Sometimes, not being exactly up on the latest trends, I feel like the irrationality of the world is beyond my ability to comprehend. It is at times like these, I am so glad to retreat into writing.
So the latest in twisted logic, comes from Colorado. Since the pot sales have been racing along much faster than expected, the governor is now making firm plans to start spending the money. And his roll out of first expenditures:
1. An educational campaign to keep underage kids from using pot. (We can see the success of that program with alcohol consumption. Of course they are claiming that it will be harder to get pot since no one will be selling it illegally any longer. Yeah, okay, no 21 year old is going to be rolling joints and selling them to kids at five bucks a pop to make a little cash. No, legalizing it will cause people to only follow the laws. Sure.)
2. An ad campaign to promote the hazards of pot smoking. (Surely another successful program, judging from the cigarette and alcohol campaigns. Besides, would the government legalize it if it were truly harmful? Surely not, I mean they don't care more about taxes than their citizens so it must really be okay, this is just to make the straight people happy.)
3. A billboard campaign to warn drivers, driving under the influence of pot, that they are guilty of DUI. (Ah, before they start that, shouldn't they have the method in place for determining if they are? They can only tell by expensive and time consuming urine or hair tests, neither of which a driver must submit to unless involved in a deadly collision, which, perhaps may be a little late? And neither are reliable as to level of impairment. No doubt, lawyers, always quickest to find the fast buck already have their campaign in place -- no urine test, no conviction, contact Wescrew U for representation.)
4. An increase of 150 beds in the drug rehab unit. (Now I am sure they've convinced the good people of Colorado that those are the drug abusers already in existence, since the legalization of marijuana certainly won't contribute to any increase in drug abusers. No, that will never happen, all users will show proper restraint, I am sure.)
So, that's the start of their spending campaign. I cannot help but wonder why other states are rushing to get in on the great revenues of another mind altering substance. The idea that it will be of a benefit, when the campaigns Colorado first starts are opposing its use, or intended to mitigate the damages it causes. Wouldn't it be prudent to wait, to see if those expenses outstrip the supposed tax benefit?
Does anyone look at things in existence any longer. Cigarettes, the current most evil. Now your children won't be subjected to cigarette smoke, but they can sit next to the guy smoking pot. It's okay, its natural. Tobacco is also natural until manufacturers decided to enhance it with additives. Of course they would never do such a thing with pot. Not upstanding people who are profiting on the backs of others, it would never happen.
Alcohol related accidents are the leading cause of deaths on our highways.
An alcoholic can declare themselves hopeless addicted, therefore disabled and entitled to a lifetime of government subsidies. How are we to support the people who are fired because their workplace decided they were impaired? Or are we ready for a new group of disabled to support? What right do employers have to expect their employees to be drug-free? When they cause accidents, who is liable, the employer with no way of getting rid of a stoned employee or the employee who chose to be stoned?
They discovered that judicious use of pain medication allowed people to recover faster. Suddenly an explosion of prescription writing for pain medication over the suffering of every hang nail caused a huge increase in those addicted to pain medication. So we can see that legal access to drugs always makes the user so much more careful and less likely to become dependent on legal substances. Right?
This isn't coming from some self righteous, never-did-anything-wrong person. This comes from a person who made enough mistakes to take away a lifetime of choices. Instead, I chose employment based on the need to survive, not grow or thrive. In other words, I blew most of my alternatives with mistakes and miscalculations. I managed, came out okay and I don't regret, but I often hope others won't take the same path.
My mistakes started with my first drunk at a very young age, increased when I discovered pot didn't cause hangovers, and multiplied when I discovered there were far more potent ways of finding escape from reality.
We are so self-involved these days that we put pleasure before responsibility. If we justify and legalize a way to accomplish this, we refuse to acknowledge the harm. Where does the next step take us, using the same rationale that Colorado used? We claim this is the only change we will make. Of course that fails to account for how we arrived at this oddly inverse conclusion. Logic should tell us that giving approval, generally will encourage more drug use, not reduce it. Why will the reasons that we have reached this point not apply to Cocaine, opium -- also natural substances? Or LSD -- non-addictive? I used all these reasons as my life spun further from my control.
The first book I released SOMETHING TAKEN was based on real events. Since it was written from the perspective many years later, I know now that I provided the cause that allowed many of those things to happen. In the book, I claim to realize that I contributed to the problems. In truth, I did not realize much of it on my own. But no one wants to believe anyone could be so blind, naïve or down right stupid. And in truth, it did take the intervention of someone who found a reason to believe there was still something worth salvaging in me. Of course his counsel got through because he had the illegality of it on his side. But how much of his advice will be valid to today's kids when they can say, "It can't be wrong, it's legal"?
So why are we all so anxious to forge ahead blindly, rather than waiting for this grand experiment to reveal its secrets? Maybe its me, but sometimes I think Rod Serling is the director of our thoughts -- into the Twilight Zone.