Coming out stoner! For those of us who have been enjoying the wonders of weed, albeit illegally for all of these years, it’s time to open up the closet door and exit. The world has changed!
Years ago, not only was its legal status taboo, but if you worked a legitimate job and had reasonably sensible conservative friends and associates, the connotation of a ‘stoner’ was less that desirable. So we hid our use. Back in the day, society did not approve of gays and drag queens and similarly had no tolerance for the ‘pothead’.
David Schmader, writer, proud pothead and author of Weed: The User’s Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana says “So what if I used weed not to escape, but to engage with art, ideas, food and hilariously terrible movies”. He started his ”coming out stoner” campaign and encourages us all to ‘come out’ and tout the medicinal and other peripheral benefits that the cannabis plant delivers.
The world’s perception of pot is in a transitional phase and he wants integrity in our nation’s pot laws and he wants people to know the truth. He cites their inconsistency by stating that there are recreational and medicinal freedoms in one state while jail time is mandatory in other states hundreds of miles away.
At the heart of the problem is the labeling of marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic which not only means that it is extremely dangerous, but also means that it has ‘no accepted medical use’. This destructive designation made in 1970 in the Controlled Substances Act created a nearly insurmountable hurdle to getting funding to research its medicinal values. Why give medical research funds to something with ‘no accepted medical use’?
Add to this that researchers need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration needs to temporarily deputize researchers and the fact that pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to fund this medical research out of fear that their very businesses will be in jeopardy if weed works better. A ton of hoops to jump through to get good information about marijuana’s medicinal benefits.
Oh, and just as an aside, crystal meth and cocaine are Schedule II. Go figure!
Schmader talks of what he calls 3 ‘monster myths about marijuana:
IT’S A GATEWAY DRUG He says no it is not in and of itself a gateway drug. Since it is prohibited, black market dealers sell not only marijuana but also all of those harder narcotics.
PEOPLE WANT MEDICAL MARIJUANA JUST TO GET STONED Also not true. He refers to the 10 thousand people who die a year from prescription pain medications and to the absence of deaths from an overdose of medicinal marijuana. Not to mention the incredible results for chronic aches and pains from medicinal marijuana with some strains having no ‘high’ effect at all.
WEED MAKES YOU STUPID AND INSANE Schmader believes that pot should be kept far away from children and even questions the 21 year old marker as possibly too young. Developing brains and bodies should not be exposed.
He urges those who smoke, medicinal or otherwise, to “come out”, especially in states where it is legal to do so.
So come on out all of you lawyers, doctors, ad executives and investment bankers! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!