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Marijuana
plushfish
fishsupreme
Yesterday's writing prompt was Talk to me about marijuana.

I'm one of the few people who has no experience with the stuff. Due to allergies, I've never been interested in smoking anything, and never have. The idea of introducing more crap into my lungs for me to sneeze out does not have any appeal.

For that matter, I've never had any interest in mind-altering substances, either. I'm happy with life-as-experienced and don't feel any particular desire to change it. I don't even really care for being drunk -- I think I was well into college before I ever was, even even then only got that way maybe half a dozen times during my college experience. For the most part I found it an unpleasant feeling. I drink more now than I ever did in college, but even so, I kind of wish wine were non-alcoholic; I love the variety & taste of it, and the alcohol just adds calories and limits how much of it I can have. I can see some appeal to intoxication in a social environment (i.e. around other similarly drunk people), but still don't really find it appealing per se -- getting drunk alone would seem utterly pointless to me.

I live in one of the two states that's legalized marijuana. I fully support legalization; I don't think it's the government's business to dictate what people ingest anyway, and on top of that I think from a consequentialist perspective, prohibition is horrible. We as a society imprison countless people for harming themselves, heedless of the fact that the imprisonment harms them -- and the rest of our society -- even more than the drugs do, creating a permanent underclass compelled to a life of crime.

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We as a society imprison countless people for harming themselves, heedless of the fact that the imprisonment harms them -- and the rest of our society -- even more than the drugs do, creating a permanent underclass compelled to a life of crime.

Usually when I think of legalization it's in terms of "they're not hurting anybody but themselves, if anyone at all." I hadn't thought of it in terms of how it was harming them even MORE than the drugs, and hurting society. I'm gonna have to ponder that one.

I'm loving your posts, so much, btw. I'll keep trying to comment in between herding nieces. :)

Honestly, it's an atrocity how many people we incarcerate for drug crimes. The United States imprisons more people -- both in absolute numbers and in terms of a percentage of our population -- than any nation in modern history. Unless you count prisoners of war, we've surpassed Josef Stalin's gulag archipelago.

Part of the reason our crime rates are so low -- and they are low, lower than they've been since the 1960's, despite what the media would have us believe -- is that we have transferred poor minorities into a rights-free zone where crimes against them "don't count." With a tenfold increase in prison population, most of them drug offenders (i.e. most people's first crime, when they are in a bad situation, have little to lose, and aren't yet willing to commit violence), we've moved the people who formerly would have committed crime into a place where they commit crimes against each other with impunity, unreported. Even when they get out, their status as felons or parolees prevents them from rejoining the productive population and sends them back to prison promptly.

It's a dark bargain our country has made in the name of politicians being "tough on crime" and declaring a "war on drugs." We've built our crime-free paradise by consigning 3% of our population to Hell.

I'd rank it as our country's #2 problem, after our healthcare system and just above student loan debt.

Edited at 2014-07-12 02:30 am (UTC)

Oh, and btw, the part about more crap to sneeze out made me laugh. :)

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