Obviously there are readers of my blog here for the first time. So some background about me.
My father was an atheist. My mother devout Protestant. I was raised middle-class, with rules. I was told what to do, and learned to trust in authority. I didn't do well in school and was bullied.
I was born in 1954. Milk was delivered at your door in a milk-box, with the cream on top. There were no micro-wave ovens, answering machine, cell-phones, fuel-injected cars... there weren't color television sets, and even a B&W television was expensive. Radios used vacuum tubes, and it wasn't until I was around 10 that transistors became common, as in transistor radios. Much of the land hadn't yet been turned into suburban sprawl, though the cold war was in full swing, only I wasn't really aware of it.
I read a lot of science fiction and mystery novels, loved electronics, chemistry and hated sports.
DARE wasn't even a dream yet, but Reefer Madness was alive and well... there were three things I was taught to fear... commies, bogeymen and marijuana.
I kid you not! Oh, and the feds raiding your house if you were having a family poker game; again, I kid you not!
But they were good days in a sense as as a young person i was able to ride my bike wherever and roam the woods and fields wherever. There was no such thing as organized events or sporting events. The only thing close was band and going to church every Sunday, which my father never had to. Which got me wondering...
But I think it was fear of marijuana that was most instilled in my head. Here at my grandparents house, c1956:
...I can remember sitting with my family and being afraid of two things: having the feds raid the house if we were playing poker, and marijuana maniacs. One story involved a second cousin who lived a block away. Johnny was a marijuana user... and we knew that he fell out of the second story window of his house while using LSD, which he obviously used because he was also a marijuana user. He almost died, but survived to become a successful Fuller Brush salesman.
God, did I fear for my cousin Johnny. The Reefer addict.
At 14 I started smoking tobacco. At 15 I almost died drinking too much alcohol. That same year I discovered my sister was using marijuana and almost called the police on her, and I don't know why I didn't. But I didn't. At 16 our family vacationed in Florida and while at a beach party at Sarasota while drinking beer a joint was passed around the campfire... I actually smoked from it. And nothing happened.
I was too young for Woodstock, but old enough to go to Watkin's Glen. What? Never heard about the second coming of the rock concert at Watkin's Glen?
It was really a disaster for me, despite semi-trucks loaded with everything from marijuana, to LSD and magic mushrooms, I was only missing the beer we brought with us that was stolen outside out tent - where we were stupid enough to leave it. Plus we didn't think to bring any money, where a hotdog costs $4.
The "Truth about Marijuana" was I had no ideal about the truth by the time I was 19 years old. But I was soon to find out the truth.
I was in my latter half of my first year at college when I was with two childhood best friends. I remember vividly being in my friends tree-house that was built when we were just kids. My one friend asked us if we wanted to try some Panama Red? "Panama what", I asked?
"Marijuana", my best friend said.
I had to take a step back as by that time I was a lost cause - after many years of being bullied, having had sex once with a woman at a state park and my own girlfriend unwilling to even french-kiss, I had plans to become a serial killer. I hated people, had no interest in wildlife, had no interest in a career.
My first response was to scream "marijuana"... as if I was screaming "murder". But I didn't.
I looked at my other friend who rather looked as pale as I probably looked, and I said "sure, why not"?
Now keep in mind that the first time I went camping with my friends at 16 in the woods behind a Jamesway, to drink beer, I took off all my clothes I got so intoxicated. Stupid and not a pretty picture to be sure. So here we are, now I'm 19, and I just said yes to using the most dreaded drug on the planet. What was I thinking???
I told you what I was thinking... we smoked a joint and...
I walked down from the tree-house and embraced the tree. The world opened to me that day... I visualized myself. We laughed, and I should say, I'd never laughed like I did that day before in my life. They say, "laughter is good medicine", well if that's true then why is cannabis prohibited?
The first truth about marijuana is... Prohibition is a lie! It's without merit and I learned I was raised believing in a farce that has no basis in reality.
So why is marijuana illegal?