Nothing compares to pot, until you compare pot to nothing
February 1, 2018
"As a new industry explodes, a new normal of craft beer culture has evolved with it — allowing consumers to come out as proud beer drinkers, now able to integrate the ritual into more aspects of their lives than ever before. Whether using this miracle brew as medicine or for fun (or both), I want to talk to you about how it enriches lives, inspires creativity, improves relationships, relieves pain and, yes, enhances performance. I am forever passionate about tapping into the micro brew conversation and contributing to keeping the momentum of this fermented, foamy movement alive."
What the … ? It's an adulterated version of a statement written by Katie Shapiro that appeared in The Aspen Times last week. She was talking about pot. I substituted her references to marijuana with craft beer to see how it sounds. My thought was that beer and pot are fairly interchangeable — exchanging one method of numbing your mind with another. Clunk. Let's try something else.
"As a new industry explodes, a new normal of yoga culture has evolved with it — allowing once closeted athletes to come out as proud yogis, now able to integrate the ritual into more aspects of their lives than ever before. Whether using this miracle exercise as medicine or for fun (or both), I want to talk to you about how it enriches lives, inspires creativity, improves relationships, relieves pain and, yes, enhances performance. I am forever passionate about stretching the yoga conversation and contributing to keeping the momentum of this balanced movement alive."
OK, now we're talking!
By way of this cross-eyed comparison, the implication is that getting stoned is a lot more like doing yoga than it is like tipping back brewskis. Glorifying beer sounds ridiculous because, as we all understand, it's just beer.
For discussion's sake, let's suppose that you neither smoke pot nor participate in yoga.
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Are you better or worse off if you don't smoke pot? Dude, it's sucking smoke into your lungs and messing with your brain. Getting "f'd up" is not an inaccurate description. Sure, pot can take the edge off a rough day and might, and I emphasize "might," make you more interesting at a party, but it's not exactly in the apple-a-day category when it comes to health.
What about yoga? Yoga builds strength and helps maintain flexibility. It encourages your body to produce endorphins. Exercise can boost your immune system. It is relaxing. It would be very difficult to argue that most people would be better off without it.
It would appear, then, that yoga is probably better than doing nothing while smoking pot is not.
So, is it weird that dedicated marijuana proponents go out of their way often to paint an image of getting high into a landscape of virtue? Yes, but it's even weirder that there are still dedicated marijuana proponents.
To me it's cheesy modern art; a clunky sentimental look at the past without context from the present. To them it is not just smoking pot, it's a celebration every time they light up, but about what? It's like rebels' alchemy; an attempt to create defiance over nothing.
The legalization of marijuana is not a miracle. The slaves haven't been freed. Starving children are not being fed. War and poverty still reign. It is just a legislative act that allows you to do what you were already doing with less risk of a legal slap on the wrist. You really want to normalize marijuana use? Act normal about it.
Legalized pot is kind of like businessmen with their hair in brony tails wearing black T-shirts in the '90s — it was cool until everyone did it. Maybe that's the problem. As more and more states legalize pot, the thrill is going, going, gone.
When pot is legal everywhere, even the most glassy-eyed stoner won't see any reason to celebrate it anymore. In our culture, the only thing worse than a drug pusher is a corporation. As soon as The Man turns marijuana into big business and they start marketing it to kids with cartoon characters, then maybe we'll see it for what it is — another dirty habit. Wouldn't it be ironic if someday we are protesting pot and boycotting the marijuana industry stocks? Oh, glory be!
It's a process. Already, many marijuana advocates have become just plain old ordinary consumers of pot instead of bandwagon ticket sellers for it. Stop comparing it to alcohol. Stop comparing it to opioids. Stop making it sound like yoga! If we compare it to nothing, we will see it for what it is.
Roger Marolt likes beer. Who cares? Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.