Legal weed is making people crazy

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.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Ownership Society
38 comments on “Legal weed is making people crazy
  1. GG says:

    Marijuana should be treated the same way alcohol and cigarettes are. Legal and taxed. No matter what we like to think this country is full of drug addicts from all socio-economic levels, whether they are illegal, legal or prescription drugs, which I think are far more insidious than the other two, considering a lot of people are addicted to them who live right next door to us and who we work with. Many might be surprised just how many soccer moms are driving around under the influence of prescription anti-depressants and pain meds which they are abusing. We are a nation full of instant gratification and “feel good” demanding people.

  2. Just because marijuana didnt fit well with Mr. Brooks or that it made him feel like a loser, well if thats the case, he was probably already a loser, his type of thinking is not really “optimistic” so maybe he should have fixed that, and not use marijuana as an excuse to blame his failings on…

    I agree that certain Americans do not experience the effects of the drug war as much as others.. but the fact of the matter is that, Marijuana helps people, plain and simple. The senseless war on this divine plant is coming to an end. You cannot create a law against nature and expect it to stand tall forever. Its a personal choice to put what you want in your body without harming other people!!! By keeping it illegal they are stripping you of a personal freedom, as well they outlaw a natural plant that makes you silly… go watch
    David Brooks clearly has not seen Joe Rogans’ Talking Monkeys in space special…

  3. DanMan says:

    I have a buddy in CA that says you can get a glaucoma diagnoses over the phone and have the prescription e-mailed to you. He carries that prescription with him when he comes carrying through IAH and has never had a problem.

    He said its pretty much:

    Doc “turn your head and cough”

    “hack hack”

    Doc “yep, sounds bad, here you go”

  4. fiftyohm says:

    I think the debate here may be misdirected. The question should not be whether or not dope causes social harm. It should not be even whether enforcement of drug laws does social harm. (Strong arguments can be made for both.) The real question is whether it is the proper business of government to make dope illegal.

    As JG has opined, alcohol is far, far more dangerous. Withdrawal from it makes withdrawal from a heroin habit look like a mild hangover, with mortality approaching 1 in 4 if medically unsupervised. Alcohol’s toll on the health of abusers, their families, and society at large is well documented and incontrovertible. So why not just prohibit it?

    Because we tried that before, and the unintended consequences were worse? No. Rather, we do not prohibit it because governmental prohibitions on the personal choices of a free people are wrong. (At lease, that *should be* the reason.)

    Listen: It’s not written down anywhere that our Constitution directs the most efficient society. Or the safest. Or the kindest. These are nice things, but hold no candle to the advantages of personal liberty. You take the good with the bad, or you come away with nothing at all.

    • fiftyohm says:

      “at least”, not “at lease”. Used to be able to correct typos…

    • John Galt says:

      I’m curious, 50, what you think about legalization of harder drugs. Many of your arguments would apply to them, too, but there is an increased risk of criminal/dangerous behavior that might argue for banning them on public safety grounds.

      • flypusher says:

        Has anyone ever used something like meth or crack and not inflicted horrible damage on themselves and the people around them? Granted, their illegality and the consequences that derive from that play a major role, but looking at just the biological effects is quite horrifying. (And then there’s krokodil)

        We could let natural selection take its course here, but I admit that troubles me.

      • fiftyohm says:

        JG- I view all drugs in the same way. (I do make an exception in the case of antibiotics, for reasons I am certain you understand!). It’s the “good with the bad” principle. Indeed there are valid public safety arguments to be made. Freedom has consequences. I am prepared to accept them.

      • fiftyohm says:

        FP- Pick your poison. If you think everyone, (or even most, or even a quarter), who have ever smoked crack or meth is an addict or has suffered the horrific consequences of their chronic use, you would be quite wrong. If you really want to see havoc wreaked on the body and mind, take a few hours and study chronic alcohol abuse. I think you will be shocked. No kidding.

      • flypusher says:

        50, you’ll get no disagreement from me about what alcohol can do. But there is also the other side, where plenty of people can use it recreationally and function just fine. What I wonder is, if you can separate out the negative consequences that arise solely from the illegality, how much of the bad is from the chemical properties of a given drug, and how much is an individual’s tendency to get addicted?

      • John Galt says:

        I basically agree, 50. The sky has not fallen in those places that have semi-legalized things like heroin, though most of them have made an effort to treat use and addiction as a public health problem. I’d rather spend my tax money on treatment clinics than jails but my concern is that we wouldn’t do the former, so we would still end up doing the latter when addiction feeds crime.

    • DanMan says:

      hellya fiftyohm

    • flypusher says:

      I’m reminded of a Dennis Miller joke that goes something like – even if you managed to totally ban every mind-altering chemical, people would still go out on the lawn and spin rapidly in circles until they got dizzy and fell down.

      The urge to alter one’s consciousness may be a common trait among higher vertebrates. There’s plenty of documentation of various birds and mammals getting intoxicated when the opportunity presents itself.

    • fiftyohm says:

      FP- If I understand your question correctly, you are making a distinction between physical and psychological addiction. Physical addiction to any substance very rarely exists without psychological dependence. For the addict, the latter is usually the most difficult to overcome, the longest lived, and the source of relapse. There is very good evidence that suggests a strong genetic component in addictive behavior – and one that is not particularly associated with one substance over another. Consider that one of the drugs used most often in the treatment of alcoholics is an opioid receptor agonist.

  5. John Galt says:

    Marijuana is intoxicating, reducing the user’s mental acuity and inducing an alternate reality. One certainly shouldn’t do it before operating heavy machinery or while pregnant. In other words, it’s exactly like alcohol, except probably less addictive. There are drugs for which legalization gives me some concerns (heroin, meth); pot is not one of them. Legalizing it is a win for users, a win for growers, a win for the tax man, and a win for most of law enforcement, which can turn its gaze to more pressing matters. I am off to Colorado this weekend (not related to pot – I actually don’t like the stuff), so I’ll report back on whether it has turned into a modern-day Sodom.

  6. DanMan says:

    I enjoyed awesome privilege when I got busted in Grimes County many moons ago. They tossed me in the women’s cell because they had a bunch of rowdy drunks in the men’s. Took at least an hour to get a bondsman out of Navasota and I was on my way. I think I ultimately paid a $200 fine.

    Another time at Surfside popo pulled up to my car and demanded to search it on the beach. We had picked up a hitch hiker with a bed roll and he convinced the cops he had nothing to do with us. So there we are all spread eagle against the car as a crowd surrounds the scene. Just as they are about to let the hitch hiker go they ask him to open his bedroll. Bogart was holding out on us! He had so much stuff they tossed him in the car and told us to wait until another cop showed up that was on the way. Turns out my brother held out and away we went to enjoy the rest of the day!

    My kids saw Dazed and Confused and swore it was me in the movie. Fun times I tells ya.

    • goplifer says:

      How many years did you spend in prison over that Surfside bust?

      Oh, and paint yourself black, go back to Grimes County, and see if they put you in the women’s cell this time.

      Racial issues aside, wow man. You rocked it pretty hard back in the day.

      • DanMan says:

        I do recall a circumstance when being black had it advantage. I hired a black carpenter when I was a framer. This was pre-invasion and back then blacks did all of the brick and concrete work, dumbass whites framed and typically older European immigrants were the finish guys so we seldom saw a hammerhead that was black. While the rest of use smeared shaving cream on our daily sunburns until 8pm he had no worries. Said the sun didn’t burn him at all. Another hire was huge barrel chested weight lifter from Louisiana. He didn’t last long though. He couldn’t take the heat and couldn’t fit his chest between 16″ centered studs with out scratching his gentle skin. Wanker.

        Surfside? No time. The cop hand cuffed the hitch hiker and left us against the car as he took him to jail. We hauled ass to the cheers of the crowd.

      • goplifer says:

        I was a framer (one summer). You have offended me and all other dumbass white framers like me. We are a proud lot and demand satisfaction.

        Miserable job. Also had to lay the tar felt on the roofs in the Beaumont summer. Not fun.

        Never heard of the shaving cream thing. Did that actually work?

      • DanMan says:

        yep, use the plain cheap stuff…not menthol! instant relief

  7. flypusher says:

    Cruz on his high horse is even better on audio- all that righteous indignation in his voice. Not enforcing bad laws is something I see as a first step in the right direction.

  8. flypusher says:

    Disclaimer- I’ve never tried the stuff, and I have no plans to do so. So I don’t have a dog directly in this fight. But the reasons pot is not legal for adults to use are nothing but arbitrary and illogical from a pharmacological viewpoint. I read Brooks’ nonsense ( usually he’s much, much better than that) in the chron last week. His reasons could be applied to ANY mind altering substance, so why isn’t he applying his “logic” to the bottle of wine with dinner or the brews downed at the ball game?

  9. Texan5142 says:

    Nice post, stoned as I read it. 😉

  10. […] people crazy? Sure is! But it seems it isn't the users who are acting crazy… Legal weed is making people crazyMarijuana has been available for sale legally in Colorado for a couple of weeks now. As predicted by […]

  11. GG says:

    Kabuzz, yes, white, affluent teens don’t usually go to prison for possession in the numbers that blacks and even poor whites go. Those are facts. Acknowledging that is not “racist” as you seem to be implying.

  12. kabuzz61 says:

    I have always been a supporter of legalization of most substances since we as a nation lost the drug war right from the start and made huge organized crime figures flourish. Having said that, only you Chris can interject race into the post. As usual, the post would stand on it’s own without mentioning race. You just can’t help yourself can you?

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Buzz, it is really hard to ignore the huge disparity in legal involvement with drug use by race. I think the recent data suggests White kids do more drugs yet get arrested much less than Black kids.

      You can talk about the war on drugs without discussing race, but you are no where near talking about the full story.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        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

        Now I know the echo chamber is in love with Chris’ but his racist bias is in everything. I guess like a good liberal. Delve deeper (difficult for some) and you will find that marijuana musts are almost always secondary to another crime.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I should have attributed that first paragraph to Chris. Brooks wrote on his personal perspective which of course is a terrible thing to do in Chris’ mind. How dare he.

        I am not a fan of Brooks, but he has the right to view things from his life experience, at least in the free conservative world.

      • flypusher says:

        “……how affluent white Americans live on a completely different planet from everyone else…”

        And you seriously think they don’t? That’s some heavy denial.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Buzz…the data don’t exactly back up your point regarding the race disparities on pot busts, but it is a valid point and it certainly plays a role.

        Interestingly, however, the pot bust often comes along in the investigation of another crime, not the arrest or conviction for another crime. Want to guess which race groups get “investigated” or undergo “Stop and Frisk” at higher or lower rates?

        If get pulled over for speeding in Bellaire (as highly unlikely as that is as a middle-aged White dude driving an SUV), the cop is not even going to think about asking me if he can search my car. I have a hunch that interaction is probably much different for the Black or Hispanic kid that gets pulled over.

        My 60+ year old neighbor “relaxes” by the pool most evenings, and those of us within a two or three house radius have flashbacks to Zeppelin concerts depending on which way the wind blows. If he gets pulled over taking the Mercedes out to Marble Slab afterwards to satisfy the munchies, he is not going to wind up in jail. The kid from Sharpstown that gets pulled over is going to have a very different experience with law enforcement.

      • Texan5142 says:

        “My 60+ year old neighbor “relaxes” by the pool most evenings, and those of us within a two or three house radius have flashbacks to Zeppelin concerts depending on which way the wind blows.”
        Have you ever “relaxed” with your neighbor?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        First, anyone speeding through Bellaire is going to be stopped. Secondly I stand by my statement. Pot is a secondary crime. With today’s tinted windows, it is impossible to know the race of someone before pulling over, so there has to be an initial reason. I know it is convenient for liberals to make excuses, but I support the police force and do not think all white cops are racist, which seems to be what you are stating. Kind of shameful.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Wow…Buzz…I’m moderately sure a quick glance as you are driving around today will let you know the approximate race and gender of most of your fellow drivers.

        How dark are your windows? And what are you doing in there?

        Good to see that your reading comprehension levels have remained consistent across blog platforms. I’m pretty sure you could read and re-read all of the postings here and not find a single comment that comes close to suggesting that all White cops are racist. But hey, when you have all this straw, it just makes sense to make a man out of it.

    • flypusher says:

      “. Brooks wrote on his personal perspective which of course is a terrible thing to do in Chris’ mind. How dare he.”

      And how DARE Chris call something that is clueless, clueless!

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