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Ten Quick Thoughts About Pot

Well, not that quick. (I’m too high…)

  1. 420 was invented at my high school.
  2. President Clinton likes to say he tried pot once but he didn’t inhale. I had a wildly different experience. I inhaled in 1989 and I didn’t exhale until about 2004.
  3. I have a medical pot card in California. I went to a seedy “doctor’s” office where a dude eating a Big Mac listened to my tales of chronic pain and sleeplessness and suggested that I stick with the “Purples.” To reassure me, he mentioned that neurology was his former area of expertise. He did not offer me any of his fries.
  4. The Medical marijuana clinics that I’ve seen in the Bay Area are like bad night clubs. There is a bouncer at the door. There is a counter where often high people wax on about the benefits of the various strains. It’s fun if you’re a young person looking to party. But I imagine it’s not fun if you’re a cancer patient looking for some relief from the nightmare side-effects of your treatments. People can get remarkably powerful drugs at Walgreens, but they have to put up with this kind of experience to get a little relief from a comparatively harmless substance — and that’s if they’re lucky enough to live in a state with legalized medical pot. Drug laws related to marijuana aren’t just silly and ridiculous. They’re cruel.
  5. You know what seriously ill people should be able to take to ease their discomfort? Anything.
  6. On my fortieth birthday, everyone showed up wearing tie-dye shirts and instead of a roast, my wife asked people to participate in a bake. My mom seemed pretty unamused until I managed to convince her that my failure to live up to my potential had nothing to do with drugs. It was just part of my effort to be ironic.
  7. The fixation on the merits and risks of weed distracts us from discussing the merits and risks associated with much stronger and riskier drugs. The ones that are prescribed.
  8. I’ve taken anti-depressants that made me feel nearly suicidal. I’ve never taken a hit that made me feel that way. I’m not saying this as a pro-marijuana statement or to be anti-psychopharmaceutical. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of the laws. If you think it’s worth spending more time debating Kona Gold than Wellbutrin, then, well, you must be high.
  9. It turns out that pot is not the gateway drug. Prescribed painkillers are the gateway drug.
  10. NFL players are allowed to repeatedly slam their heads together in a way that’s nearly certain to cause brain damage. They are not allowed to use marijuana to ease their pain (apparently it’s bad for cognition).
  11. Let’s get real about the legalization of drugs. If you’re a person of color in a big city, there’s a decent chance you could do time for doing or selling drugs. If you’re like me; a white and reasonably wealthy dude from Marin County, pot has pretty much always been legal. And yeah, that was number eleven in a 10 item list. There’d be a twelve too, but I forgot what I was gonna say.

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.

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