We hear about more and more people standing up for the right to smoke pot legally as of late, and even in little Norway we can feel the impact of this discussion going on in the rest of the world. I realize that the arguments surrounding this issue are many and complex, and to some extent I can understand many of the opinions voiced. However, my automatic reaction is that cannabis is a drug that can cause big damage to the brain and to the body, and the thought of legalizing it contradicts a lot of what I believe in. Before we continue, I therefore have to make clear that these are just my own personal thoughts on the subject, and should be taken as such.
We are all aware of the damage pot can cause. Still there are a lot of people wanting to legalize it. The main argument that I have heard for doing this, is that it would minimize crime and release police resources to focus on more important things. Seeing as “so many” abuse cannabis already, making it legal would make this whole big problem suddenly disappear. As appealing as it sounds, the argument is the dumbest one I’ve ever heard. I mean, of course the crime rate would drop. If we legalize theft, raping and killing, it would also drop. Take away laws all together, there would never be any crimes at all. Amazing?
When we define something as legal or illegal, crime rate will drop or increase as a result of that – but our legal definition of something has nothing to do with the possible negative implications this definition can have for the society. So – drop the crime argument. It is irrelevant for what the discussion should really be about: how are the pros and the cons balanced?
Over to something else – namely the tendency to make pot a “nice” drug in comparison to other drugs. That when we see it next to for example heroin, it’s more or less cute and innocent. Going after the assumption that everything that doesn’t kill you, is harmless, this would make sense. However, the term “dangerous” is multi-faceted. Something can be dangerous because it kills you in an instant, and something can be dangerous because of the long-term-effects it can cause. What is certain, is that when you first start to smoke pot, the probability that you will start on harder drugs sky rockets. That’s one thing that makes pot dangerous. Secondly, the long term damage you inflict upon your body can be severe.
On top of the damage you get from actually smoking the stuff and risk cancer in your lungs and respiratory system, you risk harming the Most Important Thing in your body: Your brain.
At first, smoking pot seems like a blast, because all you do is having a good time, relaxing, laugh with your friends and be comfortable. That’s what everyone want pot to be. But because smoking pot is such a positive experience, you risk smoking more and more, and smoking it over longer periods of time. These effects of pot-smoking often comes slowly, so you don’t understand what’s causing them, and they entail developing or worsening brain damags like disabled cognitive functions, bad memory, personality changes, poor reasoning and inability to see connections. Pot can also mess with your sense of reality and trigger serious diseases like psychoses, depression and schizophrenia. In other words, by smoking pot, you can damage the most vital thing you recieved when you became a living person. Because that is what the brain is.
Funny? No. Pot is not nice.
Then people say that it’s wrong to legalize alcohol and tobacco when pot is prohibited. That may be so. By all means, what we need is more things to destruct ourselves on. But where comes this need to find substances to abuse so that our bodies get broken? It’s like we’re little babies who screams to the government to feed us more candy. It should’t be like that. In fact, no drugs should be illegal for abuse at all, because abusing them should’t be something we wanted to do.
But obviously, we want to do it. We want to find new things to give us rushes and highes to lighten up our miserable lives. What we don’t see, is that it dulls us. It makes us slack and stupid. Right now, Jemen could be in the middle of a revolution. That revolution and a bettering in the people’s conditions will never come. Why? Because they all go around chewing khat instead of doing something with their lives, and that slows their minds. And khat is regarded as something far less dangerous than pot! Still it stupidifies an entire nation.
And so, ultimately, the discussion is about what kind of a society we really want. Ideally, no-one should feel the need to do drugs. It’s just so useless and needless and overrated, and the lows are so much worse that the highs are good. Of course, I understand that such a society will never be, because humanity is so totally set on destructing itself. Frankly, I don’t even understand that we have managed to survive this long, but I’m convinced that it’s due to sheer luck.
As for me, I hate the thought of what these things can do to our bodies. And on an even more profound level, I am of the opinion that the most important thing we owe ourselves when we’ve been so lucky to earn a life on this wonderful planet in the first place, is to treat ourselves good, and not damage ourselves. Us damaging our bodies is just such a disrespect to ourselves and the nature in general. Therefore the whole concept of debating whether or not to legalize drugs are just tasteless to me.
My conclusion – and again, this is entirely my own opinion – is: grow up, get real, start enjoying the magnificent life you have instead of always searching for things to get high on. All it really does is making you dumb, numb, addicted, depentent, helpless, boring and uninventive. Life in itself has so much good to offer when one just takes the time to appreciate it. Messing with your brain is not a cool thing to do.