Sunday, January 05, 2014

If It's All Poison, Why Can't We Choose?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," day three of a snow day weekend! Oh, by all the bored gods, it's so nice to be sort of, a little bit, okay somewhat, caught up on some things!

Here's a nice photo, taken by a man named Bruce Lin, of some of the wenches in the Two Street Stompers. This is just about the best photo I have ever seen of the "rank and file" members of our club. It's hard to describe men in dresses to people who've never seen the Mummers Parade. This helps bundles, so thanks, Mr. Wonderful Photographer!

Today's sermon sort of begins with the Mummers, but it diverges quickly, so settle in.

The Mummers Parade is sponsored by one of Philadelphia's big casinos. There are now casinos in Philly, Atlantic City, Allentown, and Valley Forge. The Philly casinos are expanding. A new one will soon be built just two blocks from Independence Hall. These casinos advertize on radio and television. Needless to say, if you want them to, they will email you early and often.

I grew up in genteel poverty. My father, who was not particularly religious, thought gambling was a sin. He said it ruined lives. And you might say, "Well, yes, it ruins people financially ... puts perfectly good families out on the street, breaks up relationships, and is addictive to at least some of its users." Let me tell you, congregation: I know someone who died of gambling. Died of it. She was so addicted to casino gambling that she ignored every sign of sickness in order to keep playing poker. On her premature deathbed, she begged her family to take her to Atlantic City.

Do I need to go into the many and varied woes associated with alcohol? I think not. Some people can drink all they want and never have a bad day. Other people aren't so fortunate. Blah blah blah ... this is a tired re-hash. I'm moving on.

Both gambling and booze are bad for some people, but our society accepts them.But now the plot thickens.

The state of Colorado has legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The state expects a financial windfall from taxation of the product, and there's no way to project how this legalization will affect tourism. And from many quarters there is loud lamentation and hand-wringing about how dangerous weed is, how it will fall into the hands of teenagers and contribute to fatal automobile accidents and cause a whole generation of Colorado youngsters to become brain-damaged, listless stoners with no future.

I'm not going to hop on a jet and go out to Denver for a Rocky Mountain high anytime soon, but I honestly applaud Colorado for this move. It has never been difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana. There is no difference between stoned driving and drunk driving. As for young, developing brains, well ... they've already been under siege from booze and pharmaceuticals, both of which can usually be found in Pop Pop's kitchen cabinets.

Smoking reefer is exactly as perilous as gambling and drinking. I do not see one iota of difference. Most people will be able to light up the occasional doobie and enjoy themselves immensely without harm to themselves or others. Some people will have problems with it. To be completely candid, however, I will say that I've seen people really, really drunk, and I've seen people really, really stoned. The stoners get my vote. They're not likely to pick a bloody fight over the relative merits of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.

Brothers and sisters, many things that are legal and pleasurable are bad for us. No one has proven that weed is worse than the legal poisons of booze and gambling. Therefore, why are these cash-strapped states depriving themselves of a taxable product that would be regulated for its purity?

I say, give us freedom of choice with this all-natural pleasure-enhancer! And I am not saying this because I use weed. I'm saying it because it's no worse than the highly-taxed alcohol and casino industries.

When it comes to picking your poison, I say we should have extreme latitude. How would legalization of pot in my state affect me? Oh my soul. Have you ever rolled up to a turnpike toll booth without enough money to pay your way ... because they just raised the rates again?

Rocky. Mountain. High.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You make a good case. Governments and people are hypocritical about what is accepted, regulated and taxed by the state and what is criminalized.


I think it's going to spread from state to state when people see how much money they are making.

Anne Johnson said...

Yep, just like casino gambling!

Jenn said...

Huzzah! With legalization I am hoping that there will soon be a push to use hemp products. Better for our environment, and cheaper in the long run.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between drunk driving and stoned driving: drunk drivers tend to drive too fast while stoned drivers tend to drive too slow.