Monday, July 13, 2009

Legalize it? Really? You're kidding.

Greetings to the world at large, once again I come before you with a worthless rant that will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks some time after Stephen Hawking discovers the light switch inside a black hole.

Allow me to preface this rant by saying I am not a drug user. I quit smoking cigarettes six years ago and I only smoked weed twice back in my college days. Didn't enjoy it. I don't honestly get what the big deal is. I don't own a bong. I don't know how to make a bong out of anything. Although I've witnessed other people do that and that is awesome. Marijuana users are very resourceful. If you sit still long enough around them they might turn you into a bong. It's kinda creepy now that I think about it. Ah, the parties of my youth. Good times.

It is not because I believe there's something wrong with drugs. I don't. It's because one, they are slightly illegal at the moment. Two, I can't afford them. And three, my brain's pretty fucked up already without any help from foreign chemicals invading my bloodstream. However, I consider drug usage as a form of body manipulation. It's not against the law for an informed adult to get a piercing or a tattoo, so it shouldn't be against the law to send your consciousness to Mars and back for the day, so long as you pay the fare your own self.

That is of course where my idealism breaks down. I mean if I got a tattoo with my ex-wife's name, and I wanna get married again, and my fiance wants me to get rid of the tattoo, I don't go to the government and ask them to pay for it. However, if I am addicted to drugs and I can't afford to take care of it myself, I have read there are currently processes in place that'd help me rehabilitate and those processes are sometimes paid for by the government.

Now let's avoid the argument of lumping all drugs together. I'm going to dismiss cocaine and heroin and acid outright, or at the very least reserve them for another rant that may never come. I'm sure others find them therapeutic. I might agree with straight LSD under very controlled conditions but acid? Laced with strychnine? Let's just skip that. That stuff ain't gonna become illegal.

However, marijuana becoming legal, while President Obama laughs at the notion openly, is not completely out of the question, which is why I'm ranting.. or rambling. California is under financial duress. Heck, all of America is. California has been wrestling for decades with the issue of marijuana. A lot of people there want weed to be legal, and a lot of people there don't. However, like in most of America, if you really want cannabis, there's a way to get it. The law only keeps people like me from partaking, and I'm very much in the minority. In California it's easier, because although federal law is the same across the country, in the state of California they've invented a loophole - marijuana for medicinal purposes is acceptable. So all you gotta do is find the right doctor.

We like to believe we live in a free society but the fact of the matter is our freedoms are bought and paid for every day by corporate monolithic monsters that I like to believe the book of Revelations refers to as The Beast. Not because I necessarily believe in the modern day evangelical interpretation of the New Testament, but because I find it amusingly poetic. The corporate beast owns our souls, and the corporate beast wants us to coexist together in a lulled state of illusion where we think we are free to do anything but we are really only free to do anything that will allow us to still show up at work on time and operate heavy machinery when needed. So, why is alcohol still legal? Well, have you ever had a vodka martini at three in the afternoon? Corporate beasts really like to drink their vodka martinis at three in the afternoon.

When push comes to shove you can sober up if necessary. Not to operate a forklift maybe, but a breath mint and a glass of water and you're right as rain. However, if you've been getting high? That's a slightly different story. You might think you're fooling us straight and narrow types? But your eyes are bloodshot, you just laughed at the fern in the corner, and you smell like a Cheech and Chong Marathon.

People are thinking we need to legalize marijuana. My gut instinct is to agree. Legalize it. Let the government, in conjunction with the corporate beasties out there, regulate it. Tax the shit out of it. Our current economic recession/depression would be solved overnight, on a federal level at least.

However, let's imagine for a moment that you're a drug seller. You don't have to admit it. This is just hypothetical. A friend of mine explained this to me and I found it an interesting psychological conundrum. You've been selling for years. You don't sell to get rich. You know a guy who knows a guy and you make it available to your friends at a reasonable price. Maybe you don't even make any profit but if you're smart you make a tidy one. You believe drugs should be freely available but they shouldn't be free, and why not make enough money on the side to maybe cover your cable bill? What would happen if suddenly all your friends who come to you for marijuana were suddenly able to go down to the local convenience store? Maybe the price at Seven Eleven is more than it was with you, but there it's legal. There it even comes prepackaged and in a cute little box that a thousand marketing dudes figured out was going to please the buyers more than the cellophane bags you've been using. And though marijuana might become legal, it still won't be legal for you to sell it. The corporate beast will see to that. Why would they want your competition, when they already own the infrastructure to sell products to people, and they already control the government that makes the rules determining who can sell how to whom?

You will not be able to compete with the corporate beast if it gets its hands on your business. Suddenly you won't be able to pay your cable bill. Will this happen overnight? Depends on how soon the corprate beast realizes it's been letting you make money that it could have been making all this time.

This could be the worst thing that's ever happened to the people who have been selling all this time. It won't be illegal to sell marijuana, so major companies will partake. It won't be illegal anymore to carry marijuana, so buyers will no longer need a black market to help them keep the transaction quiet. And will this be grandfathered? Would all the people currently in jail because they broke the laws on the books at the time be allowed free? Won't they be pissed? They get out and see their livlihoods of selling drugs are in the hands of Krogers and Walmart. If you ask for a job from these corporate beasts, you won't be able to put "have illegally sold weed for years" on your resume. For the people who have been doing this illegally all this time, the idea of legalizing it is the worst thing that could possibly happen to them. You'd probably be better off being arrested and thrown in jail. At least then you get free room and board.

You still want to legalize it? Really? You're kidding.

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