any long-term dangers.”
Yeah, well, we haven't found any long-term dangers associated with aromatherapy, either.
C'mon! We've been studying marijuana for decades. And report after report—including a 30-year UCLA study that found no link between pot and cancer—all came up blank.
What does that matter anyway? If “long-term danger” were the criteria for criminalization, then say goodbye to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, beef, dairy, cell phones, television, typing, sitting, standing, smiling, cranking up your stereo, reading in the dark, playing contact sports, jogging on pavement and all sorts of other activities Ingraham wouldn't dare want criminalized.
Or would she?
Whatever. The point is: Fuck her, and fuck her friends. It's my body, my life.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you are a conservative and think you can successfully debunk my small-government argument. Visit www.edwindecker.com.