Friday, October 14, 2005

Pot Philosophy

In my specialized writing class, we have an assignment involving combining our efforts with a design student to come up with a campaign to address Canada's problem with people smoking marijuana and driving.

We've been brainstorming ideas like creating a poster with a baby-sized casket showing the father crying over it that insinuates that were someone not to have smoked and driven, they would still be alive. We thought of usuing Alan Sidorov, a race car driver, as a celebrity endorsement. He has smoked pot, but he abandoned it and says: "What we need...is a roadside test for drug use. Just as drinking and driving used to be a subject for jokes, people who smoke pot and drive don't seem to realize what a risk they are taking." I even wrote a sensational story, but we're going to scrap it and work on something else.

Many people don't take the issue seriously, or at least they don't consider pot to be as much of a danger as drinking and driving. When my parents were growing up, drinking and driving didn't seem like a big deal, but then the statistics started to tell a new story, and MADD cropped up, and now we know that it IS serious.

There are stronger deterrents against drinking and driving than smoking and driving, because you can blow over on the breathilizer and lose your license, but with pot, the common impression is that there is no way to get caught, so people think they can get away with it, and many do.

To a certain degree, it's true. If you smoke up and drive, the most police will do when you're pulled over is sniff for smells of the wacky tabacky, then they'll give you all the tests that they usually do for drinking: "stand on your right foot and touch your nose with the end of your finger...walk this line, putting one foot in front of the other" but these tests are ineffective. They don't really have a good system for testing whether someone is high because your eyes may be bloodshot, or you may seem a little dopey, but who's to say you're getting enough sleep or you don't have allergies?

High-riding aside, my friend Mary sent me this interesting article, which throws many of the common stereotypes of pot-smokers out the window. People are always saying pot will make you demotivated. Pot will make you dumb. Pot will make you depressed. It will make you antisocial etc. and politically it's advantageous to show marijuana in a negative light. This study shows some surprising results to the contrary. One of the reasons Canada doesn't legalize it is because our neighbours to the south would probably invade us. If pot were legal and taxable in this country, we could afford to get rid of GST and PST. We forget that marijuana has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and ritual purposes, and the side-effects are much less severe than alcohol. Sure, it is a lot higher in the concentration of THC these days, but so was the substance scientists used on rats.

So, now the question is: does dope make you a dupe or does the bud make you wiser?

4 Comments:

Blogger joe said...

both. it can make one more creative and another more mellow. different people, different reaction. but you know, I think everything in moderation.

the fact of the matter is, however, dope is a mind-altering substance. regardless how safe or dangerous it is (and I think it's more harmless than evil). it requires some regulation, but the question is how much? what we have now is neither working nor it's realistic... and it's not even accurate.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Potted-flower said...

I couldn't possibly answer

11:29 AM  
Blogger gone said...

Joe is right. Both.

12:47 PM  
Blogger acliff said...

whooooo Pot!

9:47 PM  

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