The Great Weed Debate: Don't Legalize It

I'll take my chances with the game.

By Nina Sachdev
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 15 | Posted Jul. 13, 2010

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It’s Christmas Eve in Philadelphia and weed is legal. Problem is, I’ve got 20 minutes to get it. The state store is on holiday hours and I still need to pick up the egg nog. No biggie, I’ll just swing by Wawa on the way home.

I check my watch. Shit. I sigh. This is gonna be a long Christmas.

I pull up to the dispensary to what looks like a flash mob. It’s not. It’s the longest, most annoyed line of people I’ve ever seen. I panic. Please don’t be sold out. It’s Christmas! A worker announces that production has been reduced for the holiday season, and the G-13 is quickly running out. But I keep waiting because this is the only way to get weed now. The only other dispensary in the city has already been shut down. The operator is being charged in a kickback scheme. Typical Philly.

Five minutes later, another announcement. No more weed until Dec. 26. The government is having a dry spell. Are you kidding me? A bunch of us bow our heads in defeat. Somebody lights up a joint but gets yelled at for smoking weed within 1,050 feet of the building.

Feeling sorry for myself, I head to Wawa. I want Doritos. I think about how they used to be $2.99, but ever since the government legalized marijuana, the price has skyrocketed. Couldn’t the feds at least give out some coupons? If not for the weed, then for food? Whatever. I’m going to splurge.

The Wawa is packed. I fight my way to the snack aisle. The Doritos are gone. You just can’t find any good snacks any more. Wonder Bread is back to its 1980 price of 50 cents. I throw it in my basket. I don’t even like white bread. But that’s all that’s ever left these days. Why the hell did I vote for this?

Pot smokers, is this how you want to get high? You’re deluding yourself if you think this kind of stuff won’t happen. We’re talking about the U.S. government. They are not to be trusted. If you really think legalizing marijuana is the answer, you’ve forgotten how good the game has been to you over the years.

Harold and Kumar played the game once. It was epic.

Harold and Kumar smoke their remaining weed after work and spend the whole night trying to a) get more weed and then b) get to a White Castle in New Jersey.

Yet, despite all of their misadventures—Harold is bitten by a raccoon; Kumar ends up performing surgery on a gunshot victim—would they have done it differently if weed were legal? Fuck no. They didn’t call it Harold and Kumar Go to the Nearest Legal Weed Shop and Order Up a Couple Spliffs to Go for a reason. No.

If you’re still not convinced, let’s look at some of the financial aspects of legalization. Class, raise your hand if you think pot smokers will go along with paying a sales tax for something you can grow in your basement. (You can get seeds mailed to you from Amsterdam in a CD case). Don’t think for one minute that the feds won’t raise that tax. (Unless you live in Delaware, where the shopping is tax-free.) As long as we are broke, they will. That’s what they do.

They will tax us so much they will tax the high right out of us. Then, after they get our money, they’ll use some of it to fund programs aimed at counteracting that vice because, again, that’s what they do. Don’t believe me? Think cigarettes (that campaign has been going strong for years); gambling (the feds are allowed to tax your winnings at the highest rate possible); and fatty foods (that’s why they want you to eat at White Castle). The government will tax everything you do. So, just to recap: You want to pay the feds to smoke weed so that they can tell you to stop smoking weed. OK.

Don’t get me wrong. The game has dry spells, too. Your dealer will run out; his dealer will run out; the Colombian cartel or whoever the fuck is above that guy will run out. But this—not taxes, not waiting in line—is the price worth paying.

As I pull onto my street, I remember that I forgot the egg nog. Ugh. Just then, I pass a liquor store and slam on the brakes. Surprisingly, it’s open.

This Christmas, I vow to always appreciate what I have.

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Comments 1 - 15 of 15
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1. Bill Harris said... on Jul 13, 2010 at 09:58PM

“One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting fish in a barrel. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery was extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop...”

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2. Ben said... on Jul 13, 2010 at 10:03PM

“Out of all the reasons against legalizing marijuana, you choose government inefficiency? How about some real reasons: The War on Drugs failed long ago, the black market in marijuana has led to the rise of violent cartels, prohibition for a plant that has never killed anyone costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the annual arrest of more than 847,000 non-violent and often minority citizens while more than 10 million Americans still use it regularly. How about the government first start making sensible decisions with our tax money before we start deriding them about managing a natural plant that they haven't even said is legal yet?”

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3. Phil E. Drifter said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:18AM

“This is the stupidest f*cking hyperbole i've ever seen regarding cannabis. (We're not speaking Mexican Spanish so I refuse to call it by it's Mexican Spanish name, 'marihuana/marijuana' I'll call it by it's english name instead: cannabis).

You think once it's legal no one will grow their own any more?

I hope you get your eggnog from Wawa so you can add your liquor to it, have a few to many, and end up one of the nameless, faceless THOUSANDS of Americans that are killed every year on the roads from DUI drivers.

Alcohol is in fact the most dangerous drug on the planet, because no other drug, legal or not, turns its user into a fat, stumbling, belligerent moron but alcohol. Read slash 1mn”

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4. Mike said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 03:34AM

“I am amazed that everyone posting comments before me have actually used more logic than the author of this passage! On top of all of this, you cite a movie about two potheads looking for food?? And taking your chances with the game?!! I'm sorry, but for the same reasons you like to drink alcohol, many other people enjoy using cannabis. What is the major difference (outside of safety, i.e. LD50): one is legal while the other is not. For many, legalization means the fear of losing out on a job or career is no longer evident. People like me who have careers and undergo constant, random urinalysis can't enjoy cannabis. Why would anyone take the risks if it were illegal?! Don't be selfish and try to keep it locked underground. The only people you seem to be trying to convince in this bullsh*t that you have written are the very same druglords and dealers that control this game which you speak so highly of.”

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5. don said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 09:51AM

“Nina you are stupid, did you just make that shit up while you were writing? did you put any thought into this article at all? who hired you, do you really get paid?”

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6. RasTimmy said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 10:35AM

“I'm not sure whether this commentary is supposed to be serious or satire. I hope its satire because if its serious then it is seriously lacking in any credibility or persuasiveness. If it is satire, its not funny.”

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7. Anonymous said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:02PM

“Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence in support, we shouldn't legalize pot because they might run out of it on Christmas Eve? And then you used a ridiculous satirical stoner comedy as evidence to support this absurd premise?

As far as taxation, I just might "try" to grow my own..... I'll give it a whirl.

But you must be stoned out of your freaking mind if you think I won't just go to the local smoke shop and purchase it in a little baggy. Do I want to wait 8-12 weeks to seed, plant, grow, harvest, and dry a crop? Or do I want to take 5 minutes to drive down to my dispensary, spend $50 and pick up some of the highest-quality pot on the face of the Earth?

People don't distill their own liquor. Some brew their own beer, but those that do do it as a hobby for personal consumption, and it doesn't stop millions of other people from buying taxed alcohol.

What an idiotic assumption.

I hope for the sake of your "career" that this was a tongue-in-cheek response to the pro argument”

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8. cizmad said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 06:37PM

“My guess is someone *had* to write the anti-legalization side of things to give it balance, and Nina just drew the short straw. Honestly there aren't any anti arguments that are nearly as compelling as the pro arguments, so having to defend this side is an unenviable task.

Maybe we should assume it was written under duress and give her a pass?”

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9. Brian White said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 08:11PM

“It's nice to see so many people are able to appreciate satire these days.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Jul 15, 2010 at 11:45AM

“This was really stupid. Even if you're playing devil's advocate, then play devil's advocate.”

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11. Mike said... on Jul 20, 2010 at 05:43PM

“Forget Nina's moronic article.
In terms of recreational use, if we're going to be honest about this, any type of user would admit that marijuana is not without its baggage. Memory loss, weight gain (the average user does not need an appetite stimulant), loss of initiative, cost (it ain't cheap), and health consequences - lungs are not designed for anything other than clean air.
On the other hand…
The medical benefits are well documented. I use it for recreational use. The only medicinally effective evidence that I can personally attest to, is with an upset / churning stomach. Immediately after smoking, my gut settles right down. I am convinced that this plant yields many more medical uses.
Cancer cure? Tongue-in-cheek, but no real money can be put to research due to its current schedule 1 status. You know, alongside heroin. There are many yet to be discovered medical applications for this simple plant. And it’s nothing more than a weed.

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12. Anonymous said... on Jul 21, 2010 at 12:05PM

“War on drugs == War on consciousness..government is a parasite which will not stop until they control every aspect of your lives...sure they may legalize weed but then the obamanoids will tax half your income for HELLthcare...the tree of liberty is thirsty...”

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13. airmax said... on Aug 17, 2010 at 10:01PM

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14. Ben stiller said... on Nov 28, 2011 at 01:48PM

“that ^ dont make me anyways”

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15. Anonymous said... on Feb 28, 2012 at 07:54PM

“The "War on Drugs" is an insult to the common sense and dignity of the American People and the entire planet.Sugar,preservatives,and many other everyday food products have been found to be as,or more harmful as marijuana!Not to mention the loss of freedom and persecution of millions of people for around 80 years now!The entire system,police,lawyers,judges,courts,prisons are profiting from unfair and corrupt laws.The government is telling you that you are incapable of making a moral decision about smoking a harmless plant.But yet your government has legalized the murder of millions of unborn children,homosexuality,condoned the seizure of the land of the Native Americans,with the murder in the millions of the original inhabitants of this continent.The slavery of millions of Africans.Concentrated the wealth of our nation into the hands of a very few.Decimated the middle class.Gave business a legal license to steal with the stroke of a computer.”


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