Just Legalize Weed Already, Geez

(Note: the subject of politics comes up in this post. I usually don’t get political on this blog, because the last time I did, I ended up jinxing Bernie Sanders and resetting liberal progress back a generation. Oops. Won’t be making that mistake again. While by the internet’s standards I managed to remain relatively bipartisan here, I still think I should give you a heads up. I also talk about drug use, so if that irks you, remember you were warned.)

Image result for That 70s show pot

I’m going to let you all in on a secret, but you’re going to have to promise not to tell anyone, okay?

I have smoked marijuana before.

I know, this is tough to hear. I know you all thought of me a constant do-gooder, incapable of moral failure, so in order to ease the disappointment I wrote you all a poem:

I tried to resist, but I’m hardly headstrong
I’ve smoked with a joint, a pipe, and a bong.
I know giving in was the move of a fool
But in my defense, it made me look cool.

This isn’t helping, is it?

Okay, so I have no idea what the culture is surrounding pot for all my individual readers. I get the impression that most of my adult followers won’t care, but I could imagine some head-shaking from some of my younger readers.

I also understand, that as a Famous Blogger™ with an impressionable fanbase, it is my responsibility to encourage young people to make healthy decisions when it comes to drug use. Which, yeah, I’m not going to do that. Weed is cool, guys.

When you’re high:

    • Everything is funnier.
    • Music sounds amazing.
    • Bo Burnham is a god.
    • Falling asleep is so easy.
    • They say it kills brain cells, but they neglect to mention that it only kills the weak brain cells, so only the strong cells survive. These strong cells reproduce and create stronger cells, making you a smarter individual overall.
    • Not sure about that last point, but it sounds true. 

Now, when did I first get into bed with Mary Jane, you ask? Well it started near the end of ninth grade, where during lunch a classmate gave me a pot brownie without actually telling me it was a pot brownie. Then another day after school, a group of kids who always hung out on my street corner asked, “Yo Matty B, wanna do the ol’ smoke-a-roo?” I said “nah man, I’m cool.” And they said, “What’s the matter? You scared?” And I said, “Well I’m convinced, hand it over,” and I’ve been a pothead ever since.

[Disclaimer: none of that is true.]

Instead I just smoke occasionally with my friends, around once a week during breaks, and rarely at all during the school year. It’s usually after a poker game, which we play with real money, which is also technically illegal. In my defense, I’m Irish.

(I think I’m just going to blame my Irish roots from now on, every time I make a questionable decision.)

This has been going on for a while, and because I do it all in MODERATION, I have yet to see any negative effects. My short-term memory is no worse than it’s always been, it hasn’t led to any harder drugs like I’ve been told it would, and according to my latest doctor’s appointment, my lungs are healthier than they’ve ever been, which is just weird. There’s no reason for that.

That being said, I hope it’s legalized at a national level. Because for all the stigma surrounding the drug, it’s fairly harmless. Really, the most dangerous part of smoking weed is getting caught smoking  weed, and that doesn’t seem right to me.

750,000 people are arrested for simple marijuana possession in one year alone, which is something that could fuck up a kid’s life, unless of course that kid is white (like me!) or has rich parents (not like me).

(Kind of want to take a moment here to clarify that being white does not make you immune to the negative legal consequences of smoking pot; the odds are just leaning in your favor.)

The worst part is when you take a look at the people running the country, and their own history with drugs. Barack Obama has been relatively open about his history with pot in the past, and he’s also been in favor of getting rid of mandatory minimums and decriminalizing the drug, so he sort of gets a pass, although he hasn’t done as much as he could have.

And then there’s people like Donald Trump. I don’t have evidence of him smoking pot before, but if the debates were any indication he was definitely sniffing cocaine. And yet here he is, hiring an attorney general who wants to double down on enforcing those laws, and with a straight face says things like: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Really, the only difference between politicians like Bill Clinton, who sort of admitted to smoking in the past but claimed “he didn’t inhale,” (sure), and the thousands of people put in jail each year, is that the politicians got lucky. They were lucky enough to not get caught. Lucky enough to have connections and money so they didn’t have to deal with the consequences that the rest of Americans have to face, thanks to policies they themselves have enacted.

DAMN YOU, FLAWED POLITICAL SYSTEM!

The bright side for potheads is that weed continues to be legalized for recreational use on an individual state level, and if it’s anything like how gay marriage was, it should be approved at a federal level after 37 states or so. #babysteps

____

So what do you think? Should it be legalized? Should it stay illegal? And if you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for my next one: “Why the Hell Haven’t We Legalized Crack?”

TCWT Blog Chain

I’m sorry for missing the date of the blog chain. To make you forgive me I will send flowers to each off your doorsteps. When they don’t show up, assume I really did send flowers and someone just stole them before they got to you. I was sick with a cold, and when I am sick, I’m a total wimp and I’m not good for anything. I spent most of the last two days sleeping, sneezing, and watching Scrubs reruns because I couldn’t concentrate on anything involving text.

But enough rambling. The prompt for this month is:

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

To answer the first question: Most of the people in my life haven’t really gotten me into writing. My parents encouraged me, leading me to think I was a writing prodigy for a while there, but that was it. I don’t think I know any people in real life who hope to be writers when they get older. If I do, that means they’re like me and don’t ever talk to anyone about it. So no one I know in my non-internet life actually ever gives me advice about writing. All of the writing help I get is from this blog and my awesome commenters.

My personal experiences, however, have affected my work, and I think this is true for everyone. For instance, the second chapter of the novel I’m working on (I finished the first draft!), involves the characters getting revenge on a rival “gang” by sneaking into their houses and pulling a bunch of overly-elaborate pranks on them. For legal purposes, all I can tell you is that something similar may or may not have happened to me in real life.

There’s also a scene in the second book in which a certain character “drops” a smoothie onto a very expensive car from the second floor of a mall (the car was there for a contest of some sort) and got chased down and arrested by mall police. The same thing happened to a friend of mine, except with a lacrosse ball, and he didn’t get chased down so much as he was escorted away and his parents were called to pick him up.

In many of my stories, I take instances from real life, and change them to make them more interesting.

As for the second question, “Do you ever base characters off people you know?” The answer is yes, though rarely. I used to do it a lot when I was a little kid, (to the point where the bad guy was always my older brother, the good guys were always me and my buddies and he also went to jail at the end) but now I only base characters off people in my life on rare occasions. I only do this if I meet a person who is particularly interesting. Such as that kid in the back of one of my classes who smokes pot everyday and is supposedly in a violent gang, yet is one of the most intelligent and nicest people I’ve ever met (not to say that weed-smoking gang members can’t be nice or intelligent. Sorry if I offended anyone within those categories). That kid would make an interesting character. I want to write a story with a main character based off him, but since I don’t know much about life in a serious gang, and I’m not planning on joining one any time soon,  the story has yet to be written.

I’ve noticed a strong correlation between bad decisions and great stories/characters. For instance, someone who does drugs and joins gangs clearly did not make the best decisions in life. But he’s a pretty interesting guy. Similarly, breaking into an enemy’s house in the middle of the night just to cover their entire bedroom floor with water-filled paper cups is not a wise decision. Neither is throwing dropping a lacrosse ball at a contest car in the middle of a very crowded mall filled with security guards. Or throwing a snowball at a car that you originally thought was your older brother’s but actually turned out to be this scary guy who likes to threaten ten-year-old kids with his fists of doom. But if someone had written these stories all down (something I hope to do), I would definitely read it.

So the lesson of this post is, the more stupid choices you make in your life, the better your writing will be. Probably. Don’t take my advice on this.

I hope no one decides to do drugs/join a gang after reading this. That would not be a good idea. You could just join the Blogger’s Gang, which I just made up right now, instead! In order to get in, you have to either A.) Kill someone, B) Sacrifice a lamb, or C.) Write a funny comment below.

My friends and I have done some pretty stupid things.

Participants:

5th – http://alifeonmission.wordpress.com/

6th – https://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

7th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

8th – http://miriamjoywrites.wordpress.com/

9th – http://katiathewritergirl.blogspot.com/

10th – http://charleyrobson.blogspot.com/

11th – http://fida-islaih.blogspot.com/

12th – http://www.indianawriterblog.wordpress.com/

13th – http://charlieeatmybook.blogspot.co.uk/

14th – http://notebooksisters.blogspot.com/

15th – http://dearsaul.wordpress.com/

16th – http://bloodoverithaca.wordpress.com/

17th – http://realityisimaginary.blogspot.com/

18th – http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com/

19th – http://insatiablebeforedeath.wordpress.com/

20th – http://theloonyteenwriter.wordpress.com/

21st – http://myswordandpen.wordpress.com/

22nd – http://dreamerheadquarters.wordpress.com/

23rd – http://www.documentaryofateenagewriter.wordpress.com/

24th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

25th – http://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/

26th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)