Would the world be a better place if we all smoked pot?

The world is filled with so much hate, rage and bitterness it’s enough to make us cry.

Pot shirt party goer/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Pot shirted party goer/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Daily headlines scream about bombings, brutality and bloodshed. Neighbors hate neighbors and strangers hate friends.

But there may be a simple way to turn all that bitterness and rage into peace and harmony – just hand everyone a joint.

After all, pot is known to make people happy, generous and loving. We don’t recall any stories of pot-smoking hippies tearing each other’s hair out. That Manson thing was just a fluke.

For the record, I am not a fan of pot, or any drug for that matter. Drugs have ruined too many lives.

But let’s look, just for a moment, at all the compelling pot information put forth on Drug War Facts. This website is run by Common Sense for Drug Policy which is “dedicated to reforming drug policy.”

Yes, we know the site is slanted to only show pot’s benefits – we’re making a pro argument here.

And after checking out some of the site’s fast facts, it makes sense not only to make marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, but for any adult who wants some.

Marijuana may be less harmful to us than some stuff we already eat, the site tells us. And we’re not talking about deep-fried Twinkies or greasy drive-through fries. We’re talking vegetables.

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume,” says Francis Young, the DEA’s administrative law judge. “For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.”

Even lab rats don’t die from the stuff. Heck, Drug War Facts said you can inject 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of marijuana into rats, mice, dogs and even monkeys and they don’t drop dead. That translates to a 132-pound person eating a whole 2 ounces of pot with no ill effects.

We’re not sure why people would be eating pot rather than smoking it, but we do know that five deaths originally attributed to marijuana in Britain were found to have other causes. Drug War Facts says the five didn’t die from pot, but from choking on their own vomit, presumably after passing out and puking.

See how safe marijuana can be?

Decked out VW bus/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Decked out VW bus/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

And we didn’t even get into the traffic statistics. Marijuana could actually help some drivers do better on the road.

“…Cannabis consumption either increases driving ability or, more likely, drivers who use cannabis make adjustments in driving style to compensate for any loss of skill,” Drug War Facts said.

In other cases, marijuana poses absolutely no risk on the road whatsoever.

“Cannabis is only considered a risk factor for traffic accidents if drivers operate vehicles after consuming the drug.”

There we have it.

In addition to bettering traffic, a society full of pot smokers could benefit the economy.

The first savings would be, of course, a major cost reduction in the more than $30 billion government spends annually on the drug war. Taking marijuana out of the mix would shave off a few dollars for sure.

More jobs would be on the market. We’d have gads of new pot packaging and processing plants as well as openings from those who decide to now smoke pot daily. Some may quit their jobs when they realize they could legally sit around getting stoned all day while others would likely be fired when tasks that used to take them two minutes began to take them two hours.

The economy would get a major boost from marijuana taxes. If pot taxes were anywhere near the astronomical ones levied on cigarettes and booze, the government could make up a good chunk of funds wasted on the drug war in the blink of a bloodshot eye.

Society would become one big well-oiled machine.

Folks who smoke pot are generally not violent like those on PCP, don’t start dumb fights like angry drunks, don’t make weird sniffing noises like the coke fiends, and don’t hold up gas stations like those with rabid crack habits.

They are not prone to spreading AIDS like needle-happy heroin addicts and don’t lose all their teeth like the meth heads.

The argument stands that pot smokers are usually peaceful, harmonious folks – who even know how to drive.

Please note: I am still not sure if making pot legal would make society any better – but I am wholly impressed that pot only poses a road hazard if you drive after smoking it.

Cartoon by CHRIS EDWARDS, UA student who drew it for English class on public argument

Cartoon by CHRIS EDWARDS, UA student who drew it for an English class on public argument


[tnipoll]

__

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who likes VW buses. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.


logoWhat do you think?

Should pot be legal in Arizona?

Should it be legal everywhere?

Should all drugs be legal – or should we get rid of everything, even alcohol?

WOULD the world be a better place if everyone smoked pot?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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41 Responses to Would the world be a better place if we all smoked pot?

  1. Barker says:

    The AP just released a big study on the whole drug issue: “After 40 years, the United States’ war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.” http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals/
    Essentially, we’re spending huge amounts of money to incarcerate many of our citizens in expensive prisons… all for smoking pot. It just doesn’t make sense to do this. The money we’d save by legalizing pot, and the money we’d make by taxing pot and creating new legal industries is there for the taking.
    Being AZ citizens, we also have the opportunity to end the drug battles and illegal drug importation that is so damaging to our state.
    We all either have tried pot ourselves or know other people who have. These folks should not be arrested and jailed for years.
     

    • Rynski says:

      hey barker –
      that waste of money is BEYOND amazing! geesh. i agree that pot could be a very lucrative industry, for sure.
      also agree with hat some of the drug sentencing can be ridiculous. it’s not like some of those arrested for pot are big drug lords – another geesh.
      thanks for input.

  2. azmouse says:

    For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response.

    Hahahahahahahaaaa!!!! Is that the best they could come up with!??!

    I do agree with Barker that non-violent drug addicts need rehab, not prison, but this ‘Drug War Facts’ has some really lame reasoning….

    • Rynski says:

      i’m laughing with you, azmouse.
      once i saw the raw potato reasoning and then my favorite:
      “Cannabis is only considered a risk factor for traffic accidents if drivers operate vehicles after consuming the drug.”
      i knew i had to use some of these arguments in a column. i don’t think i could even eat ONE raw potato, let alone 10.
      rehab for addicts = yes, but it will only work if they want to get and stay clean.

      • azmouse says:

        Yes, the driving thing was a good one too.
         
        I had a sorta-friend (neighbor) who smoked pot everyday. He was worse than any cigarette smoker as far as addiction goes. He was also a huge butt-hole, and so were all his pot smoking buddies.
         To make them all out to be mellow, you know, peace and harmony kind of people is crap. 
        Plus, I’m a believer in the only thing that should go in your lungs is air.

      • Rynski says:

        hahah! sorry you knew a butt-hole – of any kind. also sorry to have the myth of pot-smoking peaceful people shattered. oh well.
        i think if people start out as butt-holes it doesn’t matter if they stay sober or take mounds of drugs – they will stay butt-holes plain and simple.
        i’ve seen pot smokers who are perpetually lazy and/or immature. but then again, they could be that way without it, too.
        air in the lungs is definitely the best!

  3. malcolm kyle says:

    Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

    Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

    Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

    By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous, ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved.

    Many of us have now, finally, wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

    There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you’re using something far stronger than the rest of us. Anybody ‘halfway bright’, and who’s not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

    No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, diminution of rights and liberties, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer, only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

    “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

    • Rynski says:

      hey – that’s like a whole guest column, malcolm kyle!
      wow – glad you have your beliefs and are sticking with them. also found some passages quite poetic:
      Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.
      If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition….
      nice!
       

  4. leftfield says:

    Although it’s been a long time since I smoked any herb, I certainly support legalizing marijuana.  Addiction is another problem altogether.  One can get addicted to any number of behaviors and making those behaviors illegal, no matter the punishment, is not the cure for addiction.  

    • kevinp says:

      I agree lefty. I blazed EVERYDAY for at least 10 years straight, and quit cold turkey without issue. (been about 6 years now)
      During that time I worked 40+ hours a week, and received several promotions, had kids, bought a home, etc.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya leftfield,
      ha! waaaay toooo many behaviors can become addictive. shoe shopping anyone?
      kevinp –
      kudos on your ability to quit cold turkey when you wanted to.
       

  5. Nicole says:

    if I had any say in this matter it’d be yes, lets get this mattered settled once and for all. drugs, the word itself is vague. there are drugs to help you  and the others hurt you. all in all drugs, may they be illegal or legal are drugs. controlled or uncontrolled, the goverment has their hand in everyones pocket. big drug companies are run like some of their conterparts-the illegal drugs. one big difference drug cartels carry guns and the legit’s carry briefcases. so being a smoker for many years myself I have to say”please decriminalize marijuana” for so many reason. I don’t consider myself an addict, I really don’t. maybe its still the rebel in me?? but without dope, its hard to cope!!

  6. John Kennedy says:

    I’m not interested in smoking pot, nor have I ever been. But as a victim of a minor crime, where the courts were too busy to deal with it, I see where legalizing it would free up the Police and Courts to properly deal with “real crimes”. Vandalism, theft, meth labs, etc…

    Also, the tax revenue generated would be ENORMOUS, infrastructure would benefit, jobs created, money and economy flowing.
    I say give it a 5 year shot. See what happens. Spend time on the harder drugs, economically cripple the illegal pot cartels.

    • Rynski says:

      hi john, thanks for input.
      i was thinking even if society didn’t get better from legalizing marijuana, there may not be a chance it could get worse – haha.
      like your trial period idea.

  7. andrew says:

    I had something to say but I forgot what it was. “comment slog” i.t.c.

  8. Jennatoolz says:

    While I don’t smoke it myself, I’m for legalizing it. I know quite a few people that smoke it daily and they function just like a normal non-high person does. Besides, they have other “herbs” out there that give you the same effect as marijuana when you smoke it and they’re legal. Don’t believe me? Check out a smoke shop near you and ask the guys workin’ there.

    This reminds me of a time when I was interviewing for a job a few years ago, one of the questions on this questionnaire they gave me was “If you know an employee is high on marijuana, but is able to do their job correctly and without any problems, how would you handle the situation?” I basically said as long as the employee was able to keep on workin’ sufficiently than I wouldn’t do anything…it doesn’t matter what they do on their personal time. The interviewer gave me a strange look and said “You DO know marijuana is illegal, right?” Well DUH! I was hired shortly after that. 🙂

    • Rynski says:

      ha! love the interview story, jenna.
      sounds like a down-to-earth place – one without a drug policy, i’m guessing – hahahhah. i would guess some companies would want employees to say something along the lines of “i’d make a citizen’s arrest, remove all pot from their pockets and locker, call management over and then telephone police.”
       

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Sorry to say, Ryn! You have definitely heard of this place…it’s a huge corporation with ANTI-drug policies. This place is called….

        …Walmart! Ohhhh, the horror! 😛

  9. Seth says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with the stance that everyone should be using pot, but I also do not see the logic in making it illegal. In addition, I have read several Wikis that indicate that William Randolph Hearst had something to do with its prohibition because wanted to protect his wood chipping empire. Hemp as it turns out is a much better source for making paper than wood is.

    • Rynski says:

      hey seth,
      that sneaky hearst – i wouldn’t doubt it….
      hemp also makes some fine necklaces and clothing.

      • Veganman says:

        Of all the things I’ve heard WR Hearst called, “sneaky” is by far the best! LOL!!!

    • Ferraribubba says:

      So Seth: You mean that before we all started to blame George W. Bush for everything, the old-timers had W.R. Hearst to blame?
      I heard that he sold those wood chips to his pal Tojo to be used in building the Jap Zeros that bombed Pearl Harbor.
      You were right Rynski. I always wondered about all those Japanese/English phrase books we found in his private storage locker back in the ’60s. <g>
      Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

      • Seth says:

        Well as long as we are blaming people for things I figured I might as well through Herst in there. I am sure he did many good things with his wood chips too.

      • Seth says:

        Sorry “throw” rather than “through”

  10. Loren says:

    Anybody who wants to use pot now can easily get it. Keeping it illegal isn’t keeping it out of the hands and lungs of anyone who wants to smoke it. Education and treatment is at least as effective and a lot less expensive than interdiction.
    had regions

  11. Veganman says:

    Legalizing it would bring so much income to this state, but enforcing the resulting regulations would probably be difficult.
     
    My cannabis  interest lies elsewhere:
    Hemp seed (imported from Canada) is one of my main sources of protein. It’s a complete protein with a mild nutty flavor that contains no THC. Hemp as a protein and fiber crop is something that’s been suppressed by our government for decades. Strains of hemp that do not produce THC have been created (see Canada, again) and yet I still can’t grow my own backyard protein.
    Plus, the fiber would give corporate giants like Georgia Pacific another option besides planting “forests” of GMO trees that do not support wildlife, but it’s been lobbied out time and time again.
    Foolish, ignorant, and archaic these laws…………

    • Jim Kelley says:

      I support 100% the commercial growing of hemp. It is an extremely versatile plant with many uses and has no THC. DEA wont allow it because their agents can’t tell the difference between hemp and cannabis. Oh well. Hey I know, grow it hydrponically in a controlled environment. That’ll fix the problem.

  12. Common Sense Police says:

    ” More wasted time and wasted tax dollars every day that the lies continue. It would literally be cheaper to burn the money because then at least the fees for incarceration and wasted time in courts could be saved. Tens of billions wasted every year, driving this country into the ground because the government doesn’t have the courage to say “we were wrong”. Still a schedule 1 drug without ANY medicinal uses, according to the government. Nope they’re never wrong! Still spouting the same propaganda from over 7 decades ago, proven wrong by science but nope, no word about ending this failed war on U.S. citizens, just keep on truckin’ because even though the war on drugs failed decades ago, maybe it’ll magically turn out different this year right? Obama = Change and he just changed the drug policy right? Wrong. The more things change the more they stay the same. An increased budget for fighting the war on drugs (citizens), some change. The most corrupt country in the world because it stems from the top down, LEGALLY! We the sheeple don’t care because we can just go shopping and get some starbucks and the war on drugs doesn’t affect us. Even though our country has been run into the ground and money that should have gone to rebuild bridges, roads, water lines, electrical grids, buildings, (all the things built circa 1925 and still used today) has instead gone into the pockets of cartels. CORRECT! What do we win in return? MORE PROPAGANDA! “

  13. Thomas D. says:

    Typical Tucson dopeheads.

  14. ado1 says:

    I’m sure this could mellow out the morning and evening rush hour quite a bit.  Might cause a few more citations to be written for going too slow on the interstate, however. Don’t Bogart that joint mahh friend… pass it over to me.

  15. P.W. says:

    I’d rather live in a neighborhood riddled with pot smokers than live in one with just one meth head.

  16. Buck G says:

    The world would be better off without BLP’s. To find out what BLP’s are, Youtube Dr. Bob Melamede FLP’s and BLP’s.

  17. Buck G says:

    Once you figure out which one you are (FLP or BLP), go to leap.cc, click community–forums–War on Drugs–War on Cannabis. I have posted over 250 posts there,  mostly excerpts from The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, with over 8,000 views. Cannabis was in the service of man for over 10,000 years, it only took Harry Anslinger 95 minutes to make it illegal in 1937.

  18. Buck G says:

    W.R Hearst coined the word Marijuana, in his newspapers and started the “Reefer Madness” scare. All in order to demonize Poncho Villa, because Villa and his army were a threat to Hearsts timber holdings. The Emperor Wears No Clothes

    • Ferraribubba says:

      Hey Buck: And lets not forget the wars that he started. Both the Spanish – American War and the Sino- Russian Wars to boost his lagging newspaper sales. and WW2, so he could sell his wood chips to the Japanese to be used in their airplane industry. All the while, he and his Hollywood movie-star buddys were yuking it up at the ranch at San Simeon. How low could he sink?
      Talk about yellow jouralism! I’m almost too ashamed to accept those $,$$$ retirement checks that keep rolling in every month. <g>
      Yer former ink-stained wretch pal, Ferrari Bubba

      • Buck G says:

        And let’s not forget Hearsts’ buddy DuPont, they conspired together, as DuPont had the chemicals needed to make paper out of wood pulp!

  19. Carolyn Classen says:

    Ryn, author Charles Bowden refreshingly says it like it is, that the war on drugs is a failure:
    http://ondemand.azpm.org/ondemand-home/video-segment/2010/5/17/1247-war-on-drugs-is-a-big-failure/

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