Friday, March 27, 2009

Marijuana Kills!

LOL! Yeah, haven't we all seen the film Reefer Madness?

Lately, the anti-marijuana ads have gotten a little more, well, hip.

However, both of these films miss the point, because whether grass is a gateway drug or a harmless pasttime, and whether it should be illegal or treated just the same as alcohol are all academic exercises or merely simply excuses to continue current behavior because, save for medical purposes in a few places, marijuana is illegal and, as such, the use of it promotes criminal behavior. (Note: I said "criminal" behavior not "deviant" behavior and not "shiftless" behavior.)

With Sec. of State Clinton, now and for the first time I am aware of, shouldering part of the blame for the criminal insurgent activity in Mexico, one of our sister countries, we see that we are, indeed, our brother's keeper and our desire for illegal drugs has spawned a spree of killing on a scale that greatly exceeds even that of the days of Prohibition.

It is important to note that not all of the killings are "bad on bad." Honest policemen, journalists, judges, and politicians have been brutally murdered, sometimes in front of their families.

Illegal drugs are, in many ways, a commodity. They will be supplied at whatever cost the traffic will bear. Sadly, this cost comes not only in the loss of lives and law and order south of the border, it is increasingly clear that it will also carry a greater human cost in our own country. The last, that we will suffer the results of our demand for illegal drugs, does not supercede the first, the pain and misery to our neighbor.

I'm sure there are those who will say, "Hey! MY grass comes from California. I'M not contributing to the killing. However, again, it is clear that the drug cartels are also shouldering their way onto our native soil in areas of production, as well as distribution.

There are others who will say that there is no need for them to put down their favorite vehicle of escape because there are far worse drugs coming across the border and that we need to deal with those serious drugs first. They are absolutely that there are far worse drugs. They are wrong in that there is no need for them to change. If they can justify their behavior with an illegal, non-addictive drug, how can they expect others who are actually addicted to more serious drugs to quit.

I'm no prude. I know, personally, the pleasurable effects of marijuana, having experimented with it many, many years ago. However, my break with it came because I work up one morning, way before the making of the movie Traffic and other films in which the world behind-the-scenes of drugs was illuminated, with an epiphany that my money spent for my fun fostered evilness.

Ultimately, especially during the moment of a relaxing, completely enjoyable, shared high, a look around the circle of close acquaintances tells you how happy you are for such company. At that same moment, in another place of the world not far away, there are those who look around their circle of teary-eyed friends and they are thankful for their support during the mourning for their dead son, father, brother, cousin who lost his life while trying to maintain some sense of law and order in a world gone crazy.

Push for all the legislation you wish to legalize marijuana, but in the meantime think of John Donne, whose message in MEDITATION XVII I shall rephrase to say...any man's loss is our loss.

Mike Sledge


Rich Baty said...

Mike, that's an insightful (enlightened?) connection you have drawn and I am respectful and impressed by your actual moral actions.
All too often we comment (or hear comments) on a social or ethical unbalance but offer no answers or personal 'sacrifice' as a solution.
The dilemma: where do you stop? Where to draw the line?
If we believe that certain Middle East conflicts are the result of our current energy policies and consumption rates do we stop driving cars (even if the energy source is domestic)?
Do we resist buying Chineese products because of that government's actions in Tibet?
Did you drink French wine during the neuclear tests in the South Pacific?
If you look deep enough into almost any product you will find a company, organization or government whos actions are, in the least, reprehensible. Much like Mr. Donne said, everything is connected.
So where do we draw the line?

Mike Sledge said...

Unfortunately, there is no bright line in ethical dilemmas such as you have posted. Thus, it is up to each person to make a decision that he or she feels appropriate. The key is to not be mentally or ethically lazy about the problems and to heed the voice of the little bird on your is usually right.

Anonymous said...

Quit smoking? Why? So that in the extremely unlikely event that drug cartels lose business, the government can turn around and say "Well look people are quitting smoking, now theres no reason to legalize."

Yeah right, I am a true to the game smoker till the day I die. There is no "pain and misery to our neighbor" from marijuana. No matter how you spin it. I am sorry that it is illegal and that our government is continuing to fuel the drug cartels through prohibition. But really, that is not my problem, really..... really.

I do know who grows my pot. He is not Mexican, he is not a member of a drug cartel, he does not sell to them, he is an honest man who would do anything to help a friend. He has probably never broke a law in his life besides growing pot.

Consumption does NOT fuel drug violence, PROHIBITION does.

Really..... really.

Please take your moral high ground arguements and shove them in the dark place that our government has had it's head since 1937.

Anonymous said...

Amen to what anonymous above has said.

I no longer smoke as a purely personal decision, but I do not agree with the unconstitutional practice of prohibition.

You want to talk about an unjust and unfounded war? Its the 'war on drugs'.

Billions of dollars wasted yearly in interdiction, enforcement, incarceration.

Countless man hours, and related resources that could instead be utilized to pursue and prosecute real criminal activity.

Overcrowded jails and related expenses that could instead be used to house for longer periods those who are the real pariahs of our society; the rapists, murderers, the politicians (did I say that out loud?).

Countless lives lost. Or ruined by the insult added to injury of such practices as three-strikes.

Millions of dollars in tax revenues that could be realized if instead of prohibited and criminalized, it were regulated.

Hundreds of small farms and the families that work them which could prosper from American grown hemp if there wasn't an utterly ridiculous prohibition on a purely industrial plant.