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Essay – Does POT = PEACE?

posted 8/1/2013 4:27:38 AM |
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  J1958

I read today about Uruguay’s plan to create the world’s first legal, government-licensed marijuana industry and how it has passed a key test. My, my, my. Looks like we’re in for some global changes.

It made me wonder how different, if any, the planet might be if you could buy and smoke pot as easily as you can drink beer. Then, I realized I already know the answer to that question. It would be like living in the U.S. back in the 70’s when virtually everybody toked all the time.

Since I’m retired, I can confess now that I spent the first 10-years of my career playing hit music on the radio while I was stoned on weed. No one noticed because everyone else in the building was stoned, too. So was the audience. It was everywhere. And how different life on the street was then.

Despite the old guys in government, who didn’t smoke, doing their best to blow up Viet Nam, folks here at home were chanting, “Make love, not war.” No one seemed to be afraid of anyone. There was love and brotherhood between races like I haven’t seen before or since.

In the 70’s a young girl could stand on a Florida highway in jean cut-offs with a pack on her back and hitchhike all the way to California making friends that might last a lifetime all along the way. I understand some of them were never heard from again, but nothing will ever change such an anomaly in a country as large as this. Because we seldom heard about it and because the media didn’t do their best to scare the crap out of everybody for ratings points, the general tenor of relationships was so free and open; so fearless and friendly you’d think, by contrast with today’s environment, you were in Heaven and everyone you met was an angel.

If you cut someone off in traffic inadvertently and he beeped the horn at you, you just flashed him the peace sign and he would flash it back. Sorry, brother. Peace.

I sometimes wonder what happened to us. Where did those friendly, love-driven times go? What ever happened to flowers in the hair, simple clothes, simple amusements and simple relationships? How and when did we turn into devil-worshipping, zombie-infatuated, vampire-loving, mega-death movie buffs. When did we start writing on ourselves with indelible ink, driving metal spears through our tongues and spending hours in front of a screen counting the human bodies we exploded in a game? How did the hate-mongers get control of the relationship between races like they haven’t done since the civil war? Why did we return to greed as a personal code? In the 70’s it was nothing for a total stranger to give you the shirt off his back.

Marijuana. That’s what caused everybody to fall in love with everybody else. And the government’s effort to stamp it out is what brought us back to the land of the vicious.

Maybe it was a good thing. I thought so while it was happening, because I knew we had become a ripe target for nations that might rightly perceive us as sitting ducks. We had no will to fight. We were too busy screwing like bunnies and snacking on brownies to defend ourselves from anything. And, maybe, that’s why the old guys in government thought it was such a bad idea.

But it was only dangerous to embrace love and peace with such abandon because the rest of the world wasn’t lighting up.

So now I wonder. What would happen if Uruguay was followed by a host of other nations and the whole world became the U.S. circa 1975.

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   read more blogs!

Blogs by J1958:
DREAMS OF THE EVERY-DAY RETIREE
WASTED DAYS AND WASTED SITES
HELPING GEEZERS STAY HIP
literary --THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
AMERICAN ANTHEM 2 0 1 6
Essay – Does POT = PEACE?
Opinion – WHAT I LEARNED IN THE 5TH GRADE ABOUT PATRIOTISM
informational -- The New News
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR DISRESPECT?
more satire - WHAT? YOU WANT TO USE YOUR STRAP-ON?
satire - TEN THINGS COMING IN THE NEXT 50-YEARS
WHY THE LONE RANGER CAN’T CATCH A BREAK
I’M COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET !
EGYPT; A Lesson in Sociology
I HAVE BEEN WRONG ON GAY MARRIAGE AND MUST CONFESS IT
PRIMER ON USE OF THE BRAIN
IT'S TIME SOMEONE MENTIONED...
BE GLAD YOU'RE ALREADY HERE !
THE ALL NEW ALL LIBERAL OSCARS
satire - A World Without Women


Comments:

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RJ53

Aug 2 @ 5:34AM  
I personally think all of congress should be required to light up, Maybe something would get passed even if it were only a joint,
RJ53

Aug 2 @ 5:37AM  
Actually though the amount of peace and love back in the hippie days was relevant to location, There was very little peace and love south of DC, And you had a mass exodus out of there by the younger generation of the times,
J1958

Aug 2 @ 1:28PM  
Actually though the amount of peace and love back in the hippie days was relevant to location, There was very little peace and love south of DC, And you had a mass exodus out of there by the younger generation of the times,

Well, you might have something there, RJ. I confess I lived in LA during that decade, but I seriously doubt the consumption of pot was as prolific in the deep south as it was in California in the 70's and that means the premise still holds true.

It mattered less where you were than what you were smoking.
manwithoutahorse

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Aug 2 @ 1:46PM  
Not every survivor of the 60's and 70's has the peaceful memories that you have. My dad was a deputy sheriff and worked many of the race riots in the northeast. Thank God we are not repeating that experience. And everyone who loves music should take the Stax Records Museum tour in Memphis, TN. One of the features of the tour is commentary by Duck Dunn of Booker T. and the M.G.'s, the Stax House Band. He tells of how the label was one of the leading producers of Soul Music in the day, was started by two white people in a Memphis neighborhood, and after Otis Reading's death, race issues tore the label apart. There were mellower communities, but many communities in the south and the northeast weren't all high...I know I wasn't.
J1958

Aug 2 @ 2:45PM  
There were mellower communities, but many communities in the south and the northeast weren't all high...I know I wasn't.

Are you guys getting the point? We are all saying the same thing -- the higher the pot consumption, the more mellow the neighborhood. In those places like the deep south where rednecks were still chawing baccer for a thrill the tension, pressure, hatred, bigotry and bluster drove the culture. In places like the west coast where pot was a daily regimen, life seemed more as I painted it.

Perhaps I was wrong to suggest the whole country was that way. And, perhaps, it only seemed like that to me, because of where I was at the time, but that's coincidental to the point of the post. The point is to speculate about what the world might be like if pot became globally acceptable and widely consumed as it was on the west coast in the 70's.
J1958

Aug 2 @ 2:51PM  
And, BTW, LA to SF and back in the70's may be as close to the land of the *Eloi as America has ever been. Too bad the *Morlocks took over and too bad you weren't there.

*H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine"
J1958

Aug 2 @ 2:59PM  
And think of the hair stylists who would go out of business
Wordsofwit

Aug 2 @ 6:48PM  
Great op-ed J1958 and slipping you a green thing. A lot of smokers went into the closet like gays did and lived their lifestyles behind close doors until it became safe to come out. First we got don't ask don't say then came the march forward.

Generations and times change America. Now were are on the threshold of a dream for many of us old hippies.

I think Uruguay is very smart as when the US market is poised to open up, they will have their ducks in a row to gain market advantage early on.
redbronze

Aug 2 @ 9:51PM  
I lived and still do live in the South. Texas that is lol and I can say for the most part lots of smoking was being done.and it was more mellow back then around the time of disco early 80's things changed. Ronnie and his war on drugs happened. AIDS happened. Things just got ugly in the 80's my daughter and I were talking about this today. I can say though honestly it wasn't just Cali feeling the vibe here we were too. I used to hitch hike all over San Antonio I knew not to get in a truck with drunks but pot smokers meant safety and a fun ride.
RJ53

Aug 2 @ 11:27PM  
I was involved back then with more of the political side of things than getting high after I moved from NC to Greenwich Village way back when, There were plenty of people getting high but their were also a lot of us getting our heads busted and tear gassed in protest lines at the time, "It was the best of times it was the worst of times"
J1958

Aug 3 @ 12:06AM  
their were also a lot of us getting our heads busted and tear gassed in protest lines at the time,

I guess you were protesting the war in Viet Nam. I hear ya, but I was on the other side, raising hell at least once a week behind the podium in the quadrangle at USC, and I got my ass kicked routinely for my troubles.

I was a toker, still am, but I could see then and can see now that it was the beginning of the “dumb-down” in American education and it was making America a large colony of peace-loving, non-aggressive, mind-your-own-business TARGETS for aggressive nations like Russia. i.e. it was bad, bad, bad for a superpower’s health and welfare in a violent, vicious, power-mad world, though it was good, good, good for the lovely human being I wish everyone were.

SURVIVE first...then you can chill.

Guarantee you the Chinese and the Russians are quietly rubbing their hands and grinning over the pro-pot movement in America right now.
redbronze

Aug 3 @ 1:29AM  
J they already own us.. Lol.
TwistAndShout

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Aug 3 @ 9:12AM  
I guess you were protesting the war in Viet Nam. I hear ya, but I was on the other side

So did you volunteer to go to Vietnam?
TwistAndShout

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Aug 3 @ 10:26AM  
I was a pot head for years. I will still smoke it when offered. If it was legal, I'd have it around but would use it far more sparingly than I did then.

The problem in the 70's was that a lot of people deluded themselves into thinking that they could do anything while stoned, when in fact, there's a lot of things you shouldn't do when you're stoned. The obvious things are driving or operating machinery, and more importantly, parenting.

I think it's pointless, cruel, and a waste of resources to jail people for smoking pot. I favor legalizing it, but we're going to have to find ways to encourage responsible use.

I was a toker, still am, but I could see then and can see now that it was the beginning of the “dumb-down” in American education and it was making America a large colony of peace-loving, non-aggressive, mind-your-own-business TARGETS for aggressive nations like Russia. i.e. it was bad, bad, bad for a superpower’s health and welfare in a violent, vicious, power-mad world, though it was good, good, good for the lovely human being I wish everyone were.

SURVIVE first...then you can chill.

Guarantee you the Chinese and the Russians are quietly rubbing their hands and grinning over the pro-pot movement in America right now.

I assume the point of the blog is that if not for the existence of aggressive, non-pot smoking foreign enemies, everyone could be stoned and we'd be better people for it. However, since there are enemies abroad, legalizing pot jeopardizes our survival.

I don't agree. I think even without those enemies you'd still need to have a population that, by and large, spend most of their day sober and accomplishing things, and carefully chooses the time they indulge in either pot or alcohol.

And if you trust people to live their lives responsibly, you can legalize pot without jeopardizing our survival. People just need to put it in it's appropriate place and time.
J1958

Aug 3 @ 11:34AM  
So did you volunteer to go to Vietnam?

I did...at 18, but was rejected on the grounds of asthma I suffered as a kid. Later, at 22, the build-up became more intense and they reconsidered me. I trained at Fort Ord and was released before I completed basic on the grounds of insubordination and a really big mouth -- or is it the same thing.
J1958

Aug 3 @ 11:47AM  
I assume the point of the blog is that if not for the existence of aggressive, non-pot smoking foreign enemies, everyone could be stoned and we'd be better people for it. However, since there are enemies abroad, legalizing pot jeopardizes our survival.

APPLAUSE…not only for your grasp of the piece, but for your effort in looking for it. Very excellent!

I don't agree.

In dialog with me, this is always a mistake.

I think even without those enemies you'd still need to have a population that, by and large, spend most of their day sober and accomplishing things, and carefully chooses the time they indulge in either pot or alcohol.


Why? The human species moves at its own speed. There is no deadline to be met. Moreover, I wish I had a list of the great art, including music, inventions, techniques and thinking inspired by the use of pot. Nor would I expect more irresponsible use of legalized pot than legalized alcohol.

And if you trust people to live their lives responsibly, you can legalize pot without jeopardizing our survival. People just need to put it in it's appropriate place and time.

Maybe they do…maybe they don’t, but it would be nice in my neighborhood if it was a choice for them to make individually, inasmuch as the body should belong to the brain that occupies it – not the state. Until you DO something that harms someone else, you should not be regarded as breaking a law.
TwistAndShout

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Aug 3 @ 2:59PM  
APPLAUSE…not only for your grasp of the piece, but for your effort in looking for it. Very excellent!

Condescending, as usual, but no matter. Generally it's not hard to see your point, and it would benefit you to learn that disagreement with you is most often not based on a failure on the part of the other person to understand you. In my case, it's usually based on your tendency to draw a firm, bright line based on evidence that doesn't firmly support your conclusion.

But in this case, I am scratching my head on your position on legalizing pot. You seem to be saying that doing so benefits our enemies and endangers our survival. You also point out that people will likely be no more responsible with legal pot than legal alcohol. But then you say:

Maybe they do…maybe they don’t, but it would be nice in my neighborhood if it was a choice for them to make individually, inasmuch as the body should belong to the brain that occupies it – not the state. Until you DO something that harms someone else, you should not be regarded as breaking a law.

So which is it? Do you support legalization? And if so, how does that square with your belief that it endangers our survival? You were prepared to outlaw gay marriage on the basis of it impairing survival, so I would have believed that you would also outlaw pot.

Why? The human species moves at its own speed. There is no deadline to be met. Moreover, I wish I had a list of the great art, including music, inventions, techniques and thinking inspired by the use of pot.

Music and art, perhaps. Inventions, techniques, and thinking? Less so, and certainly not beyond a conceptual framework (and even then, once no longer stoned, that great thought often turns out to be really trivial). But flying airplanes, running a nuclear power plant, assuring that processed food is uncontaminated, performing surgery and raising well-adjusted kids require an unimpaired mind.

For the first couple years of my post-college career I would come to work stoned. I realized that I spent a lot of time redoing half-assed work. When I quit getting stoned at work, my work was better and my career took off. I don't think the two events were unrelated.






J1958

Aug 3 @ 6:09PM  
In my case, it's usually based on your tendency to draw a firm, bright line based on evidence that doesn't firmly support your conclusion.

C’mon, ole man. Use your noodle. Conclusions aren’t necessary in the presence of conclusive fact. We only “conclude” when deduction is afoot and there are relevant insinuations. Therefore, I NEVER mean to draw a “firm, bright line” in matters of opinion. I think it only sounds that way because you are normally able to see my thinking is on target, even when you hate the conclusions it points to.


So which is it? Do you support legalization? And if so, how does that square with your belief that it endangers our survival? You were prepared to outlaw gay marriage on the basis of it impairing survival, so I would have believed that you would also outlaw pot.

Here again…it’s okay, Twist ‘em Up…I am happy to do your thinking for you when necessary. I know it’s not a serious question or plea for clarity. You just want to fuck with me. Here’s your answer:

Smoking pot is a wholly independent undertaking, impacting the self, over which all human beings should have the right of preeminence, regardless of the impact on society, the species or any other consideration. Only when people are free individually is the society truly free.

Marriage, on the other hand, involves more than a single “self” and is a state-sanctioned institution designed to encourage nuclear families and the presence of a male and female adult in the rearing and education of each child. While other ways of bringing up the next generation of children are certainly possible, there is no alternative that can provide the kind of balance a traditional marriage can.

It should be incumbent upon lawmakers to look first to the health and welfare of the citizens as a group. Individual freedoms and personal liberty almost always challenge the good of the collective. This is a quintessential issue in the construction of a nation. And it is on this solitary matter that the entire body and principal of law rests.

It is my “opinion” that, over time, America would become an easy target for aggressive nations, if the population leaned too heavily on the weed for entertainment. I think we were damn near there in the 70’s. But there is no guarantee it would in the event of legalization. We have not yet become a nation of drunks. And, inasmuch as pot was not legal in the 70’s, it follows that legalization has less to do with consumption than appetite.

While the inherent danger of a nation stoned on pot is a supposition on my part, there is no guesswork involved in the statement that two men alone cannot produce a baby, nor can two women. It is patently unnatural behavior that threatens the very life process and, though I wish the law would leave gay people alone to their own devices, I strenuously object to law condoning or legalizing gay marriage. Law should instruct children about the path to human health and welfare, not sanction a practice that threatens it.

Hence, you have the right to free speech, but that does not mean you can falsely yell, “Fire” in a crowded theater. Moreover, you should have the right to put into your body whatever you wish, but when you enter a state-sanctioned institution, you should expect to be regulated by laws shaped for the benefit of the community.

Music and art, perhaps. Inventions, techniques, and thinking? Less so, and certainly not beyond a conceptual framework

I don’t wish to argue with that. Lol…I used to love listening to air checks of myself when I was stoned. I thought I was brilliant. Today, they sound like some asshole on the radio stoned. Just so…let’s not undersell the importance of conceptual thinking, for without it we are just worker bees repeating movements we’ve been taught.
TwistAndShout

online now!
Aug 3 @ 7:09PM  
Therefore, I NEVER mean to draw a “firm, bright line” in matters of opinion. I think it only sounds that way because you are normally able to see my thinking is on target, even when you hate the conclusions it points to.

Not in the least.

What I actually said is that you draw a conclusion based on flimsy evidence, not that you do so based on opinion. And you can base a conclusion on a fact, but it can still be dead wrong if you ignore the rest of the data.

Yes, it's a fact that two males cannot reproduce without medical intervention. However, you then conclude that legalizing gay marriage would endanger human survival, when any reasonable person would conclude, based on other facts, not opinion, that your conclusion is preposterous.

You seem to have a limited ability to question the first thought that pops into your head.

But basically, it boils down to this. You like to smoke pot, so you take a libertarian stance on that issue. You don't like gays, so you are willing to rationalize opposing gay marriage despite you're purported love of freedom.


J1958

Aug 4 @ 3:01AM  
Yes, it's a fact that two males cannot reproduce without medical intervention. However, you then conclude that legalizing gay marriage would endanger human survival, when any reasonable person would conclude, based on other facts, not opinion, that your conclusion is preposterous.

Now, there’s a mouthful. First, I applaud your forbearance as I’m sure you’re moved to call me names by now, and to suggest I must be gay because I do not support gay marriage, but you have resisted it successfully…so far. Still, you’re putting words in my mouth.

Inasmuch as gay people have the same freedom to marry members of the opposite gender as sexually straight people, I do not understand the insertion of liberty as an issue in this discussion. Just because it’s legal for people to withdraw money from the bank, doesn’t mean those who want to do it at the point of a gun should have the same legal dispensation.

I won’t repeat my argument about the danger to the species of legally protected gay marriage, but I’ll add this: The primary difference between hetero and homosexual activity is that one produces offspring. Marriage is a method of keeping track of the “begats” (who are the parents of whom.) I consider it an absurd exercise to muddy this process and confuse the historical records for no larger purpose than to socially facilitate aberrant sexual behavior. Don’t make me define “aberrant.” Look it up.

You say any “reasonable” person would hold the opinion that my conclusion is preposterous “based on other facts.”

Who gets to decide who the “reasonable” people are? How do you know what these “reasonable” people would conclude? What “other facts”? There are no facts concerning the long-term impact on the species of legally endorsed gay marriage. It’s all speculation.

I think we can agree on one thing. It’s bad policy for the people we elect as guardians of our security to create legislation that may put us at risk in order to enlist a voting bloc in their personal campaign for office.

You and I are arguing two separate issues as if they were one case. The first is whether or not lawmakers should endorse aberrant sexual behavior through the creation of law. And the second is whether or not homosexuality may be harmful to the welfare of the species over the long-term.

I wonder…would you have been as firm in your position if AIDS had remained a gay-only disease? Unlikely as it might have seemed to you in those days, it spread through the heterosexual community like a 4-alarm fire. Knowing this, how can you now suggest the law should be altered to legally sanction a practice that produces a killer like AIDS? Do you believe the health and welfare of the general public should NOT be a part of the discussion about gay marriage? And how many ways must nature demonstrate to you that homosexual unions put the species at risk?

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Essay – Does POT = PEACE?