Gov. Gary Johnson says Just Legalize It.
Time to put pot culture out of our misery , a rant
I want America to legalize the use of marijuana. The sooner the better.
It's not because I smoke pot. I don't, for the same reason I don't repeatedly beat myself in the head with a shovel: As a general rule, I try not to make myself verifiably more stupid.
It's also not because I think other people should smoke pot; I really don't, especially when it comes to teenagers. We live in a country where only 11 percent of high-school seniors are ranked proficient in U.S. history; they don't need to get any more stupid, either.
My desire to make marijuana free and legal is also not because of my concern about draconian mandatory-drug-sentencing laws, which can throw pot smokers into the joint to become the quivering fresh luncheon meat in a prison shower sandwich.
There's only one reason that I want adults to be able to toke up in the U.S., anywhere, any time:
If pot's legal, it'll kill pot culture.
Once pot is legal, the decades-old fetish culture that has sprung up around weed will last about as long as a community joint on the 20th of April. This is an excellent thing, since pot culture has contributed exactly two positive things to the world: Reggae music and Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.
This is in opposition to all the hateful things it has unleashed: Jam bands. Floppy knitted hats. Rusted-out Volkwagen vans. Scraggly beards. White men with dreadlocks. Hacky Sack. Multicolored vests from Guatemala. High Times magazine. Radio ads with vague references to "smokables." Synching up Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz. "I didn't inhale." Deadheads. Parrotheads. Phish-heads. The Spin Doctors. Cypress Hill. The Black Crowes. The HORDE Tours. Rap songs about blunts. Dude, Where's My Car? Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers. Half Baked. Woody Harrelson. For God's sake, Woody friggin' Harrelson.
All of these go away the day pot becomes legal. And so we must free marijuana from the resin-stained wretches who are currently its keepers--and make it so mainstream that nobody ever finds a reason to talk about it again.
That's the problem, you see. Pot fans are mind-numbing fanatics. Talking to a pot aficionado is like playing a drug-related version of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," minus five degrees. Sooner than later, everything comes back to pot.
Well, here's a news flash for stoners (read slowly, now): Talking about pot bores the shit out of the rest of us. Oh, sure, you think it's interesting. But, look, you're fucking stoned.
Legalizing pot takes it all off the table. Pot decriminalization? Who cares? It'll be legal. Closet horticulture? Useless information when you can grow pot next to the azaleas. Hemp, the supercrop? Well, aside from the discussion about whether America actually needs another major agricultural crop (Congress just spent $180 billion to prop up the overproducing farmers we already have), talking about hemp will be like talking about soybeans. No one talks about soybeans.
Even medical marijuana--the one argument pot smokers make that's not transparently about their own desire to toke up--stops being an issue. You'll be able to take two hits and call your doctor in the morning. The stoners will have to find something else to talk about.
Good luck with that.
You may think it's asinine to legalize pot simply to squash stoner culture and make potheads change the subject. But just think--if it works, we can use this strategy in other ways to make life more pleasant for the rest of us. Today the tokers, tomorrow PETA. Hell, I'd happily go vegetarian to have the lot of them drowned in a sack.
--John Scalzi has never taken an illegal drug in his life.