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First Cut Is The Shallowest.....

....but I'll take it; medical marijuana is just the start

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 03, 2010.

I've said, because I'm olde and therefore always right, that the great danger of the drug war, so called, is not the one involving health and addiction but the one where respect for law and those compelled to enforce it utterly collapses. Should that finally happen, the US is toast. It's been a close run thing, but it looks that, through various hypocritical and genuinely stupid trains of activity that might somehow be interpreted to involve the technical synapse frequencies meeting the bare-boned medical definition of 'thought', marijuana might finally become legal again, and this through the stupid but now necessary intermediary step of celebrating its medical benefits. Doing so, it becomes an organized, bonded, and inspected business that can be taxed like alcohol and firearms and nitrate fertilizers. I suspect at this point most police would be thrilled to get that candy-assed set of laws gone.

Here in Boulder, the ratio of roughly 4500 pot dispensaries for each alleged medical marijuana patient has caught the attention of City Council, among whom one or two may have run across the opportunity to enjoy the innate stupidities of pot in their Pleistocene youth.

Drug addiction has corrupted us, but in the exact opposite way that those posing as moral experts imply. Drug addiction to alcohol played a major role in the creation of the United States, and in many entertaining legislation and shared experiences since. Anyone who has tried pot knows that whatever else it is, it's nowhere near as dangerous as alcohol, which most people allow should be available. So when we have to deal with the criminal justice system over getting mellow and slow witted and generally bothering nobody, the young begin to hate that system and the detritus around it. So long as the establishment could safely point to the low end of society and specific minority ethnic groups as the main users, people could fear marijuana in solidarity with the thin-lipped and tight assed silent majority. The poor enjoyed pot because it often was cheap, and the rich because it was a socially acceptable way to demonstrate their disdain for laws that didn't really apply to them. Thrilling, don't you know.

When the majority of the white youth discovered pot and other treats, our hypocrisies of social standing and supposed respect for law and order were at odds, producing the mess we're currently in. We just pretend we're not addicted, not the market for those who supply us. Different, you see.

A revelation in articles about the recently completed Winter Olympics merged all these issues. It seems that about half of all winter athletes suffer from asthma. Half. Therefore, they are allowed to use asthma medication, mostly in those annoying inhalers. Closer reading suggests that having asthma morphed somewhere into having asthma-like symptoms brought on by the cold weather which the medication counteracts. There is disagreement over whether the medication compensates for - or actually improves - the oxygen absorption in the athlete and this all assumes that what's in the inhaler is what is claimed, and if the half that suffer from asthma is the half belonging to the wealthier nations. This is sort of like the Lance Armstrong mystery, and whether he's receiving compensation for a missing testicle or actual advantage under that cover.

Now, I have zero evidence about the benefits of asthma inhalers, but I would suggest that fake medical diagnoses to obtain a possible benefit not available in decades past to those athletes whose records are now routinely shattered should receive more attention. And further, I suggest that this institutionalized hypocrisy in all sports is brought on by our idiotic recreational drug laws. So long as the same methods are available to everyone, which of course they are not but could be, what difference does it make?

Health, for one, and I still point to the too early deaths of chronic pot users by various once rare cancers in the Boomer years. And pot certainly is addictive. But nothing is worse than trying to justify the various legal and ethical Gordian Knots with which our ridiculous and counterproductive drug laws strangle us. Like their name sake, there is only one way to unravel Gordian Knots, and medical marijuana is the first cut.