Marijuana has been available for sale legally in Colorado for a couple of weeks now. As predicted by some, legal marijuana is driving people toward some shockingly idiotic public behavior, but so far none of it is coming from the users.
The normally sound and reserved David Brooks may have produced the most embarrassing commentary so far on the subject. By getting all personal about what’s wrong with marijuana legalization, he revealed perhaps a little too much.
His article on the subject ended up being an accidental piece about how affluent white Americans live on a completely different planet from everyone else. It’s clearly a nice place, with a different colored sky, where well-heeled youngsters experiment with narcotics without the faintest suggestion of concern that it might place them in the cross-hairs of local law enforcement.
Brooks describes the gradual process by which he and his young friends gradually abandoned weed in the most agonizingly clueless terms:
We graduated to more satisfying pleasures. The deeper sources of happiness usually involve a state of going somewhere, becoming better at something, learning more about something, overcoming difficulty and experiencing a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
One close friend devoted himself to track. Others fell deeply in love and got thrills from the enlargements of the heart. A few developed passions for science or literature.
So his young friends were rescued by art and literature, except for that one kid who apparently suffered from some sort of heart condition. The irony of course is that Brooks is describing what people will experience in an environment in which pot is essentially legal. For those who grow up white and affluent, minor marijuana use IS effectively legal and almost everyone has done it. Nowhere in his maudlin account does he describe being dragged out of his car by police or having his access to college loans ripped away because he got caught. That simply isn’t part of the prohibition experience for certain Americans.
Whatever thought I may have had of using weed in high school went up in smoke with the first “dog runs” on campus. It would begin with pagers (remember pagers?) going off all over the school and dealers scrambling to get out of class. Police vans would arrive, the on-campus cops would lock down the classrooms, and no one would be allowed out until the dogs had made their sweep. Whoever was loose in the hallway would be arrested. Police would come remove from class the culprits whose lockers had been sniffed out and cart them off to jail.
What was Brook’s marijuana nightmare?:
I smoked one day during lunch and then had to give a presentation in English class. I stumbled through it, incapable of putting together simple phrases, feeling like a total loser. It is still one of those embarrassing memories that pop up unbidden at 4 in the morning.
Yea, those memories are tough to live with.
As awkward as Brook’s commentary may be, no one can ever top Sen. Ted Cruz for pure absurdity. Fearless, even in the face of crippling contradictions, Cruz assaulted Obama’s “Imperial” Presidency by criticizing the President’s refusal to send the feds to shut down Colorado’s marijuana markets.How does this theory square with states rights, limited government, and liberty? When you’ve already made up your mind, everything is evidence that supports your opinion.
For once, the National Review actually nails it:
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado — and the push for its legalization elsewhere — is a sign that Americans still recognize some limitations on the reach of the state and its stable of nannies-in-arms. The desire to discourage is all too easily transmuted into the desire to criminalize, just as the desire to encourage metastasizes into the desire to mandate.
Colorado is doing fine so far and although there are a lot of kinks to work out in their regulatory scheme, it is reasonable to expect that the miserable era of prohibition is nearing its end. We won’t miss it.