Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, August 30, 2013

In One Fear And Out The Other

I was struck by the final quote in this piece.  By 2020, marijuana is likely to be effectively legal for most Americans.  And at the end, a drug warrior was basically predicting the collapse of American civilization because of it.

As with marriage equality, I think what we will see is that legalization of marijuana will prove to be a nothing-burger for most people.  Legalized or not, I'm not smoking pot.  I don't smoke, so why start?

But the idea that marijuana is somehow demon weed or we'll all see reefer madness fundamentally misunderstands how marijuana works on the brain.  But we've used fear for so long to keep it illegal that drug warriors have effectively forced themselves into a corner.  Pot isn't heroin or cocaine, and when it becomes clear that it's not, we will lose one of the things we've been scared by for decades.

It depresses me how much we live in fear - fear of terrorists, fear of potheads, fear of black teenagers in hoodies carrying Skittle, fear of gay people getting married, fear of the government - and how toxic we know fear and anxiety are to us as organisms.

I've worried that Thing One will grow up to be some mountain man living in a cabin in the woods.

Then I wonder if that might not be a good thing.

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