Sunday, January 09, 2011

Marijuana Kills...Redux

I first published this post in 2009 and recent killings in Mexico make a case for me to post again.

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

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