While everyone else in the world is panicking over the economic state and hoping that Congress can come to a resolution for the 900 billion dollar stimulus package, the media darlings have been captivated on reporting on the now suspension and loss of endorsements for American golden boy, Michael Phelps. I mean I'm at work and go to CNN.com to see if the Senate voted for the stimulus package yet, and at the top of the page reads a BREAKING NEWS banner in yellow. I got excited and thought "Oh thank God. They are going to help us finally." Wrong, wrong. It was in regards to Michael Phelps. When he was winning all of those gold medals this summer, did they have BREAKING NEWS banners on CNN? I hope not, because while I am an uber fan, I think that's not CNN's arena and it's not that serious anyways. For him it is and yes, I suppose, for Americans as well b/c we all were amazed, but maybe that is the problem. We all got so wrapped up in him and his achievements, so when it comes out that he is a normal 23 year old, the world turns their back on him. WELL NOT ME... Phelps gets all the respect from me in the world, but I do wish that he would not apologize for it. As a person who smoked refeer in high school, I hate all of the stereotypes that are associated with the substance. When I have asked people why they don't smoke, it's always the "I'm not a hippie/loser" comments that get sent my way. News flash... A lot of people that you like, musicians, actors, writers, etc., have either smoked pot or still do it, so are they losers? I think not.
I know it is illegal. That should be the basis of all of the arguments, but there have been plenty of organizations that fight to decriminalize weed, and most cities allow you to have up to an ounce or two on you, without it being a felony. Do you understand how much weed that is? Obviously the critics don't. I think the government is stuck in the past, and should have reformed this in the late 1960s. Well they did-kind of. In 1970, the government reacted to the hyper-liberalism of the late 1960s, by banning the substance that the college students used recreationally, and Congress considered pot in the same category as heroin, cocaine, etc., and put out that all time favorite myth: marijuana is a gateway drug. A gateway to gaining weight b/c folks have the munchies. Lol. I know it's serious and I know it's illegal, but I side with the smokers on this one. Weed has been given a bad name.
So where do we go from here:
Other than support groups that fight for the legalization of marijuana, and not just for medical reasons, citizens that actually want reform need to speak out. To me, alcohol is much worse than reefer, and as someone who suffers from a horrible relationship with my liquid friend, I would much rather see pot legal than alcohol, or cigarettes while I'm at it. The truth is that alcohol and cigarettes are big businesses and they have lobbyists who fight hard to keep them around. Marijuana doesn't have the same. And I think I understand why politicians were so adamant about criminalizing reefer. The whole "gateway drug" excuse is not in regards to actual substance. They were worried that if they legalized pot, the heroin/cocaine users would come out of the wood works to fight for the legalization of those drugs. Makes sense to me, although I do buy into some conspiracy theories. LOL.
Smart, functional pot smokers or those like me who advocate it, should start at the local levels and present ideas that the city could vote on. In some ways, this is already happening and has been successful, but it needs to be done in a more organized and publicized manner. I think that weed should be under the same system as alcohol, and counties and/or cities need to vote if they want to be "high" or "dry." LOL.
We are wasting tax payer money by putting people in jails and prison for possessing/selling weed. So many young men and women wouldn't be in the system and have their lives ruined for providing the public with something that there is a high demand for. The government is missing an chance to make huge amounts of money. If they banned non-regulated reefer outlets, similar to what happens to people who make and sell moonshine/homemade alcohol, it would alleviate cartel influence(mainly the need for Americans police to gaurd the border so heavily to stop border violence which is all connected to weed) and home growers. If the American government would grow, package, and tax marijuana, they would make so much money. And trust me when I say, I don't want non-governmental entities doing so, I mean the actual government would have to be in charge of this. It would stop what Seth Rogen talks about in Pineapple Express: the awkward relationship with the buyer and his/her dealer b/c it is very akward. You don't understand it, unless you have been in that position. It could be another branch of some department, and it would be heavily regulated and tested. It would do a lot of people a huge service and the urban, suburban, and rural youth, because it is everywhere and people of all ages/classes/ethnic groups smoke, would stop achieving to be a drug dealer b/c it is an easy way out. Seriously. We owe that to ourselves and the next generation. No one should aspire to be a drug dealer, because they see that as the only way of escaping poverty or making "easy" money.
So I say go refeer smokers, and stop placing antiquated labels on people... Maybe Phelps is what we need to see... The image of an American hero, a productive member of society, and still smokes reefer. He needs to embrace this position, and while he will lose endorsements and may not be able to swim again professionally, it would be awesome and I'd like him even more.
To answer 311's age old question: "Who's got the herb?" Obviously, Michael Phelps does. Hahahaha.