Everyone’s A Puss

I made a $40 donation to MPP and have this t-shirt coming to me in the mail:

I am not a criminal. Regulate marijuana.

Though you wouldn’t know it from their press release, change.org‘s top item was the decriminilazation of marijuana. It was ahead of the rest by a couple thousand votes (>10% if memory serves since the votes are now gone).

Even though they’re theoretically harnessing the magic of the internet to show what really matters to the American people, change.org threw all the voting detail at the end. I’m pissed as both an activist and a scientist. When some issues are twice as important to the voters than others, that’s not trivial data you can chuck to make your press release sound more reputable by putting the most politically palatable issues at the forefront.

Marijuana prohibition is a simple addressable issue. Peace in the Middle East, poverty, global warming, education; these are complex issues. The solutions will have to take a variety of considerations into account and be nuanced and developed over time. Marijuana prohibition is solved in two steps:

  1. Stop putting adults in jail for responsible use.
  2. Put the budget of the ONDCP to work seeing that anyone who believes themselves to have a substance abuse problem of any sort is able to get help.

Boom. Problem solved. Adult Americans making informed and responsible recreational decisions are no longer criminals. You still put people in jail for doing stupid and injurious things, but the government stops acting in loco parentis for people that, at the very least, need to be learning how to manage their own lives.

I now know lots of people who either get high, have gotten high or have no problem with people getting high. Pretty much every one of those people pretends in their “normal” life that drugs are bad and cause degenerate behavior.

“All that is necessary for evil to take root in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke

What sort of change might have happened if Michael Phelps had just manned up when getting caught doing bong hits and said, “Yeah, I get high from time to time and I’m the fastest fucking swimmer on the planet. Maybe some of what we think about drugs isn’t true.”

Michael Phelps smoking up

Even Craig Ferguson goes through a spiel where he skirts around being a smoker, but he won’t fucking say “drugs aren’t as dangerous as we make them out to be.” He excuses Phelps not because the laws are ill-conceived but because “he’s an extraordinary person.”

At this point in my life I want to become famous just so I can take a stand on things and be upfront about how I actually live my life. I just want to go around shaking people and say, “How long do you plan on living? Why do you help propagate so many lies? Is this how you are going to spend you life?”

I think solving the problem is, at its basis, an economic one. If I can reduce poverty and ease scarcity fears for people being able to provide for themselves, I think I can make some headway on the value of time and necessity of honesty.

(It would be really handy if someone could come up with a way for me to live 200 years because I think maybe this is going to take a while.)

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