Common Sense Up In Smoke

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

By Chris Tormos – Staff Writer

For medical practitioners and hobby enthusiasts of marijuana alike, Colorado’s proposed Amendment 64, legalizing and outlining the regulation of marijuana, holds great potential for removing the drug from its current legal grey area. Colorado’s Amendment 64 is one of three proposals – Colorado, Washington and Oregon – for full-legalization in 2012. However, statistics suggests that Colorado has the most potential for an optimal outcome. According to the Denver Post, “Amendment 64 has the support of 51% of likely voters surveyed and 40% opposed” with the remaining 9% unsure.
Colorado’s current marijuana policy is considered for medical usage only. Patients who have recommendations from doctors can purchase marijuana legally at dispensaries. There are some stipulations; it is intended for usage in the privacy of one’s home. Open and public displays of usage with possession under two oz. are a maximum fine of $100. The laws that currently stand are easy enough to abide by, so why is there a need for law reform?
The answer may lay in a different kind of green that isn’t smoke-able. The economic hardships of the state are pushing legislators to consider more unusual funding alternatives. Colorado is currently facing a budget deficit of 400-500 million dollars, and an annual general revenue fund growth of only 57.8 million. Early speculative figures suggest an estimated 60 million dollars in revenue from the combined regulatory taxes and savings on processing and prosecutions of drug crimes.
Passing Amendment 64 would also eliminate the need for “patients” to have to go through doctors, leaving their names in paperwork and databases in order to procure the pungent herb. Certainly some people who use medical marijuana find its effects medicinal and rely upon it for relief. However, most “patients” of medical marijuana fake a simple ailment to get a doctor’s recommendation so they can enjoy getting stoned in the privacy of their own home. This may come as a shock but like the allegory of the cave, allow your eyes to adjust to the blinding embrace of enlightenment.
Moderation is the key to living a successful life and enjoying all the indulgences it has to offer. This may seem simple enough but if it were, the war against stupidity would not still be waged in the trenches. Whether it is weed, coffee, cheeseburgers, alcohol, candy bars, television, gambling, video games, or social networking, you simply have to observe moderation. The watermark of the stupid is one who acts on impulse without foresight, oblivious to the surroundings or consequences and feeds only the most basic of drives, the pleasure center, “this feels good and so I want it now.”
In order to evolve one must observe moderation as well as the fine art of appropriate timing. There are times in life that it is certainly appropriate to smoke a joint or imbibe drink. And in this we discover the modern riddle of the sphinx, where only the intelligent may pass. “Is this an appropriate time for (insert vice here) and am I using said vice in moderation?” Stand at the gates and ponder as long as it takes, but do so knowing it is an easy answer to an enjoyable life and self-control. The very basics of that phrase needs to be a characteristic all should strive for, control of the self. If one masters the concepts of control, timing and moderation, then they too can realize the very best part of this riddle. One will never have to give up any of the things that make life that much more enjoyable because they never abused them.