Do we really want to make it easier to get stoned?
Cut through the smoke and that's really what California voters will be deciding in November with Proposition 19, which would make this the only state to fully legalize marijuana — a drug with proven negative health consequences.
The concern with marijuana is not based on my personal disapproval or bias but upon what science tells us about the drug's effects. The science is clear: Marijuana is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment. [San Jose Mercury News]
So according to Skip Miller, science compels us to keep marijuana illegal. Yet, as SAFER points out, his website takes a very different tone when it comes to alcohol:
Take a minute and think how often adults drink alcohol: a cold beer at a baseball game, a glass of Chardonnay with a piece of broiled fish, a gin and tonic on a warm day. Social drinking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of Americans. It relaxes you, curbs stress, and chases away inhibitions… [DARE.org]
Wait, what!? Although the statement goes on to acknowledge the problems associated with alcohol abuse, there's no question that DARE is going out of its way to defend recreational drinking. And I agree with every word. Teaching young people that there's nothing wrong with responsible drinking is important, even though I find it ridiculously weird that DARE, of all places, would seek to do that.
All of this just serves to highlight the mind-blowing prejudice and hypocrisy that underscores DARE's position on marijuana policy. If alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly by millions of adults, despite all the mayhem associated with it, then of course the same must be true of marijuana. On the other hand, if the potential for negative outcomes trumps the rights of responsible users, then why on earth is DARE applauding "acceptable and pleasurable" alcohol instead of insisting that science compels us to start arresting people for possessing it?
When pressed, the architects of this brainless disparity typically resort to some desperate nonsense about alcohol being accepted and familiar in our culture, as though marijuana just arrived on a boat sometime last year. These same idiots actually are the last remaining obstacle to broader social and legal acceptance of marijuana, and if only we could take away their precious beer, we'd find them at the bargaining table within 48 hours.