Posts Tagged ‘Addiction’

Don’t Fear the Reefer

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Inspired by If it’s on the shelves, it’s off the streets (Washington Post 10/25/09), U.S. eases stance on medical marijuana, Pot advocates: Looser guidelines leave questions (Washington Post 10/20/09), School of Pot: Michigan college’s curriculum centers on medicinal marijuana (Washington Post 11/30/09), Medical marijuana in D.C.: The Council gets it right (Washington Post 2/21/10), DC to Celebrate 4/20 By Legalizing Medical Marijuana (Change.org 4/20/10), and D.C. Council approves medical marijuana (WashingtonPost.com 4/20/10), and D.C. Legalizes Medical Marijuana (ChrisWeigant.com 4/20/10). Read my poem, leave a comment to let me know what you think, and SIGN THE PETITION to support legalization and regulation of marijuana.


Today DC legalized medical marijuana,

As people suspected they were gonna.

But no one knew it would be on this annual day of celebration

Where people meet to smoke pot throughout the nation.


DC has been trying to do this since 1998,

So medicinal smokers have had a long time to wait.

But (Republican) Congresses kept thwarting DC’s self-determination

(We’re the only place citizens don’t have a Congressional vote in the nation).


(It’s also both ironic and dumb

That Republicans over-ruled the referendum

Which DC voters overwhelmingly approved

Because the GOP of medical marijuana disapproved.


Yet when the DC Council approved marriage equality

Congressional Republicans demanded noisily

That a popular referendum be allowed

Even though referenda for such measures aren’t allowed.)


Fourteen other states have medical marijuana laws,

Which for me (and many others) is grounds for applause.

I think people with a medical need should be allowed to use it,

As long as we can avoid encouraging people to abuse it.


The Federal Government is also taking action

To give medical marijuana increasing traction

By not prosecuting federally in states where it’s allowed

As Bush did in spite of the States Rights he avowed.


But please don’t assume this poem for pot use is a plug–

To a certain extent, marijuana IS a “gateway drug.”

But alcohol’s a gateway drug too,

And society doesn’t use criminalization, alcohol abuse to pursue.


We tried that once during Prohibition,

Which turned out to be a pretty bad decision.

It didn’t stop drinking, it just drove it underground,

Where crime and violence it did surround.


Society regulates alcohol’s sale and use,

But of course it’s still subject to abuse.

When people drive drunk, they get put in jail.

Some people drink themselves to death, when treatment programs fail.


The same already happens with pot,

But you can also go to jail for its use if you get caught.

Does it really help us win the drug war

If that’s what we end up fighting for?


But for those who can handle it, or need it for medical reasons,

The arguments against decriminalization aren’t very good reasons.

And for those who can’t responsibly use it,

Criminal laws don’t make them less likely to abuse it.


I myself have never smoked pot,

But had friends in college who did so a lot.

Some of them could handle it fine;

For others, it started their lives to define.


Several family members whom I love dearly

Have also been hurt by it severely.

Smoking pot too regularly or too much

Can make you severely out of touch.


But there has to be something in between,

For those who don’t have the “addiction” gene.

But even for people who have it, criminalization isn’t the solution–

Treatment and regulation are more effective than prosecution.


And decriminalization would save the government lots of money

(We spend so much incarcerating pot-smokers, it isn’t funny).

Plus, the government could regulate marijuana and tax it

(Strange that the “fiscally responsible” GOP attacks it).


In fact, a number of conservatives have come out in favor of decriminalization,

A trend which isn’t just an aberration.

In addition to Ron Paul, support is widespread:

61% of Republicans support medical marijuana, and 54% favor full decriminalization instead.


Did the DC Council realize the date’s significance,

Or was passage of the bill today just a coincidence?

I don’t know, but either way,

For local medical marijuana users, it’s a very good day.


Both smokers and non should support today’s action, and cheer it.

Yes, reefer can be dangerous, but it’s still best not to fear it.

***

Here’s your theme music and our title’s inspiration, Don’t Fear the Reaper by the Blue Oyster Cult.

 

And what reference to that great song would be complete without the classic Saturday Night Live Cowbell skit (one of the funniest SNL skits ever).
 

And speaking of cowbells, here’s Green Day performing East Jesus Nowhere on SNL, with a surprise reprise by Will Ferrell.
 

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