Cultural Changes Caused By Legalized Marijuana

 

Having lived through the '60s, I'd say "deep and profound." 

American culture will shake at the rafters.  The most obvious will be the impact on Big Pharma and the Liquor Lobby, but the ramifications will be much more subtle and far reaching. 

First of all, as comedian Dennis Miller has mentioned, if Xanax and grass went head to head to see which is more beneficial, “Xanax would lose.”  Weed is cheaper, healthier, more effective and more fun to use.  Grass encourages social interaction, not isolation.  And you don’t need an Rx from some hotshot doctor who owns you.  Xanax is an anti-depressant; marijuana is a natural euphoriant.  There’s a big difference.  The former is a laboratory concoction of white lab-coated, conservative prudes; the latter is a gift of nature with absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS.  If you overindulge smoke you don’t even get sick as with whiskey; you pass out and wake up without even a hangover.  The normal response of people turning on the first time is to burst out laughing. 

(See the podcast with Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Dean of Harvard Medical School, which I arranged some years ago when there were no legal marijuana states.  Also, you can see the plug for Mirror Reversal at the bottom of the first page, the Atheist Novel to the right.) 

The Liquor Lobby will be impacted big time.  As hippies we’d telephone each other,”Hey man, whip out the Dylan, The Grand Funk Railroad, the Joe Cocker, and some weed, we’re all coming over.”  Bars and lounges will lose because we didn’t need strangers overcharging us for a cocktail or glass of beer.  We preferred to stay at home without cops spying on us and making petty judgments. 

The gun lobby will lose.  Personally speaking, grass is biophilic, I didn’t even like to look at the damn things—I still don’t. 

Vanity fashion will lose.  The ‘60s brought on the jeans revolution.  We didn’t care about designer clothes.  You were judged for being a “good guy” and somebody you can trust.  Sure we dug ornate shirts and pants, but most of the time we made the clothes ourselves. 

These stupid TV sit-coms with the canned laughter will go looking for viewers.  We made our own show.  We were insulted by TV actors and commercial marketers treating us like we were sixth graders and talking down to us and telling us what to consume.    Celeb magazines will stay on the supermarket display stands untouched and unsold. Who cares which movie star got jilted? They’re mostly overambitious, perfidious, Machiavellian people.  We have our own life.   

I can go on and on with more cultural changes.  Hope you’ll offer others. 

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Tags: grass, weed

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Comment by Luara on December 29, 2013 at 6:55am

A lot of the Cannabis that is used on a medicinal level, is very low in THC and high in CBD, CBN, and other elements known to relieve pains AND known to alleviate seizures in patients.

So people using this medical MJ, don't actually get stoned, or only a little bit?

Comment by Luara on December 29, 2013 at 6:50am

As far as “indulgent” goes, to me the word means “lenient” or “permissive”.

I looked up "indulgent" online and it usually carries a negative judgement of excessiveness (somehow it's wrong). e.g.
Someone who is self-indulgent gives themselves a lot of treats.
(with a message that there's something wrong with that).

Being "self-indulgent" may indeed be damaging - such as people who get fat because they eat too much sugar and fat.  (although calling it self-indulgence is still a moralistic way of putting it).

Addiction could (judgementally) be called self-indulgence. 

For some people, MJ may be like that.  There is after all, a "Marijuana Anonymous" as I said earlier, and presumably some of the people in it are there because they really do have a psychological addiction to MJ that has damaged them. 

It sounds like PMP believes every marijuana user is like that. 

The only way that "indulgence" doesn't carry a bad connotation, is when people do it only occasionally, like "indulging in a special treat". 

When I googled "indulgence" I got many Catholic references. 

Grass should be used when the work is done and the various responsibilities of daily living have been taken care of

When I was studying at Caltech I would get stoned ... after my homework was done.
Later, I dared to post in non-drug forums online, about drug-related things.  And I would receive a storm of vituperation, namecalling, denigration.  From people who almost certainly would not have made it through Caltech or even been able to learn to do the work I was doing. 

The Drug War has encouraged denigration of drug users.  That might be part of the reason for it as I said - drugs as a convenient scapegoat to take the focus off other social ills. 

I hate Big Pharma and believe they’re composed of self-aggrandizing, selfish and brain-washed hypocrites.

Many people might find working for a pharmaceutical company to be an idealistic job.  They're helping to make products that might help with diseases. 

And, surely you do use pharmaceuticals - you mentioned Viagra.  I use some pharmaceuticals that help with my immune system problems, and may be crucial for me. 

The pharmaceutical companies spend tons of money on testing drug candidates that don't result in new drugs.  They have to get that money back, and those costs are incorporated into the drugs they sell. 

Comment by Richard Goscicki on December 28, 2013 at 10:08am

< Peter,
You wrote

Next time you feel the impulse to light up a joint you might want to consider that. Not because it is, or is not, legal but because it will not allow you to live your life to its fullest potential.>>>

To add to Laura’s comment, I’d propose to let the individuals decide what’s their “fullest potential.”  Surely you wouldn’t tell George Carlin or John Lennon or countless other pot head artists not to smoke because they won’t live up to their fullest potential.  We could also throw in Sigmund Freud, Arthur Cohan Doyle or even Baudelaire, the French mystical poet.  He might have written Les Fleurs to Bonheur, instead. 

< I think 'Lord of the Flies' was a more accurate representation of the nature of primitive humanity>>>

Funny you should mention this.  It brings back a lot of memories and a few years ago I wrote a book Mirror Reversal focusing on its basic premises.  In the mid-‘60s, as part of a social psych course with Phil Zimbardo, we analyzed the book for almost ten days. 

The story was an allegory of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory.  Each character represented a specific Freudian concept:  Piggy was the superego, Ralph the ego and the repugnant Jack, the id.  Jack was the evolutionary baggage we carry and stemmed from the hindbrain, characterized by base emotions like rage and anger.  Modern science has upgraded Freudian concepts to the “R-Complex” or the “Reptilian Factor.”

But to me the main character was Simon, the mystic.  He’s the one who said, “Maybe we are the beastie.”  In terms of what humans are doing to the planet, this statement is spot on, as far as I’m concerned.  I wrote extensively on exploitation of Gaia.  I even wrote a poem called “Simon” which was read on the radio and published in the Village Voice years ago.  (It’s in Pot Stories if you do a search.)  To me, Simon representing the power of Reason was the mystical aspect of mankind’s psyche. Interesting that Simon was the first to die.  (I’ll bet you didn’t know that it was William Golding who co-founded “Gaia theory” along with the British scientist James Lovelock.)

I think Christopher Hitchens has a pertinent view on this thread.  Humans are still in adolescent (if not early childhood) states of evolutionary development.  We need a modern-day Simon, in the fashion of Moses, to lead us away from the mental cage that religion and base human nature has imprisoned us.  Reason and education alone must solve humanity’s problems, but I’ll admit if doesn’t look very promising for future generations.  One thing’s for sure, “God will provide” isn’t going to work.

Peter, I think you can interpolate from the foregoing what my comments would be on Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “Noble Savage” concept.  In light of modern science which Rousseau didn’t have, we have to go with Golding.

 

Comment by Richard Goscicki on December 28, 2013 at 9:15am

< both you and me prefer not to use MJ on a daily basis. >>>

Laura, this brings to mind a very important point about the educational system.  The country still carries a profound subconscious, Puritanical, pleasure-negative bias. There should be discussions about having fun and living well, as much as science and history.  The above point is pretty obvious, but yet many people stupidly abuse it and wind up paying a high social or economic price.  Grass should be used when the work is done and the various responsibilities of daily living have been taken care of—like a fine cognac. 

< I don't see your rationale for focusing on drug co's in particular.  >>>

I could be criticizing the booze companies as well – and probably even the cigs; I’m sure even they’ll have something to lose.  But to tell the truth I hate Big Pharma and believe they’re composed of self-aggrandizing, selfish and brain-washed hypocrites.  In Pot Stories I call them Machiavellian schemers.  Right on!

<Peter's said that MJ use was "indulgent behavior".>>>

I’ll get to Peter’s input presently.  As far as “indulgent” goes, to me the word means “lenient” or “permissive”.  What’s the opposite, “strict” or “Puritanical”, perhaps “Spartan.”  If he said that, I’d like to remind him what board he’s on.  In sure there’s a plethora of Christian sites that think self indulgence is abomination.

 

 

 

 

Comment by Peter Pimentel on December 28, 2013 at 9:04am

A lot of the Cannabis that is used on a medicinal level, is very low in THC and high in CBD, CBN, and other elements known to relieve pains AND known to alleviate seizures in patients. Check out Charlottes Web. Research the benefits of medical Cannabis. It's an amazing plant.

Comment by Luara on December 28, 2013 at 7:15am

Richard,

But, both you and me prefer not to use MJ on a daily basis.  When I was using it, I only used it once every couple weeks or so, and you said something similar. 

The reason for me is because I didn't want to change my consciousness like that, daily. 

I did often get a mellow relaxed feeling the day after using MJ.  But I wouldn't want to have to get high every evening, in order to get that feeling the next day. 

I haven't used MJ for medical purposes, but it seems as a medicine it would have a huge side-effect of making people high. 

I had never heard of anti-hangover drugs.  If medical MJ were legal, the drug co's would be trying to refine the active ingredient, try to come up with something similar without the side effects.  Possibly making a lot of money from that. 

I don't see your rationale for focusing on drug co's in particular.  There are MANY different reasons one can come up with, that could be motivating the drug war.  Here are a few:

- People's discomfort around others who are in a different state of consciousness.  We like to feel we have a "mental model" of the person we're talking with.  It's part of how we socially connect.  I've felt weird talking to people who were stoned when I wasn't - not knowing where their minds were at. 

- wish to find a scapegoat for social problems like poverty and racism

- the antagonism of religion towards other ways of changing one's consciousness, like meditation and drugs.  Many religious people want God and church to be the ONLY allowed way to change one's state of consciousness. 

- Antagonism towards states of mind that aren't oriented to material objects.  Although, drugs themselves are material objects, and drug use itself is a kind of consumption. 

- Antagonism towards a kind of entertainment that isn't focused on selling you things.  Our culture is extremely TV-dominated, and this causes a lot of pathology.  People are indoctrinated by the TV. 

However, many people get stoned and then ... watch TV.  I've heard that blue-collar workers, who are often physically very tired after work, may smoke some sedating MJ, then kick back and probably - watch TV. 

What else?  I can see why mild drugs like tobacco and caffeine are legal.  They don't change people's consciousness enough to seriously interfere with their work. 

So why is alcohol would be legal and MJ not?  Perhaps because it's easier to make your own alcohol.  Yeast is everywhere, unlike MJ seeds. 

You can see that I have made similar speculations to you.  But they are only speculations - about huge and often unconscious social forces.  It would be difficult to verify them, and I doubt that anyone has. 

Peter's said that MJ use was "indulgent behavior".  I can't find any meaning for this, other than that people want to use MJ, and a wrongness attached to it - for reasons that he never explained. 

I would tend to question what is going on with people who are stoned most of the time.  Like, are they avoiding something?  But otherwise - I don't see any explanation for that badness and wrongness that Peter attached to MJ use in general. 

No, I didn't listen to the podcast.  I rarely listen to podcasts, I read instead.

Comment by Richard Goscicki on December 27, 2013 at 1:57pm

How about anti-hangover drugs?  Surely you'd agree that it's more advantageous for the drug companies to have booze legal but not pot. Did you listen to Lester's podcast?  

How about sex.  I recently had to spend 30 dollars for a Viagra pill, which probably cost a dollar or two to make.  What a blatant, in-your-face ripoff.  I don't know if you ever enjoyed sex under the influence of excellent weed, but believe me there's no comparison.  With legalization, Viagra and Cialis would be considered a joke.  

Comment by Luara on December 27, 2013 at 12:40pm

why hasn't such an important "gift of nature" as Carl Sagan called it, been studied all along.  It's been demonized by the drug companies, that's why.  They know how much money they'd lose. 

Why do you think this - if what you were quoting was only comedy?

It's easy to blame big companies.  Many people especially blame drug companies, for some reason. 

Comment by Richard Goscicki on December 27, 2013 at 12:00pm

If popular anti-depressants like Prozac or Paxil went head to head with marijuana in controlled university experiments, Prozac and Paxil would lose! >>>

I got that one from comedian Dennis Miller.

Surely they would have to do the controlled experiment to find out? >>>

Can't argue with that. But why hasn't such an important "gift of nature" as Carl Sagan called it, been studied all along.  It's been demonized by the drug companies, that's why.  They know how much money they'd lose.  

Comment by Luara on December 27, 2013 at 11:11am

If popular anti-depressants like Prozac or Paxil went head to head with marijuana in controlled university experiments, Prozac and Paxil would lose!

Surely they would have to do the controlled experiment to find out?
I doubt that a severely depressed person would experience that same day-after-marijuana sense of well-being - you seem to be extrapolating from your own experience there. 

Anyway, both you and me say we used marijuana every couple weeks or so.  Not every day - I didn't want to use it every day.  Someone would have to use it every evening in order to be in that relaxed state of well-being afterwards. 

Blaming pharmaceutical co's for the drug war is also very dubious.  One can come up with lots of reasons for it, other that pharmaceutical co's.  Racism is only one of many other reasons. 

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