Marijuana Ruminations

Updated April 2, 2002: Not much new stuff added, but a little.

Marijuana needs to be legalized...or alcohol and cigarrettes need to be illegalized (and we tried that once with prohibition). Marijuana is less corosive to the body than alcohol, and cigarettes do just as much damage to lungs yet offer no medicinal value.
The reasons marijuana was illegalized in the first place had nothing to do with health or "drugs", it was all politics and economics (what isn't). The lumber industry (which was a powerhouse back then like the oil industry is now) lobbied for prohibition of hemp because it's far more efficient to make paper products from hemp than lumber. Just think, we could still have all our beautiful forests if farmers had been growing hemp all this time. The lumber industry knew this, though. Also, marijuana was billed as the drug that made "fine, upstanding, white women" sleep with minorities. Alcohol was used by whites, while marujuanna was used by blacks and hispanics.

I'm just touching on these issues. The information is out there, so do some research. Don't just believe the anti-marijuana propoganda, much of which is flat out lies. Most of the "effects" you will hear attributed to marijuana are either not true, or they are only true while one is under the influence. So, just like alcohol, once you sober up, you're fine. But people under the influence of marijuana are far less likely to fight, vandalize, rape, cause accidents, and do all the other damage that drunks do. Anyone who's been around drunks and been around stoned people can testify to that. A great source for debunking the lies we're often told about marijuana is Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, by Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D, and John P. Morgan, M.D. In this book, they give detailed explanations of the various myths that exist regarding marijuana, where they came from, and why're they're simply false. Some of the myths debunked in the book are: Marijuana's harms have been scientifically proven. Marijuana is a gateway drug. Marijuana is highly addictive. Marijuana kills brain cells. Marijuana policy in The Netherlands is a failure. Marijuana causes crime. And many more.

This is not meant to encourage anyone to smoke pot, because--with our unjust laws--you could end up in prison. This is meant to make you think, do some research, and hopefully write your congressperson and let him/her know that it's time for our laws to be reformed. All the decent, hardworking, citizens out there who are law-abiding other than their use of marijuana need to speak up and remove the stigma. There's nothing wrong with smoking pot.


Legalize Homepage
Hylo's Legalize Page
Honeybud's Site
Another link full of info on hemp
Howlin' Dave's Site

Don't be fooled. The "war on drugs" is a war on civil rights, and it's costing our country billions. It's also filling our prisons with nonviolent people who pose no harm to society, forcing more dangerous prisoners to be set free. People caught growing marijuanna often spend more time in jail than people convicted of rape! The new television spots by the Office of National Drug Control Policy are horribly hypocritical...the ones that have people saying "I helped kill civilians by using drugs". It is ONLY because drugs are illegal that the money from them goes to criminals. Why can't our government remember a disasterous experiment from the twenties known as Prohibition? The people who insist on waging "war" against peaceful, otherwise-law-abiding drug users are the ones who insure that drug money flows to terrorists.

Classifying marijuana on the highest level (most dangerous) of drugs--which it certainly is not--is not only dishonesst, it is dangerous. Kids try marijuana and see that it's harmless, so then they think, "well, hey...heroine must not be that bad either." We need to be honest and admit that marijuana is a drug like caffeine or sugar, not like cocaine or crack.

Also, the argument that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that leads users toward harder drugs is bogus. More hard drug users list alcohol and/or cigarettes as drugs they used before moving on to more dangerous drugs than do marijuana. So, once again, if its status as a "gateway" drug is a reason to illegalize marijuana, then alcohol and cigarettes should be illegal, too. Plus, an honest classification of marijuana would lessen its influence as a "gateway" drug, as I pointed out one paragraph up.

Al Coholic can drink himself unconsious every night and face no legal consequences (though his body will soon revolt). However, Mary Jane can smoke a joint every month or so, on a weekend when all effects will have worn off before she returns to work, and she can be fired for it. The testing and subsequent termination of workers for marijuana usage on their own time is unfair and unconstitutional; it only serves to perpetuate the myth that marijuana is dangerous and on a different level than alchohol and cigarettes.

Fight the misinformation. Fight the injustice. Fight for your rights.

Check out the Hylo Bates' Site Map. Hylo Bates' Homepage II is here.
Or check out the letter I wrote to the local newspaper about marijuana prohibition.