Legalize it Already!
Writing Honestly without Shame for Purpose
When I laid out the concept for "Randy Solves Life" my intent was to write about posts about the six topics I laid out in my original post and the steps I am taking to make each of those things better. Again, those six topics were finances, health, romantic relationships, social relationships, career, and searching for purpose. But then there are days like today, 4/20, the day recognized by many pot users as a day to celebrate weed, where I have a specific topic in mind. I could try to shoehorn this one into the health category and talk about the benefits of marijuana, but that really isn't why I think it should be legalized.
I want to write about legalizing weed because I think there are still people uncomfortable with the idea. I also think they are uncomfortable with it because they have a stereotypical view of a "typical" marijuana user. There are people in my life who I suspect view pot smokers as dangerous drug addicts. Thinking of these people made me realize maybe one of my purposes in life is to write honestly and without shame about things others might be afraid to express. And with that rationale, I can justify placing this post in the "Finding Purpose" category of the site.
With that out of the way, here are three statements I believe to be absolutely true:
1. Federal marijuana laws are stupid.
If you don't think they are stupid, you probably live in a state where recreational weed is illegal and maybe even one of the few where medicinal isn't approved either. How stupid would we all agree it would be to go to jail for possession of Coca-Cola or a venti latte because it was illegal in Alabama? Enjoy your Coke or Starbucks in Georgia, but the second you cross that state line: "Fuck you, criminal!". That is the current stance on weed. Enjoy all the pot you want in Arizona, Nevada, or Colorado but if you cross that Utah border your ass belongs in jail. This is stupid. There is no other way to put it.
2. There is no stereotypical marijuana user.
This past Saturday morning, I sat in a dispensary waiting room surrounded by a soccer mom, a video gamer nerd, a guy wearing a "We the People" flag t-shirt, a grandfatherly type, and a few stoners. Each of these stereotypical descriptions might have conjured up a mental image but it probably isn't the same image as saying I was surrounded by pot users. Yet, here they were, a diverse group of people waiting to see a budtender to purchase federally illegal drugs on a Saturday morning.
3. There is currently enough marijuana in my kitchen cabinet to land me in jail in several states.
I don't consider myself to be a stereotypical marijuana user either. In fact, I hadn't used weed in nearly 18 years until it became legal in Arizona last March. I don't use it often. Typically, once or twice a month on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon or an occasional Friday night. I don't smoke it. I prefer taking it in edible form because I don't like the concept of any kind of smoke filling my lungs. I take it for the same reason I take another mind-altering substance, alcohol, to relax and get my mind off of anxiety-inducing things for a little bit.
I bought a tin of gummies legally for the first time last March. That first tin lasted me until June. When the original tin of ten 10-mg THC gummies ran out, I took advantage of a two-for-one special giving me 20 gummies which lasted until this past Saturday. Considering how long the last two packages lasted me, I decided to only buy one again this time. Of the new package, I've taken one gummy. There it is, a detailed documentation of my use of a schedule 1 narcotic as categorized by the DEA: 31 gummies, consisting of 310 mg of THC over the course of 13 months. I am currently in possession of a tin of nine gummies that would make me a criminal in my home state, North Dakota, unless I made up a medical reason and got a doctor to give me a card.
I will go out on a limb and say this probably isn't the stereotypical usage pattern people who think marijuana is a dangerous drug envision when they voice support for the current federal laws. I would also bet these people know others who would use pot as responsibly as I feel I do if it were legal in their states. It isn't dangerous or scary and there is no need for such a stigma to still exist. If discussing honestly, without shame, my use and experience with legal weed helps remove that stigma for anyone, then there is purpose for my writing.
What is your state's stance on marijuana legislation? Whether it is legal in your state or not, what is your personal stance on federal legislation? Leave a comment to let me know.
4/20/2022 09:05:57 pm
I'll start. It is legal in my state, Arizona. My personal stance is that it should be legal on a federal level because state's rights should not extend into what substances can be banned for consumption. Just as it shouldn't be legal for one state to ban hamburgers because they are unhealthy, individual states should not be allowed to create different policies on MJ.
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Randy Miller is on a quest to move his life along the scale from completely sucking to sucking slightly less to potentially sucking very little. He isn't really sure how he'll do this, but maybe writing about it will help.
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