One of the coolest aspects of the internet is that I can do a search about, say, marijuana, and end up reading a thoroughly conservative article I would never actively seek out and read some opinions I would have been ignorant to. The most recent of this type of finding was a blog post by Ed Rogers on The Washington Post website attempting to rebut an article in the same publication by Doug Fine, “Five myths about legalizing marijuana.” I won’t argue for either side, because beyond idealistic bias, I took issue with a particular comment of Rogers’, as follows:
“Advocates of legalizing marijuana are making this debate harder than it has to be. Simply put: What current problems of ours might be solved if we had more inebriated people wandering among us? … They want us to believe that the known consequences associated with being on the loose with degraded senses in an open society would simply not occur — or at the very least, would not increase — if marijuana use were to become more widespread.”
Inebriated people wandering among us? On the loose with degraded senses? Sounds terrifying. I imagine drooling, grizzled, doddering fools stumbling into the paths of smart-suited businesspeople and the good workers of the world attempting to do their jobs despite the degenerates threatening to sabotage it all.
Until I realize something: I am one of those degenerates! And I’m far more sneaky than an inebriated wanderer on the loose. I disguise myself as a respectable citizen with a college degree and full-time work, and I shower regularly. I even do these things well, and no one I don’t want to know has yet figured out that I’m secretly a societal evil. I’m infiltrating straight society from the inside out!
I’m not the only one, either. For example, anti-cannabis New York state Assemblyman Steve Katz, one of Ed Rogers’ fellow Republicans, was stopped and ticketed in March for speeding with a few grams of weed in his car. He was on his way to work.
Since that incident, Katz appears to have changed his mind about his public non-support of legalizing cannabis, and voted in May to make possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view only ticket-able, not arrest-able.
Rogers could argue that due to the ticket for speeding with marijuana, Katz is indeed a degenerate of some sort. But considering that black people in New York are arrested for marijuana possession at a rate four times greater than that of whites (and blacks use it less), Katz’s active support for decriminalization is part of a sorely-needed movement to end institutional racism in the U.S., among other things.
Ed Rogers should watch out.* He doesn’t realize we’re already one of them.
*Not a threat. I’m a weak girl with no authoritative power.