Hello hello fellow Wasteland Warriors. Long time. I hope everyone's been great.
As always, was chilling by listening to a random VGN/MWW episode. This one is the MWW on Drinking. Just thought I'd say hello and introduce a discussion worthy of a thesis by Kevin.
So before I ask for all your opinions on what you guys just did in Washington and Colorado, and what's probably soon to happen in California, Oregon, Vermont and a few others from what I've been reading, I'd like to talk about my own experience.
I smoked pot the first time in my life less than two months ago. I've been pretty straight edge otherwise: don't smoke, no drugs (even going so far as to avoid medication and trying a natural alternative), and I don't drink at all for the most part. I will cook with vodka and wine. I'll also try the occasional drink, more so to understand it's taste than anything else. I did that recently with whiskey, gin, and a few different assortments of wines. But I'm not a drinker, even socially. In fact, socially I always volunteer to be the driver since drinking is so uninteresting to me. The aforementioned drinks were all by myself at home.
But weed, oh boy. Truly I have experienced nothing like it. I toked some when I was going through a stomach ache of some nature that could substitute the fires of hell in raw torture factor. My girlfriend suggested it since she had some from her mom. An otherwise very conservative person, I decided to try it. It didn't do much the first time, or even the second time when I smoked it a few hours later. Little bit of pain relief.
We had it lying around for a few days later. Being an Indian, being taught not to waste, I was like, what the hell.
Puff Puff Hack Hack Cough Cough.
And then it hit me. It's the craziest thing. It's like your voice is outside your head. You zone out talking to the door and realize it 10 minutes into the monologue. In your brain, you think you can say whatever you want to say as you normally would. But you end up using a lot more words when you actually say it, or end up saying something that's not relevant at all. I'm sure other people who've done it understand that it's difficult to explain.
Regardless, ever since I've had a more relaxed view on pot and have even tried it occasionally since. It truly does feel fantastic when used to unwind and improve your experience of sensual pleasures.
Anyways, so what do you think of the legalization bit. What are your opinions and experiences with the ganja?
Initially when you smoke weed, you'll probably be very relaxed and often get a fit of the giggles. This is a one time laughing fit unless you take LONG breaks between smokes.
If you continue to smoke it, it basically makes you mellow. There are pros and cons to this. It's the same way I feel about anti-anxiety medication. If you nullify all your anxiety, you'll lose the drive to get up and do something about whatever is causing the anxiety. Things get pushed off day to day. I don't think it's laziness (Which is what it gets equated to) but rather a lack of drive. Things don't bother you.
Pros and cons...
I smoked weed for a time in my Sophomore year of High School. The thing I realized, was that the day after I smoked it, I was not as sharp in the brain as I normally was. When you're Kevin Baird, you need to be sharp all the time. So I stopped smoking it. When I retire, I'll probably smoke it again, because who cares? But right now, I can't be numbed out. I just can't.
The issue of legalization is one entirely separate from effect of the substance.
This kind of slid in after the "medicinal use" started, That was a complete cannard: while there are some interesting uses for cannabanoids (there is a drug called Sativex in use in Europe for the spacticity associated with MS) the "medicinal use" in the US is largely a joke. A huge majority of the "prescriptions" come from a very very small number of prescribers. Nearly all are for non indications. These are people who just want to get stoned.
The substance probably isn't as bad as all that. There are a couple of sticky issues, though, to think about. First, if smoked it is carcinogenic. No question about that. Maybe people don't smoke that much, but it is still not good for you. Second: it is basically impossible to determine if an individual is impaired. The impairment from ethanol is very well correlated to blood level. There is no such relation with THC. Washington state skated around that with an arbitrary blood limit. I predict this will not stand. Not only is the limit not related to impairment, it requires blood to determine. The courts have taken a very, very dim view of obtaining blood without consent. I predict that if anybody is prosecuted under this law it will be overturned, either from insufficient probably cause, or the limit gets thrown out.
I really laugh when people predict less crime. Let me clarify one point: Los Zetas and MS13 don't smuggle pot because they feel US consumers should be able to get stoned. They do it because they make money on it. Lots of money. If pot is legalized they are not going to go back to being campesinos in BFE Mexico. They will increase their shipments of cocaine, heroin, and other more profitable items.
It's not about less crime, it's about enforcement. It's too widely used to effectively enforce it. Failed drug policy and a massive waste of resources. You can't stop it. Not with today's science anyway. Maybe one day they'll figure out a way to find it, but right now, you can't stop it. That's proven.
Increasing shipments of Cocaine and other drugs won't happen. The entire drug industry is built on supply and demand like any business. They aren't going to jack-up supply, it will lower the prices and make the drugs worthless. You'd have to have more users. I'm not convinced of the whole "gateway drug" thing. If anything, the opiates that people get from prescription drugs are FAR more likely to be abused and lead to illegal narcotics than weed will. Weed and hardcore drugs are night and day different. That's like saying alcohol will lead to heroin use. Ridiculous.
More than likely the drug cartels will lose money because of domestic supply. They'll concentrate their efforts smuggling into other countries where it remains illegal. But with the United States out of the drug game, you reduce a lot of funds to the drug cartels.
The police can bust smokers by finding weed in their car. I'm not worried about the guy who smokes weed and gets into an accident. That almost never happens. If anything, weed makes you drive slow and over concentrate on driving because your paranoia is so high. You might fall asleep behind the wheel. Whatever the case, every pot smoker I know of lights-up in the car, so the cops would find the drugs. Those who get high, get high all the time.
It's not healthy. It's dumb. There is no point to it. But there is no point to boozing it up either. People are human and they want to be able to swallow some pills, drink some scotch, smoke some cigs and dope and fade out. If you don't, cool. If you do, fine. Just don't hurt anybody or you're going down.
There are moral questions really. The guy who smokes weed when he should be working and supporting his family. The woman smoking it around her kids. That's all unfortunate, just like second hand smoke from cigs is unfortunate. But the Government shouldn't try to enforce banning it. They can't. And it's a huge waste of money.
I like the idea of prescriptions for narcotics. In that the person getting the prescription has to see a doctor and that they are given a set amount they can get, just like regular drugs. A 30 day supply, for instance. And the doctor has to see them every six months. Don't just do what California does and give people a card that says they can smoke weed. Dumb. It needs to be like any other drug. And maybe a physician could then ween people off of it.
There are no easy answers, but I think the population has, and continues to vote on the issue and it'll be legal soon. There are bigger fish to fry and weed is just something that, like other legal substances, you'll have to choose whether you want to smoke it or not.