I’ve never used marijuana.
Ever. And yes, I do live in bro-surf-hippie San Diego.
I didn’t have any interest in drinking until I turned 21. I grew up with very straight-edge parents though, and was never exposed to weed to alcohol. Now, I’ve been drinking since I turned 21, but still have not touched weed. I just have zero interest whatsoever in it. It’s not that I hate potheads, or have some moral stance against it.
I’ve got no problem whatsoever against it; for both medical and recreational purposes.
I do have a fucking problem with the way people defend marijuana to their death.
Before I continue with this, I’ll go ahead and throw this out there: don’t knock it til you try it. I know, I know. But, I’ve never smoked a cigarette, either. Should I not be allowed to encourage my friends to quit smoking because I haven’t tried it?
There are 4 arguments that people make about marijuana that, quite frankly, I’m sick of hearing. They are, in no particular order:
- They drive better when they’re high on weed.
- It’s not addictive.
- It’s GOOD for you.
- It’s a great medicine, in terms of a broad argument.
Let’s tackle each one by one.
“I drive BETTER when I’m high!”
This one probably the one that pisses me off the most.
I see no circumstance whatsoever that you are somehow LESS of a liability while operating a motor vehicle simply because you are stoned. I mean, for crying out loud – over-the-counter drugs like Nyquil warn you against driving because it impairs your ability to operate a vehicle. Yet, somehow I’m supposed to believe that being high makes you drive more like Mario Andretti and less like a fresh-off-the-boat Asian woman?
Typical arguments along these lines include mentioning how the weed relaxes you, and therefore, you concentrate even better. Sorry, but no. Marijuana relaxes you – yes. However, relaxing leads to lower inhibitions. This leads to taking more risks, faster speeds, and overall, worse driving.
Some also argue that the greater concentration increases their reaction times. To that I call bullshit as well. I’ve seen how overall lethargic and lazy some people are when they’re under the influence of marijuana. Maybe I’m ignorant, but I can’t see how you can possibly logically claim that your reaction times in a car while you’re high are quicker than mine when I’m sober.
Truthfully, a situation this last weekend in which I decided to call a cab, rather than ride back home in what was basically a hot-boxed RV booze cruise, is what spawned this post. It’s a bit of a sore subject at the moment and I’m rather opinionated on it.
“It’s not addictive.”
The government considers it to be addictive:
Schedule I drugs or substances have a high potential for abuse. They have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
And truthfully, weed doesn’t deserve to be ranked up there with those other drugs. Perhaps marijuana doesn’t include any actual chemicals that are addicting, such as alcohol or nicotine in cigarettes. However, while hamsterizing this argument, most people fail to mention the addiction to the feeling of the drug.
It’s not only drugs that get you addicted to feelings. Hell, feelings, in their own way, are really just a chemical balance in your body that gives you a high or low. It’s easy to get addicted to the highs. Much like how if you succeed at something and make money, you get a great feeling. A high. You want to repeat that high, so you keep working harder and harder to make more money and accrue more success.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have our vices. There are uncountable amounts of successful people who blaze and are still successful.
But don’t tell me it’s not addictive, because any certain feeling is capable of becoming an addiction.
“It’s good for you.”
In the scheme of what? You’re still inhaling smoke into your lungs, in most cases. There is not any circumstance in which you can scientifically claim that is good for you.
If there is, I’d honestly love to see it and then revoke this part of the article.
It’s good for relaxing? Go for a run. That relaxes me.
For some people, it’s a painkiller. A way to cope during depression. I’m sure there are other medical reasons, but I’m going to focus on these two for simplicity’s sake.
No doubt, it is a legitimate form of medicine for pain and depression. I just can’t help but think – aren’t there better?
If someone is dealing with rehabbing an injury, part of the battle of becoming a better person is dealing with the pain. I’ve gone through some nasty open wound shoulder surgeries. It’s not fun or pretty, and I took my fair share of Vicodin in the immediate weeks afterwards. Maybe someone who has taken both can comment – how do weed and Vicodin differ as painkillers? I guess I just feel that weed is a way to remove yourself from that reality on a more consistent basis. A way to hide from the pain that ultimately makes you stronger. To me it seems that Vicodin is more of a physical numbing and weed is more of a psychological.
As for depression, I’ll round back to my point about feelings. Someone going through bouts of depression (been there, done that) is simply looking for an escape. Weed provides that. They are addicted to the feelings that the marijuana gives them, because it brings them higher than what they were before. Using it to combat depression though is very much a temporary fix, just like alcohol. When it subsides, you’re left where you were before.
We should encourage people to develop themselves and find happiness rather than prescribing marijuana as a fix.
I’m going to reiterate again, I have no problem with people smoking pot. I actually like the idea of it being legalized in Colorado and Washington – simply because there is no way to stop it. People are going to get their hands on marijuana, and I’d rather see that money go back into improving the economy than into the hands of already-rich drug overlords.
Blaze on, people, blaze on. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and choices. I just don’t like the overall level of defensiveness that comes lashing out from those who do smoke marijuana when they make the above arguments.
I’m really curious to hear responses from people who do smoke, and I am going to have an open mind. So, please comment below.
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