Sep 122008

*originally printed in Red Shtick Magazine – September, 2008 (pdf)

I agree wholly with the late Harry J. Anslinger that cannabis is evil. It is and rightfully should be unlawful to consume, cultivate, or distribute by penalty of extensive humiliation, incarceration, likely rape, and potential death. It’s just that freaking evil, and so are you – pothead.

I just wrote that because I like saying things that people should say when their actions and stated beliefs equate to things they’d rather not say themselves. I also like reminding people that sometimes justice equals prison rape. God bless you, Harry. Moving on.

If you are reading this, then you are an incurable substance user. Medical science has uncovered compelling evidence that you are not only on drugs, but that your body is, in fact, a vast syndicate of drug production and distribution. Every night when you go to sleep, your brain and limbic system become a virtual-reality rave scene, chock-full of unnatural lighting, indescribable sensations, partial to full nudity, and, on good nights, the female cast of Firefly. In the morning, your body makes different chemicals, inducing urges and events you probably don’t need me to go into detail about.

You and your body constitute a walking, talking, socialized, drug-based economy – in the case of loud drug-war advocates and silent drug-war opponents, outstandingly hypocritical ones. Inside your skin lay all the components of a vibrant manufacture and exchange system of material, energy, and communication resources, all taking the form of chemicals that are essentially drugs.

Some consider the drugs that are manufactured by the body to be sacred and infallible. These people believe that the drugs made by and for one’s own body are the only drugs the body should utilize. These irony-loving people are called Christian Scientists. Most other people, among them many Christians and scientists, believe that some drugs are “good” and some drugs are “bad.”

Sometimes the body becomes ornery and does things that don’t make sense. At those times, it becomes “good” to take certain drugs. The reverse of this logic is that, if everything in the body seems to be running smoothly, taking certain drugs is “bad.” This system generally stands up to empirical observation, because people that take drugs when they are sick usually become well, and people who take drugs when they are well often get sodomized in prison, which leads to poor health.

The hilarity of prison rape aside, it is generally not a good idea to take drugs when you are not sick. To add a little concision to that statement: It is not a good idea to consume any substance unless one is fully aware of the biological effects, and has judged responsibly that the circumstances are those in which those effects are desirable.

In the galaxy where I am Overlord, that statement constitutes the government’s entire drug policy. One is responsible for one’s actions. When one’s actions violate the law due to the influence of drugs, one is held to account for those actions. If we don’t like you, then we confiscate the drugs and sell them to raise money for education, which, unfortunately, has decreased the demand for drugs.

Among the more common and befuddling leaps of human intuition is the concept that the rights, authorities, and responsibilities of human beings as individuals are different from those of groups of individual human beings. These tangled webs of incorporation are woven whenever we need to separate ourselves from things we don’t really have the imagination to see our responsibility for, or just don’t care to. The most amusing application of this logic to date is the notion that groups of people who don’t trust themselves to bear a responsibility have the right to preemptively strip others of the right to try.

The United people of these States of America have stripped me of a right I consider inalienable, endowed by my Creator, and damned self-evident if you’re not a completely self-righteous shmuck. From reading the first paragraph of this diatribe, you can probably guess what right I am talking about.

If you guessed the right to own a 1200-pound pet walrus, then you are right. I believe I am responsible enough to own and care for a pet walrus, and that it is no one’s business who owns a walrus, as long as they smoke it responsibly.

Though my investment in walrus legalization is highly personal, there is another legalization debate that I have some passing academic interest in. Of course, I am referring to the effort to legalize marijuana.

Marijuana comes from a plant called Cannabis sativa. This aromatic weed has been a staple product in human civilization for centuries. It creates the strongest natural fibers, provides soy-like protein in its seeds, and will grow on just about any land that has sky over it.

Cannabis sativa, much like Canis lupus familiaris, comes in lots of fun shapes and sizes. Industrial-grade hemp (which can be legally imported into the U.S. if treated with a special urine supplied by the Justice Department) is a big, tough sucker that is all but indestructible. Finely cultivated strains of medical-grade cannabis (which are very much illegal) are delicate and difficult to grow. These plants are both Cannabis sativa, but they can be as different as a mastiff and a chow.

Though mastiffs and chows are both legal to own, walruses and marijuana are not. Mastiffs and chows can rip your face off. There has never been one single case of a walrus ripping a human’s face off in recorded history, not that I looked it up or anything. Marijuana has caused a number of face-ripping-offs, but those were all results of the tireless investigative efforts of Shaggy and Scooby.

Ironically, Shaggy himself is a notable victim of marijuana prohibition. Though he had solved innumerable crimes on television, Shaggy’s urine sample was a thick, luminescent green, which prevented him from working as a legitimate detective. Scooby was able to pass the urine test, because he’s a dog, so they assumed he was clean. Also, Scooby only did cocaine, so all he’d have to do is lay off for a couple of days to let it wash out of his system.

Shaggy and Scooby are a good example of how chemistry and biology are aligned against pot smokers. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is a nonpolar compound. As such, it is only soluble in fat and oil. The really good drugs – crack cocaine, heroin, alcohol, ecstasy, and delicious crystal meth – are soluble in water. The human body processes a great deal of water each day, but fat tends to stick around. Urine tests favor the drug users that use serious drugs, because urine is mostly water. If we passed fat through our urinary tract, my head would shrink every time I took a leak. Enjoy the imagery on that one? I know I did.

So what does all this mean for you – the responsible, urine-checking employer? It means that the guy you just hired does cocaine on the weekends while he’s choking hookers. The guy who failed the test smoked a joint last month at his friend’s birthday party. Congratulations on your new hire; I hope everything works out.