Saturday, January 21, 2012

Marijuana Mania

Through the years our government, whether local or federal, has painted drugs as a whole and marijuana in particular, as a killer of success. The last few years of commercials that focus only on marijuana are not only misleading, but possibly devastating to the public as a whole.

What is the character of a pot smoker displayed on television? The last commercial blitz I remember was the "Above the Influence," campaign where animations designed to be hip enough to grab a young one's attention were broadcast constantly. One had a guy lighting up and his girlfriend saying, "oh no, not that again." Then a spaceship lands and an alien walks up. The guy offers him his joint, the alien declines, the girl runs off with the alien. Another has a guy smoking while his dog looks on. The guy says "stop looking at me, I can quit any time I want." The dog replies, "how about now?" The guy states, "next week would be better." Dog replies, "you disappoint me." 

For the record, I have never been high and heard any animal speak.

I guess it is better than the commercials showing people killing other people because of smoking, everyone figured out that was a lie. So they go subtle. Lose a girlfriend and deny addiction. From Reefer Madness, (a favorite that everyone should watch), through the seventies until today, every commercial on marijuana shows the user being a loser. What a great way to raise our young. 

Think about it. Does not raising children include building self-esteem? We have millions of teens smoking pot, and the message we give them is that they are losers. They will never grow up to be anything. They will never accomplish anything. They are criminals and will more than likely end up in jail.

What a great way to lose citizens. 

Instead of giving up this crazy endeavor and begin educating our children on the facts of marijuana use, (pros and cons), and embracing that sector into the public, we lose possibly talented individuals. Right now, only as an artist of some sort, is it acceptable to indulge in drugs. In fact, that almost seems a requirement. But for those kids without that type of talent, where do they go?

I would like to blame this on religion, but I would be wrong. We might as well face the facts, there are two main reasons that this harmless drug is still illegal.

First off, it is legal racism. If you want to keep minorities from having any influence, lock them all up. Beats developing fair immigration laws. There is no denying the facts that most of those rotting in jail from a drug bust are not white. In numbers, as many whites partake, but they get a pass for the most part. Equal rights is a myth when it comes to nonviolent drug offenders.

Secondly, it generates revenue for the government and with the privatization of our prison system, free market revenue is also on the rise. Judges, attorneys and prison guards are the simplest examples of how crime creates jobs. The last time that California tried to change the laws on marijuana, (they wanted to educate instead of imprisoning), the prison guard unions spent millions to defeat the plan. I know that they are trying to protect jobs, but maybe this is an area where we do not need to be hiring.

I would venture a third reason, it allows the police state to grow. An unending war that only escalates every year gives every big city their own private army. There was a post on AU that showed New York City as having the seventh largest armed force in the world. Great.

I think that if marijuana is ever to be legal, the statement that proponents should make is showing that pot smokers can be successful people. Education is a must. Priorities can be discussed. Get up in the morning, do the work you need to do, take care of family and friends, then get stoned if that's how you want to relax. You can instill good work and life ethics by embracing those who smoke instead of making them criminals. 

In Texas, the NORML group was being lead by an ex-NFL player. He didn't smoke during games or practice, or even during the season. On his own time off season he did. Give us some commercials showing people who are successful, and who smoke, then you may change the laws. I know people who run their own successful businesses that have smoked pot since they were teenagers. 

These are the commercials needed. If we stop hiding who we are, it would become apparent that a smoker can be successful, moral and rational.

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