A Marijuana Prophecy

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President Obama today held an online interview fielding questions from millions of people in a virtual town hall meeting in cyberspace. The most frequently asked questions roach clipped around one burning theme. A majority of the online audience were all a buzzed about whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy.

The president, a little lost for words but ever the coolest head of state in the art of the brush-off of difficult questions, chuckled and rhetorically answered if this popular question said something about the state of the online audience.

All had a good laugh. Then the president walked away from the podium, mike in hand. He is not a man who walks the walk as much as he is a man who walks to talk. Pacing seems to help him form his thoughts. One could feel the president’s mind zig and zag about the question, then he just answered simply, around a nodding smile that he thought marijuana was not the answer to growing the economy.

Obama imbibed in his youth. I never smoked marijuana. Being an Opera singer during the bulk of my rapscallion days of teen-and-early twenty something, a post puff reefer reedy tone to my Fs and Gs above middle C as a baritone was a no blow show. A breathy weedy rumble the likes of Leonard Cohen ruminating songs is great in clubs but tone death when singing Sharpless in Madame Butterfly or Figaro in Mozart’s Figaro. I wanted to sing Papagano not Pot-pagan-o in the Magic Flute. Therefore, before I make the following prophetic comments, I want people to understand that I do this not in a haze of praise of marijuana. Still, for the prophetic record I have something to say which may be shockingly proven true in eight-to-ten years’ time:

Marijuana will be legal in the United States.

The cause of this will not be from the success of the usual pot grower and toker’s argument that marijuana has many beneficial and medical advantages unlike legalized alcohol. Moreover, they argue that legal alcohol abuse, the injury and deaths of thousands each year at the hands of alcohol juiced domestic violence and driving accidents, far exceeds anything comparable to the abuse of mellow-making marijuana, or being stoned.

Ending prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s? Meet ending prohibition of cannabis in the early twenty-teens. Legalizing booze ended the mafia-gangster entrepreneurship of people like Al Capone and the cross the border business of contraband booze smuggling. Legalizing marijuana will undermine the infrastructure and cut off the pipeline of Mexican drug cartels into America.

It will clear US prisons of thousands of potheads occupying the space real and violent criminals ought to inhabit. Law enforcement will have sizable resources freed. For instance, the Californian state sheriff department reports it would save $1 billion a year if pot fields were left alone and not searched and burnt down. An estimated $44 billion is spent on anti-pot enforcement in the United States. Legalizing weed could earn the government $33 billion in new tax revenues.

The cost of legalized pot, like booze in the 1930s, would plummet, making it untenable for the “Alphonse and Juan” Capones of today’s drug cartels because marijuana traffic is the foundation on which all rat lines of harder fare are logistically established and smuggled into America.

Marijuana use in the next decade becomes legal even though the president laughed it off today. If he has two terms in office, he may see states move to have pot legalized. I am sure this president will find a way to brush cannabis off his shoulder like he famously brushed other problems and criticisms like dandruff during the 2008 primary campaign because it will break the financial back of the Mexican drug cartels. Their profits after pot prohibition ends will go up in happy high contact smoke.

John Hogue
(26 March 2009)

Books by John Hogue

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  1. Bernard Continelli
    Posted 11 November 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Beyond the clamor for medical cannabis (I believe NOTHING that’s smoked will ever be accepted as medicine – med-pot’s only chances are it in processed elixir form or ‘vaporizing’ at the MOST if its effects must be immediate instead of delayed) there will be economic and environmental benefits from the legalization of the industrial side of hemp for everything from paper to plastics to non-fossil fuels for our cars that cannot be perpetually “plugged into” the grid, and thus cannot benefit from truly-“passive” energy sources like solar and wind. Sadly, all-electric cars are not efficient enough for (most) of us who use them in the bitter winters, scorching summers, or who (now!) own even lightweight travel trailers to tow (I selected a reasonably compact and light model, and was just getting sick and tired of summertime high motel and ‘camping cabin’ prices not to mention no vacancies at all).

    So in short, I favor out-and-out legalization with only age limits for cannabis in UNprocessed form (pure buds) with a “luxury” or “sin” tax like alcohol or tobacco in which proceeds would go toward benefiting (1) national health care and (2) re-hab programs for persons with hard drug or alcohol problems. Of course folks with a genuine medical need for cannabis would not have to pay this tax, and all persons would additionally be permitted to grow a few plants for personal use only – NOT sale.

    I’m not sure whether or not to believe you OR Jay Leno who also denies ever smoking cannabis / marijuana, but what one openly admits about oneself is one’s own business. I will admit that I have tried the ‘major’ psychedelics in my life – LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, etc. – and am happy to report that the old drug information books that grouped them together with cannabis were simply wrong, and not just regarding the “acute” effects, but the ‘secondary’ ones too. For example the ‘majors’ always temporarily turned me into a fruitarian – even a dish of eggplant parm was ‘too rich’ in the psychedelic state, but the “munchies” generated by mere marijuana brings me all the way back to omnivoreland, especially if combined with wine!

    For this and other attributes I’ve always believed that the ‘majors’ were actually windows into otherly dimensions, perhaps ones we’ll all inhabit after physical death. After all, wasn’t fruit the main food in ‘The Garden’? And in THIS context I don’t regard omnivorism as morally wrong in this dimension … it’s more along the lines of the old barroom song “In Heaven There is no Beer – That’s Why We Drink it Here”.

    I hope my words have debunked the myth that cannabis / marijuana is an “intrinsic New Age” substance whose legalization will magically turn the U.S. into the most culturally ‘PC’ nation on Earth … it won’t if that’s your fear!

  2. Posted 10 November 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    The most important out come of the last election was the legalization of marijuana by popular vote in two states. The Friends of Marijuana Affinity group is the largest group of folks who share a belief in the Nation. Larger than gays, many of whom are hemp fans, larger than blacks, larger than the republican party, larger than an religion. The point is we have been imprisoned, robbed, disenfranchised and fined for 70 years for no good reason. The economic impact of Free Market Hemp is not about the smoking pot, it is about the Industrial Hemp that can and will be grown, processed and manufactured in every state to produce fuel, fiber, food, medicine and millions of JOBS. Look deeper and you will see the restoration of the social contract and collective consent.

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