When I was in the tenth grade, back in 1997, someone in my school’s administration decided to lump me in with the 30 or so fuck-ups, or, sorry, “at-risk” group of kids. My grades weren’t terrible, and I didn’t really get into trouble or use drugs that much. However, I did wear shirts from bands like Cannibal Corpse and Anal Cunt just about every day, so I suppose they were justified in thinking that I had emotional problems. I never complained though, because once a week I got to skip class and go to some special room with my fellow flunkies and have what I can only assume is the equivalent to an AA meeting. It was interesting to hear these kids talk about smoking crack, the pleasures of meth, and beating people up over bad weed deals. I don’t think I ever had what it takes to lose myself to substance abuse, but if I did, I’m sure this helped me stay on a positive course. Sometimes we’d have guest speakers come in to these meetings. There are two that I remember most vividly. One being Robert Downey Jr., who was presumably there as part of some community service he had to do. The other was some woman who had a lengthy discussion with us on how marijuana will never be legalized in our lifetime.

That woman is either dead or choking on her own foot now, because in November, California will be voting on proposition 19. If passed, it will legalize marijuana for recreational use in our state.

From what I can tell, polls seems to be showing that a slight majority of people are in favor of it. It’s pretty surreal to think about, though it makes perfect sense. Marijuana in the past ten years has become far less of a taboo subject. There are movies and television shows based around weed. A handful of states legalized its use for medical purposes. It’s much more accepted these days, and the government is obviously noticing how much more money could be generated by legalizing and taxing weed, especially since it’s being bought and sold regardless of its legal status. Not to mention how much money they won’t have to dump into enforcing anti-pot laws (prisons, police work) anymore. I’m no political scientist, but it seems that an extra few hundred millions of dollars a year in tax revenue, not to mention new “on the books” jobs, would be a good thing for the economy.

Most polls that I’ve looked at show prop 19 in the lead by a few percentage points, which means there is a very realistic chance it will pass. It also means that nearly half of the people surveyed were opposed to the idea. Now, I get that there are some old school people out there who just wouldn’t endorse legalizing pot. But some of those people must have some kind of logical argument against it. I’m curious to know what that argument might be.

I’ve seen enough shit to admit that alcohol and marijuana can indeed be “gateway” drugs, but in my experience it also comes down to whether or not that person has it in them to move on to harder drugs, so anyone with the “Reefer Madness” mentality these days is simply ignorant. Also, think about how pointless it is to keep it outlawed. It is obviously not keeping anyone from obtaining the stuff. I know that by posting this on a heavy metal music blog I’m probably preaching to the choir, but do any of you have an argument for pot not being legalized?


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