Mary J, Wanna?
The playful rays of the early morning sun dance through the window and fall atop of your blankets. As you slowly warm up, the cozy feeling softly awakens you. A yawn slips out, and and you let out a big stretch. As you sit up, you turn and look out the window, the clear blue sky seems to brighten up your day. When you turn back around, you see your friend barge into the room with a smile from ear to ear. In-between their thumb and index finger is a round, cone-shaped cigarette. You reply to your friend, ‘I don’t smoke, or at least not this early in the day’. Your friend ignores the comment, and lights up the cigarette to reveal that it isn’t nicotine. It’s Marijuana, and your friend takes a puff, and another before stretching out to ask.
In the 1920’s, Cannabis was deemed a poison to the mind. Many perceived it as a deadly drug that would kill you. Later during the 1930’s, Cannabis was ruled as a drug, and it didn’t take long before the American government, and then the world, to consider it an illegal substance.
But why did marijuana get such a bad reputation? Alcohol has worse side effects and far more deaths related to its consumption. Not many people in the world can honestly say that they smoked weed, and then had to power-puke their guts out as a result. How many people can say that they have smoked this leaf, and then died of an overload to their system? None. Of course they would be dead, but you see my point.
We know that one who smokes cannabis for its pungent reward, will most likely get paranoid, dim-witted, care-free, anxious, creative, heightened sense of smell and taste, which can lead to drowsiness and hunger-pangs. Like most drugs out there, it affects many people differently. Some may not like the sensation of smoking as it could cause them to get nervous, or feel negativity lurking around every corner. Others may feel like it makes them sick, while most just get the worse side effect of all, laziness. Although the initial lift-off may make one productive and interested in nearly anything, it will only be a matter of time before reality reminds them of how little they care. Of course despite any negative effect of marijuana, there are few out there, if any, that have actually died from the soft, mellow grip of lustful Mary Jane.
So what about claims that it is a gateway drug? This seems to be modern society’s fall-back argument against this harmless herb. Some claim that marijuana is the key that unlocks a voracious desire for drugs. Then I wonder, couldn’t others argue that alcohol is the true gateway drug? After all it’s legal, and most kids see their parents consume it, and can be drawn to the appeal of its fun. If one finally singes the taste buds with the sharp sting of alcohol, they might realize how fun the altered state is. Couldn’t one easily argue that this refined state of consciousness leads to the transgression of other substances?
What about cigarettes? Some people begin smoking to alleviate stress. Wouldn’t a feeble mind negotiate a few extra bucks to emancipate that stress? Isn’t a smoker that is trying to quit displaying symptoms similar to someone who is trying to get off methadone? Some may claim they can quit cigarettes within three days, but they should save the lies for someone who believes them. One who smokes for the nicotine rush is chasing an addiction similar to someone who needs the pipe.
So what is it that people find so repulsive about smoking weed? Why do people sneer at the thought of smoking cannabis, when a cigarette sticks out from their mouths? It would be interesting to see a world with a inverted scenario, one where nicotine is illegal and Marijuana is legal. The world would be a completely different place, but I still can’t help but wonder, what do countries all over the world have to benefit from making this herb illegal?
One thing I’ve learned growing-up is that no one has all the right answers. You have to learn from what you see, and you may have to accept things that are not accepted by others. We need to learn from everyone around us, and we need to understand that no one person will ever have the answer, but that collectively we will know all there is. What I have learned about this small leaf has opened my eyes to the world around me. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I do want to speak for myself by saying that I have truly awoken to knowledge and wisdom where I would have otherwise been ignorant, if not for marijuana. I have found that I can can have philosophical talks with anyone who is on the same level as I am, and we actually speak intelligently to each other, or so we think. We start to realize a full perception of the world around us, and the strangest part is that instead of not caring, WE DO CARE!
The question is, who has something to gain from stunting intelligence and erratic thinking? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
One thing I do know is that the world around us is changing. With change comes a difference, with difference comes confusion, and with confusion comes hostility. We need to open our idealism and realize that marijuana is only helping us to achieve this. If we start to open our eyes to that reality, then maybe we can finally make a change. It’s time that the ‘War On Drugs’ is uprooted and we turn to what truly needs to be focused on. Why continue funding the persecution of marijuana when we could be using that money to stop real threats to safety like illegal prescription drugs, crooked police, or other powerful life-altering drugs such as meth and crack. Next time you are in a circle of friends, and someone taps you on your shoulder and asks:
Smile and remember, what you think is illegal and what you think is morally right are two different lines drawn by the government. Legal doesn’t make it right.