Weed Patriots!

As a kid, I remember the D.A.R.E. campaigns coming to my school.  The War On Drugs advocates coming and talking to us about how to “just say no!” to drugs and alcohol. They would preach to us second, third and fourth graders that drugs and alcohol ruin lives, and that if we were to ever try them, we’d inevitably become losers in life and less than the dope fiends we see on the street. Even more than our morality being comprised with using, we (according to the advocates) would inevitably become criminals and ne’er-do-well citizens. During those seminars, I pictured my classmates (but not me!) as adult fiends, rummaging through my trashcan, asking for change at the bus station or selling grandma’s black and white tv for a hit. Scary! I’ll never do drugs, I thought to myself.

Fast forward 8 years when I smoked my first joint. I was paranoid that my life was destined for failure (the paranoia was attributed to the weed). When I told my parents, they laughed. “Just weed?” they asked. JUST?! But the feeling felt good and I kept smoking. Then Bill Clinton was caught up in the “I did not inhale” debacle and the culture surrounding marijuana use started to change, imperceptibly at first. Then California passed the medical marijuana initiative and shit went bananas on the West Coast. Weed dispensaries opened, universities dedicated to the cultivation started to blossom, and state legislators opened their eyes to the monetary gains and the localized support of such an initiative. California, after it kicked in the door frame for weed legislation all those years ago, presently racks in $14 big boy stacks ($14 billion) a year from cannabis related industries. It seems as if the War on Drugs and D.A.R.E. initiatives are ancient rhetoric from a time when Mary was inextricably linked with hippies (new term: yuppies), who loved freely and didn’t use protection (imagine all the illegitimate offspring!) But those days are coming to a close. Connecticut’s Governor has decriminalized weed dishing a $150 punishment if the amount is less than ½ ounce. New Jersey Gov Chris Christie is slowly opening Maryjane dispensaries in New Jersey. Arkansas’ Gov also decriminalized the offense of possession, relaxing the penalty to one year probation for carrying up to an ounce. And Ron Paul is trying to push a bill that would let states decide if they want to legalize the drug or not. Finally! Weed advocates are getting some much deserved push in the messy world of politics. And although I wish weed decriminalized and legalized for a personal reason, it makes perfect sense that the multi-billion dollar industry would not only help our economy, but reduce the amount of money we spend policing, imprisoning and tracking  weed smokers . Not to mention, the funds that would be recirculated from NOT investing in anti-drug zealot organizations. Imagine this: the new War On Drugs advocates teaching second, third and fourth graders the wonders of marijuana use and the monetary benefits of the industry in our country.

Doesn’t it feel good to be a patriot?

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Author: Cece Rubic

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