Prop. 19 and Rationalization
I wonder how many people are going to vote against California Prop. 19 next week — while rationalizing that their own marijuana use was merely a youthful experiment. That’s one heck of a rationalization, but it’s a fair bet that a lot of people are going to be making it.
To believe in prohibition, you have to believe — in part — that I, Jason Kuznicki, would be a better human being, or that our society would be a more just one, if only I had a criminal record for smoking pot in grad school. I and about 42% of America. To believe consistently in prohibition, you have to think that America is a pretty terrible place.
The above would be bad enough all by itself, because it’s manifestly untrue. But to turn on a dime and say that some pot smoking — specifically your own — is different? That it was just experimenting? Well. If I really thought that the unexamined life were not worth living, I’d be strongly tempted to homicide.
The most important thing you need to understand about your youthful pot smoking is that you’re not alone. You’re not even unusual. If you’re privately making room for yourself, you’d better make room for the rest of us, too.
You — the guy who smoked a few times in college, or with that one group of friends, or at that one party — you are the average pot smoker. You are not special because you escaped marijuana. You are perfectly typical. That’s what most marijuana use is like. You try it for a while, and then you stop.
Is experimenting with pot really worthy of arrest? Take your answer and apply it to your own life before you vote to do it to someone else. Apply that answer to nearly half the country. Tell me you’re ready to throw that book at everyone. Then maybe I’ll take prohibition a little more seriously. But not that much more.