By John-Ross Boyce
A cloud of smoke is swirling lazily over the states of Washington and Colorado right now. Midnight burrito sales in Denver are poised to go through the roof this month. Seattle just spent the whole weekend watching “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” reruns. Walla Walla finally understands why “Dark Side of the Moon” is the biggest headtrip of the 20th Century. Grand Junction just bought an old Spiral-Graph on eBay and when it arrives in the mail, man, it’s going to be epic. It’s official. Recreational marijuana, for the first time since the 19th century, is legal, if only in 2 states.
Meanwhile, America’s officially registered wet blankets are wringing their hands, terrified at some antiquated vision of reefer madness wreaking pungent havoc all over the countryside. Perhaps you count yourself among their ranks. You think that making an honest woman out of Mary Jane is going to incite violence and destruction in the streets. You think that legalizing weed will make it more accessible to children, whose futures will be snuffed out like so many roaches. You think that the evening news will be clogged with the names of unfortunate fools who met the Grim Reaper at the business end of a water pipe.
You’re wrong. That’s not what marijuana does. You’re thinking of alcohol, which is legal.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 80,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol each year in the United States alone. Search the CDC’s website for deaths attributed to marijuana and you will find zilch. Because no one dies from smoking too much pot. They fall asleep in front of a b-grade Kung fu movie. In some extreme cases, they’ll throw up a little. Do you know that withdrawals from alcohol addiction can actually kill you? Because they can. Do you know what happens when you “withdraw” from marijuana? Taco Bell tastes less delicious.