I was looking through the list of people who have put me on their "friends" list for journals to read, and ran across this short one.
I'd jotted a thing down in notepad a couple of weeks ago and let it unfinished, I guess now is the time to post it.
An American Pastime: Smoking Pot
Time Magazine (Via Yahoo News) has an interesting story about the noble weed.
The Netherlands, with its permissive marijuana laws, may be known as the cannabis capital of the world. But a survey published this month in PLoS Medicine, a journal of the Public Library of Science, suggests that the Dutch don't actually experiment with pot as much as one would expect. Despite tougher drug policies in this country, Americans were twice as likely to have tried marijuana than the Dutch, according to the survey. In fact, Americans were more likely to have tried marijuana or cocaine than people in any of the 16 other countries, including France, Spain, South Africa, Mexico and Colombia, that the survey covered.
Like alcohol prohibition was, our newer drug laws are counterproductive. As regular "mcgrew journal" readers know, My friend Linda spent time at Dwight, a hardass Illinois prison, for breaking our insane drug laws. She wasn't a dealer, she was a simple non-violent user. My friend Mike's brother spent five years in a federal prison for loaning money to a drug dealer; "Conspiracy to distribute".
Meanwhile an asshole I know and dislike, Lance Carter, breaks into a man's house and tries to kill him with a large butcher knife and gets only two weeks in the Sangamon County Jail.
Anti-drinking and anti-drug advocates will tell you that the statistics show that the repeal of prohibition nearly doubled alcohol use in this country, but my late grandmother said otherwise. It wasn't the repeal of prohibition that caused the doubling of alcohol use, it was prohibition itself.
The subject came up when my dad had mentioned my pot farm; at the time I was growing it in my basement. She said during prohibition my grandfather had a beermaking kit in his barn. Sadly, I never had the chance to learn how to make beer from my Grandpa, because he suffered a horrible accident on the job working at Purina, because the Purina corporation was too cheap to put doors on an elevator. Grandpa went four stories down an elevator shaft carrying two hundred-pound sacks of livestock feed when I was only seven.
Before prohibition, she told me, women didn't drink - not openly, any way. Women who did drink did so secretly, at home. Salloons were men's places, where the only women were prostitutes, dancers, strippers, and other entertainers. Prohibition changed all that when they closed down the salloons. The new drinkers were the half of the population that didn't drink before - women.
My dad tells me his aunts had tattoos. What was old is new again.
During prohibition there was the "speakeasy", and it was decidedly not men-only. Illinois has instituted a tobacco prohibition of sorts; smoking in a public indoor place is strictly prohibited. Nevertheless I know of two bars here in the Capital city where you can smoke; they have lawyers for that sort of thing.
The law is a huge hypocracy. You have the legal, highly addictive drug tobacco which kills nearly all of its users. Quitting cigarettes was the hardest thing I've ever done. In Thailand when I was there in the Air Force in 1973-1974, some airmen got to that country who hadn't smoked before. They got addicted to both Kool cigarettes and heroin; the heroin was over 99% pure and they would dip their cigarettes in the heroin and smoke it. I met some of these fellows after returning to the US. Not a single one of the guys I met later were still on heroin, but every single one still smoked Kools.
Contrast that to marijuana, which has never killed anyone and is non-addictive, yet you can go to prison for it. I've been smoking pot since 1971, but haven't had any in a month or so (can't afford it right now). No problem.
One night the police were searching my neighborhood for a fugitive, and one passed very close by my basement window with a police dog. I freaked, pulled up all the plants, smoked them, and never grew pot again.