Prohibition of the demon weed doesn’t work

Forrest Johnson

Prohibition doesn’t work other than to help create a class of criminals known as gangsters, mobsters, pimps and drug lords. You name it, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, all the vices that people are going to engage in no matter if it’s legal or not, prohibition doesn’t work.

Try to manage the behavior of people by criminalizing their behavior?

Prohibition doesn’t work.

Never has, never will.

Enter the half-hearted discussion over legalizing marijuana at the state capitol. While polling suggests that a large majority of Americans and Minnesotans favor legalization, the Fuddy-Duddies of America (FOA) once again voted against the will of the people to defeat a proposal in the Minnesota Senate.

Senate majority leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, the head Fuddy-Duddy, made true his earlier comments on the subject when he said marijuana would stay an illegal substance in Minnesota.

Illegal. Criminal. Prohibited.

Yes, illegal, criminal and prohibited and still very available, making the gangsters, mobsters and drug lords very happy. The market is there for marijuana, always has been, so let’s stick our heads in the sand and make sure the gangsters, mobsters and drug lords still have plenty of business. Some of it very violent business. Dangerous drug cartels in Mexico? Directly related to the drug market in America. Matter of fact, I would say that America’s failed 50-year War on Drugs has had quite a hand in creating the drug cartels and their violence.  

Even my Republican friend Bob Trump says he’s ready to give up on the party.

Do I agree that too much dope smoking can cause the munchies and lower the IQ of heavy users? Yep. That’s why they call it dope. 

Can it be bad for kids whose brains are still developing? Yep. Ask me all about it. I personally watch my IQ go down as I reach for the bag of chips after having a puff. 

Can smoking dope cause impaired driving? Yep.

Can smoking dope, if legal, increase tax revenues for the state if managed properly? Yep.

Folks, the stoners are already out there amongst the population. Marijuana is available. All of the arguments for criminalization are red herrings. Worries that legalizing would lead to an increase in youth use is a red herring. It’s already available. Impaired driving? It’s already available. If an officer walks up to a car and Cheech and Chong-like smoke billows out the windows—bing—you’re in trouble, legal or not. The law will be written to prohibit impaired driving just like drinking, just like texting on your phone, like having sex while behind the wheel. There will be no-no’s. Minors will not be able to walk into the smoke shop and buy, though that certainly doesn’t stop any kid right now. What’s the diff, folks, other than the Fuddy-Duddies just don’t like hippy stuff, don’t like stuff that progressives and liberals and those darn socialists might favor.

Hey, where’s the libertarian wing of the Fuddy-Duddy conservative party in this discussion? And wait, since when do the conservatives use government to say no, no, no to a personal choice, a personal freedom? Oh, that’s right. The Fuddy-Duddies love to legislate personal freedoms, love to legislate morality, love to say no to things that just don’t fit their notion of “foundational values and lifestyle of our American tradition,” according to one young conservative who recently wrote in another paper about attending a “remarkable address” by Donald Rumpt at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Whew, that kid needs to smoke a joint and relax.  

Prohibition doesn’t work. Trying to manage lifestyle choices doesn’t work. 

Hey kids, don’t do sex. Abstain. Don’t drink. Abstain. Don’t smoke. Abstain. 

I’ve found that guilt actually works better than making something criminal. When mom discovered that we’d planted weed in the garden, kind of mixed in there with the radishes, she simply told us to get it out of there before she steps on it. When dad found our stash he’d leave a little note for us in his unmistakable hand writing,“who?” Another note said simply, “Thought you boys were smarter than that.”

Those little notes actually made my brother and I better citizens. We’d go out of our way to help show dad that we were hard-working young men, not lost to the demon weed. Change the oil in the car. Climb up on the roof and clean the gutters. Help gram and gramp paint the house. Shovel snow without being asked. Sit with dad and watch the late-night Sherlock Holmes Theater on the black and white TV while our pals were out roaming around. I learned real early to get your work done first, then have fun, not to smoke weed and think I could play hockey. 

Prohibition doesn’t work.  Leave adults alone to make the choices in their lives. Hey, legalized gambling, which I believe is a total waste of one’s life, still pays quite a few bills in this state. Drink and gamble all night long but don’t you dare touch that demon weed! Sounds a little old fashioned to me.

Prohibition doesn’t work.