This month there a few things I want to cover in this column. BAD NEWSPAPER HEADLINES, SMOKERS BEHAVIOR IN PUBLIC, and DO PRO-POT PEOPLE WANT POT LEGALIZED?
I decided a few months ago to start getting the Lansing State Journal, as it covers the goings on of the Legislature better than the Jackson paper. While the LSJ is nowhere near the quality of say a Detroit Free Press or News, they regularly re-run stories from both of those papers. Every once in a while they have a local story that catches my eye. Their coverage of the current “K2”epidemic has enraged me to the point of a letter to the editor. They ran a story with the headline “City urges action against SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA”. Now I have been watching the BATH SALTS K2 products since they hit the market years ago. PERSONALLY I am all for better living through chemistry, If we know the chemist. Of course one has to assume that any chemist who is looking for retail sales is going to produce a clean and safe (if used properly) product. Now of course there are unscrupulous people who would take advantage of the naiveté of people looking to catch a buzz, but if you are looking for mass distribution your product will be safe (again if used properly). What upsets me is the attempt to connect this to MARIJUANA. Every article I have read says the side effects can include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, seizures, paranoia, loss of physical control, and hallucinations. Now I have smoked copious amounts of marijuana both here and in Amsterdam, and while paranoia and rapid heart rate might be the only thing in common, I am sure you can suffer from both of those by watching the latest R rated horror flick. To me this is more REEFER MADNESS. Now instead of claiming that smoking marijuana will cause “black men to rape white woman” they claim that smoking an herb sprayed with a chemical is akin to smoking pot. The editors of these newspapers have to hear from US that these products are nothing like marijuana. It has to come from those of us who know what we speak of as we are users of marijuana. If they were trying to ban alcohol I would bet an ounce of weed, that politicians would be getting up, one after another, and admitting that THEY use alcohol ( responsibly ) end all the evil being spread was untrue. Of course we all know that alcohol is such a moneymaker they will never try to ban it again, no matter how many lives it ruins.
I also want to comment on some behaviors that I have noticed seem to be used against us in the court of public opinion. Twice on national TV news and even on a Mi internet talk list (that my wife prints out and sends me) smoking in public places has been mentioned as an issue. While talking about possession a civil infraction, in New York City, punishable by a $100 ticket, a preacher from Los Angeles says that with the change in CA marijuana law, everywhere you go you smell burning weed. He said it’s openly smoked in parks, on the street and even restaurants. Now I don’t really believe what he says but I am sure there are people who heard him who do. A reporter from NYC said that currently people openly smoke in the parks and clubs. Now I have been there and while I know it happens in some clubs, you have to look hard to find someone in a park smoking as you are likely to get arrested if a cop sees you. Now I do think if they made it a civil infraction, like Ann Arbor, there are many of us who would risk a ticket (even a $100 one) but would never risk arrest. Even in Amsterdam, smoking in public is frowned upon. Only the tourists do it.
I think some people get spoiled by events like Ann Arbors HASH BASH. Which in MY opinion has been and always will be a SMOKE-IN.? Yes, many of us will get together and puff on the Diag and then out in front of Dominick’s, but we know we are breaking the law. We do it in protest. When we rent out a building for an event, even if that event is open to the public, we are on private property. There we get to make the rules (with permission of the property owner). Now hotels are a little different. When you rent a room you generally can do anything within the law inside. However if a hotel gets a complaint about people smoking pot in a room they generally will respond. For that reason, for many years now, I travel with an ozone generator. I have never had a problem. The fact that we may have a medical card may NOT keep you from getting kicked out.
Do POT PEOPLE want to legalize pot? That is an interesting question. We know that there are over 130,000 medical marijuana card holders.
We also know that to get a question on the ballot it takes just over 420,000 good signatures. To me it’s simple math. Each card holder gets 4 signatures. Now we know that many medical patients are not able to go out and get signatures, which means that the rest of us would have to pick up the slack. Unfortunately the one thing I do know, which has nothing to do with marijuana, is that volunteer ballot proposals DON’T GET ON THE BALLOT! If my memory serves me right, the Headly Amendment was the last one to do it.
As a parting shot I would like to suggest that you all read David Maraniss’ newest book “Barack Obama: The Story”. I have read a few sections that my wife sent me that were available online. All about Barack Obama being a pothead while growing up in Hawaii. Imagine that, a president who smoked pot. OK, so maybe it’s about more than him being a pothead, but that got me interested in reading it…
Peace and smoke one for me