I was struck by the idiocy of the furor around the picture of Michael Phelps taking a hit from a bong.
This kid is clearly one of the most incredible athletes in the world right now and he was forced to do the mea culpa circuit for smoking pot.
The original laws against Marijuana were racist in nature, specifically targeting Hispanics. The arguments used against pot were complete fabrications about how Hispanics and Blacks who smoked became crazed beasts who might even look at a White Woman.
I remember a great propaganda film called Reefer Madness that I saw when I was in college. It portrayed pot users as wild beasts, capable of murder and rape. I went to college in the 70's. Most everyone I knew smoked from time to time. None of them were murders or rapists.
And now, any attempt to legalize pot run into a hailstorm of illogic and outright lies.
The biggest lie is the "gateway drug" lie. The only reason pot is a gateway to more serious drug use is that its illegal. Once you have crossed the line into illegal drug use, there are fewer barriers to cross before you graduate to seriously harmful drugs.
Marijuana is not physically addictive (unlike both alcohol and tobacco).
Marijuana is much less physically harmful than alcohol.
Marijuana is not a gateway to other crimes of violence like alcohol is.
Alcohol leads directly to the deaths of around 200,000 Americans a year. Tobacco leads to the death of perhaps 400,000 every year.
Show me a study that links any deaths to Marijuana.
I have no doubt that people high on pot have done stupid things like drive and ended up dead or killing other people. Nothing close to the number killed in the same way by Alcohol. But I am sure it happens.
Marijuana use probably leads to lung cancer. Pulling smoke into your lungs and holding it there is not actually going to be good for you. But since most smokers that I know smoke maybe a joint a day, I doubt it has the same impact as a pack of cigarettes.
Its another testament to Republicans and their fondness for belief based laws that marijuana is still illegal.
My poison of choice is alcohol. Despite all the drugs I could have tried in college, I never did for no reason other than I just didn't care to. But I should have the choice. The same way I can choose to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol.
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