I’ve smoked pot. Just writing those words is so potentially dangerous in our society that I wasn’t sure I could go through with it when I sat down to write this editorial.
While on the other hand, letting everyone know that just two weekends ago I went to George’s Majestic Lounge and had several vodka and cranberries and staggered home on the bike trails has no negative connotations except someone judging me for my terrible choice of alcoholic beverage.
My memories of smoking marijuana are nothing like my memories of drinking alcohol. I can’t remember after having smoked marijuana, feeling brave enough to break into my dad’s house while he was away to have a party where my “friends” got mud on the carpet and cigarette burns on the walls.
I have no memories of being given marijuana at a young, naive age, and then being put in a dangerous situation with males who had intentions of taking advantage of my vulnerable physical and mental state (although I’m sure it happens).
While smoking marijuana, I never got to the point where I smoked so much that my body literally began rejecting the poison I was ingesting and caused me to vomit.
In fact, all of these experiences are my memories of alcohol, and yes, are hard to admit.
Alcohol is pervasive and many times destructive in our society, and I have seen many cases where this is true. From an old friend’s alcoholic mother getting to the point where she tries to commit suicide and my friend finding her with her wrists slit in the basement, to my higher-ups in the military putting extreme social pressure on a new soldier to drink so much that he almost died from alcohol poisoning, the threats are real.
Yet, when I think about marijuana, I see none of those horrible memories or stories. Marijuana did make me somewhat sleepy, eat too much, the next day maybe I didn’t feel like solving the hardest calculus problem on my homework and I looked out the blinds one too many times out of paranoia that “I heard something,” but that’s nothing compared to the negative experiences I have had with alcohol.
So what’s my point? Well, my point is only that I don’t want to be afraid of talking about marijuana if I can so openly talk about alcohol (although some of you may be thanking your lucky stars you didn’t have me as your teenage daughter). I want to live in a society where my fears are based on reality, and not agendas of politicians or corporations or because of misinformation left over from 100 years ago.
In order for that to happen, those of us who have experienced marijuana have to speak up. It’s not inherently dangerous, it’s not deadly. If we legalize medical marijuana we all won’t turn into pothead zombies and most importantly, marijuana is nowhere near as destructive as that American love and tradition — alcohol.