Marijuana’s Dirty Little Sceret
Marijuana’s earnest legislative warriors don’t want to come right out and admit it: pot makes people feel good. Its main “side-effect” is that it makes everything feel better. It’s pleasurable. It’s fun.
Medicine is not supposed to be any of these things. To placate the angry prudes who don’t want anyone enjoying themselves too much — unless it’s during church-sponsored worship services — marijuana advocates take care to soft-pedal, if not elide entirely, from their arguments the tendency for cannabis to be wildly enjoyable. Even if you’re not taking it to treat a serious disease.
In this way, marijuana is like sex. It can be useful. It can serve a utilitarian purpose. But some of the time — most of the time? — it doesn’t, other than the purpose of giving pleasure to participants. In the eyes of moralists and orthodox religious fundamentalists, sex isn’t to be mistrusted and despised so long as it’s serving a practical function; it’s in these cases, when folks are attempting to make babies, that otherwise disapproving scolds can tolerate orgasms and moaning and all that. But if two adults couple merely for the pleasure of coupling, there’s something inherently suspect and weak about the act.
Weed can indeed assuage symptoms brought on by glaucoma and migraines and chemotherapy. But it can also be terrifically nice for those who suffer nothing more than a desire to enjoy sensual pleasures. Let us not forget that. And let’s not be ashamed to use a substance that, even if we’re not sick, makes us feel better about life.