Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pot Nation

Buoyed by their recent victories in referenda in Washington and Colorado, supporters of legalized recreational marijuana are putting on a full-court press to get laws amended nationwide.  The Obama administration has been saying that it will continue to enforce the federal ban on pot--even in states where it was "legalized"--but given their penchant for selective enforcement of laws (and constitutional amendments) I doubt that is going to happen.

I get a kick out of how "420 Nation" portrays their drug of choice.  "It won't cause cancer like cigarettes" they proclaim.  "It's less addictive than caffeine", they brag.  "It does less brain damage than alcohol" they proudly state.  But for me, it's less about the physical effects of being a pothead and more about the societal effect it would have.

I have a friend who works in the HVAC industry.  He says two-thirds of applicants at their shop never come in for their drug tests in order to be hired.  Here we are in this "depressed economy" where there are "no good jobs available" and two out of every three people applying for good paying (and yes, union) jobs at one business would rather keep smoking dope than get one.

I follow a few comedians and musicians on Twitter that are also popular with the weed crowd.  One of the neat things about social media is that it provides you a window into the lives of people you would never otherwise meet.  And I can tell you that the timelines of those who like to smoke the bud is anything but a Cliffs Notes version of The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.  There don't seem to be many posts about "Negotiated a big contract today that will net me a five-figure commission!" or "I aced that Advanced Statistics final!" or even "Paul Krugman really nailed it on the head with the New York Times Op-Ed piece about broke European governments really needing to increase their spending to get out of their financial crises."

Instead, those recreational users can't complain enough about having to get up before noon to go to school or work,  how much they hate school or work, how it's getting harder to afford their marijuana because they don't make enough money at their job, and how cool their new pipes or bongs are.  (Oh and by the way, some of these Twitterers are right here in Oshkosh and the Fox Valley--if you parents would like to do a little research on young adults you know.)

So if the push for legalized pot comes to Wisconsin, we will have to make a decision: do we want these losers sitting behind bars, or do we want them out and about driving our kids to school, fixing our brakes, manning our cash registers and providing our health care?

No comments:

Post a Comment