Pot Rant 2011

Benjamin Bernier

Maine, USA

The Right to Breathe


One thing that the US government can not argue that it owns my lungs. Using this as a basis, it cannot reasonably own the receptors put in my lungs genetically to receive THC and cannabinoids. How can they create an argument with persuasiveness to tell me what I can and cannot inhale, especially if it causes no harm to anyone else?

As I see it, there is a massive moral difference between smoking pot in the infant ward of the hospital and with my other adult friends in my house on my couch watching my TV. One thing is public, and potentially harmful to developing bodies and minds, but the second of these two scenarios poses the question of how far can the government control what I do, and who gives them the right to say that it is wrong?

As recently witnessed in Denver, even when people work together toward a shared goal, and it passes as a legal law of the town or city, it is threatening to the government and they continue to uphold laws of a different citizenry and a completely different jurisdiction.

I am far from saying that universal legality is the correct answer, or even what I would ask for, but there must be a point where the government backs up and says “This is on you now.” As functioning adults we all take responsibility for our actions whether we want to or not, and whether we plan on it or not. My actions have consequences too; I spend more on junk food than the “average American” whoever that may really be (I have never met this person). Who I have met are adults, both young and old, who appreciate the therapeutic nature of this powerful herb. Too often classified with the opiates and the uppers the general public rightly calls pot a gateway drug. It isn’t so much that pot opens ones eyes to other drugs, because it doesn’t take away your ability to say “no,” but it rather makes us ask, “If marijuana is illegal and I cant morally see anything wrong with it, then what can be wrong with these other drugs that we are taught about in the same way?”

To change the common misconceptions about pot would also change the misconceptions about hard drugs, clear to anyone who has ever experimented they are vastly different worlds. Have you ever seen a functional crack-head? Probably not, but chances are that at least one boss you’ve had in your life was a functional stoner. Were they a terrible person, or could you not tell them apart from the other bosses you’ve had? Or was it simply that they handled stress more advanced and having the chance to alleviate those stresses makes them a kinder, more reasonable boss in touch with themselves and with the people who make up the worlds around them.

I believe that people hold themselves back, and drug use whether over the counter, prescription, therapeutic or dangerous drugs are an easy scapegoat for the mistakes that we make in our lives. No one expects perfection out of other people, including themselves, but if not dangerous and not rubbed in faces, why can’t pot use be looked at as a habit no less offensive than biting ones nails? There are times to bite your nails and there are certainly times when it is not appropriate: I wouldn’t bite my nails the first time I meet a girls parents or during a presentation.

It’s about the right to decide what’s good for me. It’s about the right to be an independent person, and mostly it’s about the right to make mistakes and be our own judge.

Smoking pot is a right that no one can ever take away from me. Simply because the law does not protect people who share this view does not make us wrong. We are a powerful and thoughtful part of society, with a large obligation to ourselves and to others to preserve these rights. It is the responsibility of the people to correct an unjust society, to smooth it’s edges, to refine it’s views.

This is why I smile when I ask you, “How will you improve your own life?” Because I know that prohibition will not stand.

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