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Green Room Diaries: Hard Drugs Vs. Cannabis

by Stoned Cold Sativa Awesome

There are rumors that Oregon is considering the decriminalization of hard drugs. On one hand, this makes sense in theory, the same way a Libertarian utopia makes sense in theory. On the other hand, scabs. Tons and tons of scabs, which is what happens to your skin after you do hard drugs. Here are five reasons why we can’t use the "it worked for weed" model, at least when applying legal boundaries to non-organic substances.

1. Marijuana Is Non-Addictive

I know what you’re thinking...I’m clearly not looking in the mirror if I try to suggest that marijuana is not "habit-forming." But, much like video games, porn or social media (and unlike heroin or meth), weed withdrawals won’t lead to hospital visits. I had my car broken into by tweakers—who were looking for scap metal—and they stole just that, some metal (worth about seven bucks). Yet, they left behind a pre-packaged dispensary ounce of OG Kush. So, not only is weed nonaddictive, but to people stealing shit to fuel a real addiction, it’s not even worth the resale value.

No one who visits (or moves to) Oregon, in hopes of living the weed life, will end up a pot junkie, strung out at Country Fair and looking for their next dab fix. Again, I know there are exceptions, but they’re not real junkies—just assholes. The sixty-year-old lady who decides to give pot a shot will not end up broke, in the gutter and panhandling for brownies. If you run out of weed, the worst you’re going to do in order to fund your habit, is ask your dealer to front you a bag.

2. Marijuana Is Non-Lethal

Again noting exceptions for DUII and dubstep, there is very little room to argue that pot sales lead to societal harm. If you eat too many weed brownies or smoke too much shatter, you will only end up in a hospital bed if you happen to already live in a hospital. Compare this to heroin. In fact, many times, heroin addicts are given their first fix in the form of painkiller opiates—straight from the doctor at the hospital.

Hard drugs are not only lethal on their own, but the administration methods are just as dangerous. You can’t get HIV from sharing a bong, nor is there any chance that your locally sourced BHO contains fecal matter. A noob can purchase their first dab, slab, blunt or brownie and be pretty safe, unless we’re talking spilled bong water or improper use of a torch. There is no need to find a vein when getting high on weed, nor will ingesting the wrong stuff lead to a heart attack or blood clot.

3. Marijuana Is Supplemental To Culture

If you’ve ever enjoyed a white blues band or any public art in Portland, chances are, it was cannabis-inspired. On the same token, if you’ve ever enjoyed grunge music, chances are, it was heroin-inspired (heroinspired?). The difference is that whoever created that cool Bob Marley sculpture is probably still alive. If your society has too much weed (i.e. San Francisco), it rebels from laziness by becoming a booming tech industry. If your society has too much cocaine, it collapses the housing market.

Further, weed commerce isn’t nearly as ugly as hard drug culture. Head shops are full of colorful toys, much like the types of porn stores that advertise with this publication. Heroin stores, should they ever exist, would be full of needles, Lou Reed albums and ashtrays. Right now, I’m wearing pot-leaf-patterned socks, because I’m a goofy stoner. If I was into shooting up, I’d be barefoot. The ’60s were inspired by weed and the ’80s were inspired by cocaine...go ahead, show me one history book that notes the importance of Nagel paintings and synth pop. I know I’m over-generalizing here, but Easy Rider and Scarface are, like, two different films, man.

4. Taxpayer-Funded Rehab Facilities Don’t Work

When it comes to methadone, it isn’t exactly birth control, in terms of ease-of-use and consequences of withdrawal. The addict is still addicted—just to a safer substance. It’s basically an e-cigarette or nicotine patch, but the state-funded facilities seem to enjoy keeping people hooked on it for years (if not decades). To think that a few buildings full of psych majors with bachelor’s degrees will be able to curb the side effects of legal smack is beyond stupid. Basically, the only rehab facilities that work are the privatized ones, full of celebrities and rich people.

I haven’t seen a single Serenity Lane billboard that features a white dude with dreadlocks and a tie dye shirt, simply because "weed rehab" involves sleeping it off for a day or two and maybe hitting an N.A. meeting. Legalizing (or decriminalizing) smack will only lead to more people receiving crappy treatment from unqualified "professionals," who are lining the their pockets with taxpayer funds, at best, and a bunch of un-treated junkies at worst. In short, to state-funded rehab facilities, a sober patient is no longer a profitable one. Whereas private rehab can use quick and effective recovery statistics to draw new patients, a speedy recovery in a state-funded program just reduces tax revenue. Decriminalizing hard drugs would result in the mere changing of environment from state prison to state rehab facility, but neither provides actual rehabilitation.

5. There Are Minimal (If Any) Benefits To Decriminalization Of Hard Drugs

Broken leg with severe, actual ADHD? Fine. Here’s a painkiller and some uppers. But, what else can be said about the benefits of heroin? Who will benefit from lower sentencing for cocaine? Fun fact: the disparity in sentencing between crack and powdered cocaine exists, for reasons related to race, but get this...it was championed by black politicians for the black community. As it turns out, crack is bad for the neighborhood. So, why is the white (yes, hate to break it to ya, but heroin is a Becky drug these days) community so open to self-destruction? Are we just that bored? I can think of no greater example of "privilege," than when a community openly invites lethal, addictive drugs into their homes, for reasons such as "compassion."

Anyone advocating for the decriminalization of hard drugs has never been addicted to them. The gun argument angle—that being "outlaws will get guns even if they’re illegal"—may be legit, but no one on either side of the spectrum is advocating that we decriminalize mass murder. You’re not gonna solve suicide bombings by decriminalizing the ingredients used to make bombs.