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Pot Dispensations

for God's sake, legalize the crap

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, November 11, 2009.

I don’t smoke pot. I don’t smoke anything - and before the emails and phone calls start, again, telling me that if anyone on God’s green earth would benefit from eight bags a day, it’s me – I have tried in the past, fully inhaled, with wife and not, as a Reggae roadie and not. As with booze, I get stoned easily and then fall asleep. I enjoy the sensation, but mostly I cough and gag. I tried water pipes and gave that up after emptying the first one and realizing if the water hadn’t been there, that attractive sludge would be in my lungs, working its magic. So I moderated my drug intake back down to mere pharmaceutical and street speed and it worked out fine, thanks. Just fine.

Further, let me say that regardless of what anyone else - by definition inferior to me - thinks, pot is addictive and it does change people mostly for the worse. The goober stoner giggle that so irritates, and the half-shut eyes and slightly open mouth for breath which, on a beautiful woman, might be called bedroom eyes if she weren’t staring at her reflection in an aluminum gum wrapper while driving.

Let me further say that pot is, on the scale of harmful chemical addictions, pretty low on the pole and far less so than alcohol. I am for legalization and have been for a while, mostly so I won’t have to listen about it anymore, but also for some vague concerns that the hypocrisy is undermining the eighth generation since marijuana’s prohibition, with disregard for law and public safety and the dumbing down of language, which is stuff more important than pot itself.

Some time ago, doctors claimed that pot reduced pain more effectively than else for certain patients, and since those particular patients were dying of cancer or chemotherapy, hard to say, why not let them die happy? Pot wasn’t thought addictive so doctors could in good conscience prescribe it and know their doomed charge wouldn’t die addicted to some drug. This was considered godly, if extremely and unnecessarily painful.

Once pot had the toe in the legal water, than someone had to grow it, and because nobody wanted to grow their own marijuana – the skill having nearly died out when it was banned, so law abiding are we - only government subsidy got a few heroes to grow the stuff, sacrificing their jobs as CEO’s and astrophysicists to nurture the buds, much as Depression era government subsidies finally got some West Virginia literature scholars to research and provide alcohol when the 18th Amendment was overturned. I think that’s right. A little hazy on the details.

Anyhoo, you cannot satirize the absurdities that abound here in Boulder and elsewhere over medicinal pot these days. Last night, that Boulder City Council was graced with more than 100 area residents bringing their coldly objective opinions before the public, dedicated solely to patient care and not their addiction maintenance. Just after midnight, the council passed an emergency ordinance aimed at keeping medical marijuana dispensaries 500 feet away from schools, another dispensary, and out of residential areas. Somehow, these rules do not apply to the 42 businesses that have already pulled sales-tax licenses with the city, or their 21 competitors who applied for permits prior to Nov. 6. Which means Boulder, a city of about 120k people with the University, could have 63 businesses that would not be subject to this pointless law anyway. They can’t be said to have been grandfathered in, or even step-fathered in, but rather nooner-quickied in.

Inexplicably, the council did not ask what the medical market actually was for marijuana, since the need will somehow rise with the legal availability. We all know this has nothing to do with patient care.

Clearly, those 63 and the others clamoring for licenses have their half shut eyes and mouths fixated on more than those within the city who currently need the supposedly unique powers of marijuana. They want to make Boulder, in the words of Councilman Cowles, a center for distribution, and eventually offer a "city marijuana facility” which, Cowles added, "…is potentially an important industry.” This never occurred to anyone else.

Captain Bring Down, City Attorney Jerry Gordon, told the assembled citizenry that state laws regulating medical marijuana are "enormously confusing," which shocked everyone.

All this nonsense would go away if America grew up and just legalized pot. For the needs of Boulder’s actual medicinal recipients, a single part time dispensary might be enough, but we have to continue our Kabuki theater of posturing and declaiming, making law ridiculous for another generation. Enough.