A Day, and a Drug, Like Any Other

Day 46 - West Midlands Police - Cannabis Drugs...

Day 46 – West Midlands Police – Cannabis Drugs Raid (Photo credit: West Midlands Police)

Today is 4/20, or 420, or whatever you want to call it. I never did research the significance of the number, and frankly it is irrelevant. To many pot enthusiasts around America, and even around the world, the number 420, and therefore today’s date, is important. It is a day when legalization gets more attention, a day when people are more open about celebrating their drug of choice, at least that particular drug of choice. It is too bad we live in a society that does not allow it most of the rest of the year.

In the interest of disclosure I will mention, once again, that I am an occasional pot smoker. As with any drug, including alcohol, I have  never understood the desire to engage regularly in heavy use. I like to keep all my tolerances low, so those times I do indulge are truly special. That said, if you like to do it every day, even multiple times a day, that is your business. So long as you are mindful of the fact that any of those substances effect your judgement, balance, and reflexes, and therefore your ability to engage in certain activities (driving is always the first to come to mind) then knock yourself out, possibly literally.

As much as I have difficulty wrapping my head around the desire to use regularly, I get even less the desire to puff out one’s chest with self-righteousness because one does not partake, or only partakes of “acceptable” drugs (I am reminded of Bill Hicks’ questioning which drug, alcohol or pot, a particularly belligerent member of a crowd more likely to be a user of.) Like any intoxicant, marijuana can be psychologically addictive. That said, it is not physically addictive, it does far less harm to your body than alcohol (yes it pushes up your risk of stroke a very little bit, booze pushes up your risk of liver failure a lot.) The general nature of a pot buzz makes you less likely to make a particularly bad decision (you will lack the motivation) as opposed to alcohol, which makes it more likely that you will make the bad decision.

Please keep in mind I am not writing this to beat up on drinkers, even heavy drinkers. You want to tie one on, so long as you do so responsibly, be my guest. I just do not understand how, even today, after so much dialogue, after surveys showing people generally agree that cannabis should be at least decriminalized if not outright legalized, that so much of our cultural narrative still pushes the notion of pot use as a moral failing. I have known pot heads that are hard-working, smart business people. I have also known pot heads that are lazy wastoids that think of nothing but their favorite intoxicant. The same can be said, however, of drinkers I have known. For that matter the same can be said of people who are addicted to abstract intoxicants: television shows, religion, politics, games. Any of these can be fun in moderation and a danger if it becomes the central focus of your life. We are complex creatures and we need more than one kind of input to truly be alive.

So today is 4/20. Pause to think about how much you think about pot, whatever those thoughts are, and smoke it if you got it. Or don’t, it’s your choice.

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