For each stoner reading this, the obvious reaction is – “Hell yea!” but this isn’t the case for everyone.
A recent article published in the Denver Post by Krista Kafer where she pointed out this instance and classified it as “glorifying cannabis”.
And when you come to think about license plates that read “ISIT420” – it may be a tad bit “glorifying” from the government. I mean, we don’t have “LETSDRINK!” license plates now do we?
In the following article, we’ll be analyzing the points brought up by Krista which, to be fair, is not entirely “wrong”. I actually agree with her in the ‘why did the government sanction license plates for weed’ train of thought.
If you’re going to argue, argue with facts!
The beginning of the article starts a bit peculiar – not like most articles do. Here’s the intro paragraph;
“Do you know what today is?” a 13-year-old blurted out during science class. “It’s 4/20 and you know what that means.” Several boys nodded and chuckled. “Yeah, THC is cool,” said another student. When I suggested otherwise, a student remarked, “It’s better than drinking.”
This makes me wonder. Why is a woman like Krista, who is at least between 35-40 years-old, hanging out in a science class with 13-year olds?
I know some of you would say, “Reginald, she’s using imagery to help prove a point…” except in the very next paragraph she starts off with…
Glad to hear children today have internalized the marijuana industry’s marketing material because that’s exactly what impressionable and vulnerable 8th graders need — the glorification of cannabis. So kudos to the Colorado state government for amplifying the “THC is cool” message last week.
Which then, at least internally – makes you conclude that these hypothetical 13-year-olds that sound eerily like Beavis and Butthead – are real.
But they are not, that conversation never happened! Also, a 13-year-old will never say, “It’s better than drinking…” because how would a 13-year-old know that if he neither drank nor smoked marijuana?
Nonetheless, Krista believed that starting her article with a dash of deception would be the best way to start her argument.
If “Fake” don’t work – let’s try Shaky!
After Krista establishes her fictional teens talking about weed like a bad 90s cartoon, she then starts citing some “research” about how cannabis consumption may have a “neurotoxic effect on teens” and so forth.
She goes so far as to say that those who smoke cannabis aren’t “top graduating” or “have good careers”. This sounds eerily familiar to the D.A.R.E era where inflated scare tactics are used to sway public opinion on cannabis.
The first study she cites is from 2012 where the researchers took data from individuals born 1972/1973 and followed them till age 38 with 4 interviews about their cannabis use.
In this study, researchers found a decrease of a “neuropsychological” factor in cannabis users – this even after controlling for years of education.
But what the study didn’t fail to “Adjust” are the myriad of other factors that has significant neuropsychological impact on the individual’s life.
In other words, do the scientists believe that alcohol, tobacco, high stress, poverty, poor family dynamics, other drug use, genetics, etc – does not play a factor in IQ or cognitive performances?
Because while they controlled for “years of education” they did not control for any of these other factors and this could very well be because 95% of all research on cannabis is green lit to find out if it’s bad for you.
Seeing that the researchers had to justify their grants – you can see that their science is shaky to say the least.
Marijuana is for losers!
Another fun thing Krista points out is that “data shows” that cannabis is mostly consumed by “lower-income men with poor education” according to Colorado Department of Public Health.
Interestingly, while she linked the previous studies – this claim was not hyperlinked in any manner whatsoever. After trying to find the source of this claim myself – I came up empty handed. I went through several reports by the CDPH but still – nothing.
Where is this information you’re citing Krista? How do you know that “dumb men smoke weed?”
Once more, there’s a lot of smoke but no fire when it comes to prohibitionist rhetoric.
What about the children???
Let’s not continue on the path of obliterating Krista’s position and focus on what matters – the kids!
After all, her fictional introduction painfully reminded us of the main premise of the article – “The kiddos!”
While I do believe it was irresponsible for the government to issue cannabis license plates – irrespective of the cause to raise money for public goods. The government should always remain neutral no matter what and we shouldn’t be glorifying “stoned driving”.
However, beyond that – the issue comes down to educating people about drugs.
Our current approach is to try to scare people with things like “IQ scares” and “Psychosis” but for the vast majority of people smoking – this will never happen.
And because it will never happen, it makes people question the rhetoric being promoted by the state. “If weed isn’t as bad as they say – maybe heroin isn’t either!”
Except, heroin is a very hardcore substance that should be left only to manage the most severe pain – such as surgery or something of the sorts.
Proper Education is the key!
The one thing I do recognize is that Krista isn’t trying to get rid of cannabis, but rather – she wants to end the glorification of it. I agree with her that government should not be for nor against – but only act as a mechanism for upholding the laws.
My internal anarchist just cringed as I wrote that paragraph!
However – in order for society to evolve, we need to approach drugs differently. For nearly a century, we’ve been trying to eradicate drugs with a gun and chains when all evidence points to the failure of such an approach.
What we need to do is begin to properly educate people on “drug culture”. We need to let people know that “the vast majority of people try stuff but only a few get hooked”.
We need to educate people on the reasons “why” people take drugs and whether there is some merit in this action. For example, a “Low income person with limited job offers” is probably living in an “elevated state of stress” due to the fear of where their next meal may come from.
Kat Williams said it best, “If you ain’t got no job and you ain’t smokin no weed, I dont know what the fuck you are doing with yo life”
And that’s true to a certain degree.
However, most people resort to this because they don’t have any internal coping mechanisms to deal with external stresses. Weed, gives them a bit of relaxation and often times – during this moment of peace, the mind can figure out what the next move is.
I ask the stoners who read this – has weed ever helped you out of a tight spot by allowing you to remove yourself from the problem and observe it from a fresh perspective?
Odds are that you have been saved by the Jane.
We do not need to teach people how “not” to use drugs, but rather how to use drugs responsibly. After nearly 100 years of drug prohibition the data clearly shows – “No matter what you do, people will consume drugs!”
Seeing that this is the norm – maybe we should teach them how to do it properly with minimal risks…