A reader is set off by our Samsara post:
Look, I know you haven't been amused enough by my previous emails re: the seriousness of marijuana abuse to post up my comments, but I've been getting almost daily reminders from your blog that get me more and more pissed about this issue. Your choice of blog entries about pot and your inability to preface any of your arguments for legalization with a reminder that marijuana is NOT a harmless drug has honestly surprised me. The issue and topic of legalization might be a good fit for your blog, but your uncompromising, fanatical celebration of this drug is a bit awkward. What's with your obsession over pot?
Marijuana is NOT a harmless drug. And the fact that many writers, bloggers, and columnists such as yourself have been talking about it in such casual, one-sided terms (perhaps in spite of the federal government's unnecessary and stupid enforcement of it) is downright destructive.
Just as being an "alcoholic" is no laughing matter, being a "stoner" is a serious problem for countless individuals, and casually throwing around the term for your blog posts like its no big deal is irresponsible. An example: a recent report released last December showed that 1/15 children in high school smoke pot on a daily basis. I'm curious to know what you'd think of this report if 1/15 kids in high school were alcoholics? Obviously alcoholism is more addictive and more destructive to the human body than is pot, but to claim that marijuana has absolutely no negative consequences to the body is, aside from being false – particularly when it is smoked DAILY during the most formative years of a person's life – is a gross disservice to the lives our children.
These kids need to know that although marijuana is a soft drug, even if it doesn't lead to a harder drug down the line, that its abuse can have very real, hard consequences on their lives. And that's precisely why I think it should be legalized. Not because I think it's the fucking "wonder drug" that will serve as panacea to all problems in the world (marijuana abusers generally think believe this is the case), but because it may force parents and the rest of us to talk more honestly and openly about the drug's harmful side effects, thus making our audience more likely to listen to our words of wisdom. We may even be able to show the little bastards the right way to smoke (sparingly, usually in the company of good friends, and with plenty of water) and how not to.
I have always maintained that marijuana is not for minors. And if it were legal and regulated, we'd be better able to keep it from them. And for the record, the Dish has posted many times about the harmful effects of marijuana for some people. In fact, an entire chapter of The Cannabis Closet – the print-on-demand collection of Dish posts – is called "Addiction". For a sample of those tales of addiction, go here.