This past weekend I had the pleasure of going to a benefit for a friend of mine who is trying to raise money for medical expenses. As part of the benefit, there were a couple of bands that, might I say, played some great Texas Country sets. One of the songs played was, I wanna drink beer all day. As I sat there jamming to the music, I thought to myself, why is it acceptable for a band to sing a song like this, when a song titled I wanna smoke marijuana all day would surely elicit a negative response from many people, especially here in the South where I’m from?
Now we already know that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin to the body, while the body produces naturally its own form of marijuana. We also know that while you can overdose on alcohol, there has never been a single death caused by the ingestion of marijuana. It has even been shown that alcohol is more addictive than marijuana. So with all of the science showing that marijuana is far safer for consumption than alcohol, why do people, even those who are not so sure marijuana should be illegal, feel that a song entitled “I wanna smoke marijuana all day” is inappropriate?
The culprit here is conditioning. Ever since those in power began their smear campaign against marijuana back in the early 1900’s, we as a society have been conditioned to fear and hate drugs, marijuana in particular. Even though before all of this, all sorts of drugs were common in society and they could all be obtained at the local general store. Strange that we didn’t have all of these drug problems back then, and that these problems only arose after the government stepped in.
It all began with propaganda designed to incite the racists in our society by claiming various drugs caused minorities to do atrocious things to white people, and of course these were lies. Over time though those in power became more sophisticated in their methods, employing false scientific studies as racism waned. When drug related problems arose due to prohibition, this provided the perfect opportunity to take even more control and place the blame on drugs themselves, making for an endless cycle where drug prohibition caused a problem, the problem was blamed on drugs, which allowed the justification for even stronger drug laws and agencies, which caused more problems.
This was all kept up through illusions and fear, and from the beginning people have been conditioned to fear and hate something they don’t understand under false pretenses. This trickled down through time, as their children were conditioned by the parents and propaganda, and it all came to a point when children were conditioned away from home at school through inefficient programs such as DARE.
This brings us all to today, where more and more people are becoming aware of all the propaganda they have been fed throughout their lives about marijuana. The science and research are starting to break through, and at the least most recognize the medicinal values of it, and a slim majority now see the need for either decriminalization or legalization. Of all these people now in support of marijuana in one form or another though, most will still cringe at the thought of such a song. While a much more harmful drug is glorified on the radio daily, no one pays it much attention. However, should a song glorifying the use of marijuana somehow make it to the radio, many will still feel uneasy, if not horrified at such a thing. We must recognize and confront these inconsistencies in our though in or to extinguish them.
The only way to break this ingrained condition is to see the facts for themselves, employ them logically against what we perceive in life, and not be afraid to challenge the stigma falsely associated with marijuana. We must be bold with the truth in order to vanquish the darkness that surrounds it so that others may see the light.
It’s cool to get sloppy drunk and do stupid shit, but God forbid we get high and mellow.
By: Stephen Carter