By Cordero Usrey
It was a cool summer night when my then roommate and I were relaxing, guzzling a couple of Red Stripe Jamaican Ales, me rolling a blunt on my bright red rolling tray, awhile the smooth, funky, G-funk stylings of Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” bumped in the background. A perfect night and perfect ambiance for a perfect high. That is until he tells me that I should put my sweet, stinky weed away because his father is on his way.
My face grows confused and slightly angry as I promptly take the pristine blunt from my mouth and stick it behind my ear. This was my house. I paid the bills. Why the fuck should my weed smoking be hidden away in an attic like Anne Frank?
I could not comprehend why the fact that I smoked was a sign of disrespect, all while our beers lay aimlessly around the table without any repercussions. We actually offer beers as a sign of respect and that unfair double standard is where my predicament begins.
Why is alcohol socially and culturally acceptable all the while marijuana is demonized in the eyes of the average American as a destructive drug that somehow lowers the social status of the user?
Let’s start are journey for the truth about weed and alcohol with the misconception that marijuana is more dangerous to your overall health. This notion alcohol is primarily based in the fact that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ranks the controlled substance as a class I substance, along with drugs like heroin and LSD.
In actuality according to the Maren Shaprio of NBC News reports on recent tests by Scientific Reports, “of 10 drugs: marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone. Marijuana was, by far, found to be the safest, even when compared to alcohol and cigarettes.”
Okay, so alcohol is more dangerous than weed, but maybe it’s the initial sensation of alcohol that makes people believe that it is a safer and more tolerable substance than marijuana.
To that notion I quote the great Rastafarian and reggae legend Bob Marley who once said, “Alcohol makes you drunk, man. It don’t make you meditate, it just makes you drunk. Herb (marijuana) is more a consciousness. Herb is the healing of a nation. Alcohol is the destruction.”
I truly believe that Marley hit the point right on the head. Alcohol makes you belligerent, aggressive and irrational. Marijuana makes you relaxed, cognizant and hungry.
In my 23 year of life on this great green planet I have never once heard of a dispute, incident or death that was a direct coincided with the using of marijuana, yet every single day there is an episode on either the news, twitter or Facebook involving a drunk person making a fatal irrational decision.
The only negative side effect of marijuana I can think of is the munchies and I don’t think the mass consumption of junk food is a very viable reason to despise stoners.
At the end of the day I don’t think it’s to farfetched if you look at it rationally, that marijuana is an acceptable substance that if used in moderation and in the right circumstances can be a conventional drug that can be held to the same standard that alcohol and cigarettes are today. I don’t want any special treatment or circumstances, I just want to be able to smoke a blunt and not be ridiculed, judged or thought less of.
And if my words don’t persuade you maybe the President of the United States will who was quoted by CNN ‘s Jen Christensen to have stated, “As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
If the President can smoke weed why cant I?
- Maren Shapiro. “No High Risk: Marijuana May Be Less Harmful Than Alcohol, Tobacco.” NBC News. Web.
- Christensen, Jen. “Is Marijuana as Safe as — or Safer than — Alcohol?” (2014). CNN. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.
- Marley, Bob. “Come a Long Way.” Interview by Dylan Taite. Youtube. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.