420 for some but not for all

Charles Powell

April 20 or 4/20 is approaching for some people it will be yay its Saturday. Others might mark it as Hitler’s birthday. For me it is reminder 420 is not an area code as I once thought. I’d seen or heard the phrase, but didn’t know what it meant ‘till I asked a friend.

I was told it marked a celebration of sorts for the marijuana culture. I suppose it amounts to an excuse to light up the way St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo or pretty much any holiday can be coopted as an excuse to get together and drink.

Both past times are rather lost on me simply because I prefer to keep my inhibitions in place unless I figure out they inhibit personal growth. I learned a long time ago my own perception of the world could be considered altered enough just on oxygen and the myriad other elements in typical air.

One of my first clear indications of this was in freshman year of high school when I grew tired of people asking me for pencils so I took parts of a non-refillable mechanical pencil out then so it would rattle and re-sealed it. The next time I was asked for one I handed it over, which led to my desired result of them twisting to no avail ‘till ultimately they rattled it leaving them confused and me laughing a bit manically.

Someone else in the group then looked at me and asked what I was on and where they could get some.

I realize for some people marijuana is something that can be used recreationally and is not necessarily a gate way drug or more damaging then getting blitzed on Jim Beam or whatever preferred poison. However, I also know for others it can lead to a host of problems. The catch 22 of what harm any drug can do boils down to self-control, individual brain chemistry and what kind it is.

Beyond the chemical issues of course is the fact pot remains illegal without a prescription, which the federal government continues to look for ways to chip away at.

As much as I personally don’t find any point in lighting up marijuana or tobacco for that matter I am not convinced it being illegal is particularly helpful. I don’t see what it has accomplished other than eating up a ton of law enforcement’s budget with a war on drugs that seems to have worked about as well as prohibition did against alcohol, but has lasted so much longer with both efforts helping to fuel crime.

I understand it is meant to help prevent social ills, but I think it being illegal might causes about as many problems as it is intended to fix and a lot of the penalties are redundant to me. If someone drives or acts dangerously while intoxicated there are other laws in place to remove them from the general populace. Going after what might fuel this behavior won’t eliminate it from the country. If illicit drugs being legalized could be eliminate turf wars I’d be all for it – at least on a trial basis.

Battling addiction is a tricky endeavor people just go to such incredible lengths to procure their fi so suppliers do the same to make sure they can from speak easies and moonshine running of prohibition to drugs being smuggled in ever more inventive ways today. According to an article by Robert Beckhusen entitled “Border Patrol Seeks Hazmat Team for Drugs Smuggled in Toxic Waste” on wired.com marijuana has been smuggled in calcium hydroxide which is used legitimately for industrial purposes, but should never have the potential to be ingested.

Education and treatment to me are better solutions to me then possible jail time. The only personal interest I would have in pot became legal is I would much prefer the books I read be printed on something that takes months to grow not years.