Pubdate: Wed, 11 Sep 2002
Source: Stettler Independent (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 Stettler Independent
Author: S. Tyler Warburton, Independent Reporter

My Humble Opinion


I see that some of Canada's bigwigs are advocating the legalization of 
marijuana. Such a move would prove hugely popular with my good friend, Guy 
Onthestreet. I told Guy about it yesterday and this is what he said:

"Whoa... dude. Like, totally... wow, man. That's like... so cool, y'know 
what I'm saying? Whoa, man. Hey, you got some dill pickle potato chips?"

Why do people smoke marijuana? Aside from the people who need it to deal 
with medical problems such as multiple sclerosis or glaucoma, it seems like 
it's just another way to make yourself poor and unhealthy and stupid. Yeah, 
smoking the bud is a real good idea.

Here's a classic argument used by marijuana afficiandos:

"Why is marijuana illegal and alcohol legal? A man who comes home drunk 
will beat his wife and kids and fall asleep. A man who comes home stoned 
will bring home a family pack and sit down to a fried chicken dinner with 
his family."

Yes, and that man may just feel so apathetic the next morning that he'll 
decide to stay home from work. Nothing like willfully throwing your career 
away when you have a family to support. It's almost as bad as beating them up.

Okay, so I admit that I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to 
recreational drugs. I'm proud that I've never even experimented with 
marijuana and, if I have my way, I never will. I see it as a demonic habit 
that humanity, as a whole, would be better off without.

My admittedly harsh views stem back to my teenaged years when I saw my 
closest friend throw everything away because of drugs. Every morning, ever 
since we were kids, we'd meet and walk to school. In junior high, he 
started smoking the weed. On lunch hours he visited his friend's house near 
the school and the two of them would toke up. When they did this, they 
seldom made it back to school in the afternoon.

I consider it a minor miracle that he made it out of junior high; high 
school was his death knell. I'd show up at his house in the morning and 
knock on his bedroom window.

"Go on without me," he'd yell.

He dropped out of high school in his first year. He didn't graduate until 
he was 23 years old.

Buddy's made an effort to turn his life around. He's kicked the drug habit 
and he seems a lot happier.

I'm cynical enough to know that some of the young people reading this are 
laughing right now. They see me as just another fuddy-duddy reactionary who 
thinks their generation is comprised of eternally high juvenile delinquents.

And I'm realistic enough to know that there's a lot of dope smoking going 
on in Stettler. I've seen teenagers smoking it in the parking lot of Wm E. 
Hay and I've seen middle aged men light up a joint in our town's back alleys.

When I see this, I am not filled with a sense of misplaced pride. I do not 
say to myself, "you are much better than that person smoking a joint over 

What I do feel is pity. I feel sorry for the kids who spend their money on 
a form of recreation that has no benefits whatsoever.

So to the marijuana advocate, I pose the following question: "Why should I 
start smoking marijuana? Why should anyone start smoking marijuana? In what 
ways will a person who smokes marijuana be happier than a person who 
doesn't smoke marijuana?"

I've talked to many pot advocates who tell me that the government's 
decision to criminalize marijuana is nothing less than a satanic 
conspiracy. I also dated a girl who told me that God wouldn't listen to her 
prayers unless she was stoned.

Maybe the government has as much right to tell us not to smoke dope as it 
has to tell us not to drink, smoke cigarettes, or pump our life's savings 
into VLTs. Either way, the decision to smoke pot is a stupid one, legal or not.
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