Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Pot smokers aren't underworld types

By KATHLEEN PARKER Washington Post Writers Group

WASHINGTON - Everybody's doing it - confessing their youthful, pot-smoking ways - so here goes.

So, yes, I toked, too. This doesn't mean anyone else should, and I haven't in decades, but our debate might have more value if more of us were forthcoming.

Among columnists confessing are The New York Times' David Brooks, who voiced his objections to legalization, and my Washington Post colleague Ruth Marcus, who noted parental concerns and her own reluctance to endorse legalization. This isn't hypocrisy, which I embrace in the service of civilization, so much as perspectives developed through maturity and experience.

Though I respect their views and share their concerns, I come down on the other side. My long-standing position is that marijuana should be decriminalized if not made legal. Regulate and tax the tar out of it, please, but let's stop pretending that pot consumers are nefarious denizens of the underworld.

I came to this position not when I was a college student, a time when inhaling pot was a consequence of breathing the ambient air, but when I was the law-abiding, straight-arrow, tough-loving mother of a teenager. Suffice to say, I became aware that marijuana use was common among teens of all hues and stripes.

I couldn't imagine then or now that children might be labeled criminals for behaviors that mostly required parental attention. This should not be construed to mean I recommend pot use, certainly not by minors, any more than William F. Buckley did when he concluded that it shouldn't be illegal.

Marijuana isn't necessarily harmless - abuse is abuse - but adults should be able to consume it without fear of legal repercussions, just as we consume alcohol. Even though today's weed is much stronger than the stuff we used to smoke, its use is rarely as consequential as alcohol can be. Stoners might become overinvolved in the microscopic ecosystem of tree bark, but they're unlikely to shoot up a bar over a pool game.

Brooks listed several reasons why he and his buddies quit smoking (you smoked during school, David?!). I quit because it bored me. I'm a caffeinated sort, happiest on Monday mornings when everyone is back to business and I'm on deadline. Give me coffee or give me death.

Having given up nearly everything that made getting out of bed worthwhile, I am healthier, happier, more productive - and have discovered that life is not, in fact, short. But both my current abstinence and the indulgences I once enjoyed (and may again, if my cocktail-stoop buddies have any say) were my own. My decisions, my responsibility, my consequences.

As they should be - for marijuana as well.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 9f7ab64c4df546018dab3b9542899c12
Top Classifieds
  • Reg. Yorkie Puppies, 1 Female $475, 2 ... Details
  • Cocker Spaniel Pup - AKC (270)476-258 ... Details
  • PILLOWTOP Mattress Sets, NEW in plast ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Look @Our Website www.drakecreek.info Details
  • 2445 HOLT ROADCommercial space, 800 s ... Details
  • JOE'S BACKHOESERVICE Install &am ... Details
  • 2012 Honda Civic LX,33k miles NICE 27 ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Radio station slates holiday music festival for Friday
  2. MEATLESS? Even nutrition standards have become political
  3. Boy Scouts grow through camping experience
  1. Man charged with assault after incident at restaurant
  2. Clerks halt marriage licenses
  3. McCracken County Schools likely to change grading scale
  1. Radio station slates holiday music festival for Friday
  2. MEATLESS? Even nutrition standards have become political
  3. Boy Scouts grow through camping experience
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...