What Has 2014 Wrought?

tims square magicThere once was a magic crystal ball that “fell” to Times Square on the stroke of Midnight. When the magic ball dropped, 2013 changed into 2014. And suddenly everything was different.

Well, not everything. Orwellian doublespeak was still flourishing. Time Warner was still telling their customers that an impending 18% price increase was in fact a new and, in their words, “great” promotional rate extended to their most valued patrons. Auntie Dianne Feinstein, she of the oxymoronically named Senate Intelligence Committee, was still insisting that Edward Snowden was a traitor, not an American hero, even though a federal judge had found that the secret government surveillance programs he exposed (the ones Auntie Dianne and her legislative cabal secretly authorized) were illegal, and even though the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Guardian were calling on the Obama administration to offer clemency to Snowden in light of the civic good he’s caused.Activists Rally In New York In Support Of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Warmongers were still killing people and greedy folks were still exploiting whomever and whatever they could. That stuff all stayed the same.

But everything else was different.

The biggest change after the magic ball dropped was that in the state of Colorado, marijuana, a substance that only hours earlier had been quite illegal to possess and sell, was now quite legal. How a substance so bad, so dangerous, so threatening to the moral fabric of our tightly-knit society could suddenly become none of those things was the kind of wondrous work the magic ball did, similar to how having sexual intercourse with a lady on the last night of her 17th year makes you a statutory rapist but doing so on the morning of her 18th birthday makes you very fortunate.

Maybe the Coloradans should have thought this weed business through. Maybe the decades of prohibition and criminalization of cannabis had truly been in all of our best interests, keeping us safe from drug-crazed potheads and perhaps from ourselves, what with our tendency toward addiction, whether it’s “Walking Dead” episodes, Starbucks, or reverse gangbang porn. Maybe there was a perfectly good reason why states have made pot smoking a serious crime.

colorado-weed mapSure enough, as though orchestrated by the brewery industry’s public relations manager, Coloradans proved to the world that our fears were warranted. All of them. The bad stuff that we were told would happen if they ever legalized marijuana came to pass. Immediately.

Surely you read about the rash – some, perhaps prone to hyperbole, would call it an “epidemic” – of marijuana overdoses in the first 48 hours of legalization? Most of the emergency rooms in Colorado’s major cities were filled with pot victims in need of medical rescue. Unfortunately, as you’ve no doubt heard, thanks to Obamacare and all the red tape that fiasco has wrapped around the medical industry, the hospitals in Denver were overwhelmed with marijuana cases and so far 44 people may have perished from reefer overdoses.

We mourn the victims, of course. But we would also humbly suggest that maybe it’s too early to rush to judgment. Maybe the predicted wave of marijuana deaths will dramatically lessen as more Coloradans learn how to use a bong properly.

We fervently pray that the broken homes and splintered families that marijuana will inevitably bring to Colorado won’t affect efforts to legalize in other states. The “we told you so!” crowd has had their day. We tip our hat to them. You were right. We hope the carnage can be contained. We also hope the dramatic spike in violent crime brought on by crazed stoners — also predicted by the anti-legalization folks — will soon subside. As soon as the convenience stores and gas stations have no more salty-sweet snacks to pilfer, it should be OK — unless the druggies turn on their fellow citizens, rampaging like a swarm of THC-addled zombies in search of munchies. We hope the tragedies that have befallen Colorado make us wiser.

But the next time that magic crystal ball drops, it will be 2015, and all the untouchable boys and girls will suddenly become touchable young men and women. And, who knows? Some other crazy substance or behavior or marital arrangement will be legalized, too. Just like weed.

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