I’m no fan of the nanny state (as I’ve said here before, more than once, I’ve got a libertarian streak; not enough to support Ron Paul, but yes, it’s there). So Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban Big Sized Soft Drinks In A Few Places But Not Everywhere struck me as idiotic.
However — he’s come out in favor of backing off marijuana arrests. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing. There’s much reporting on this, but this article from the New York Times summarizes the gist of the matter:
The New York City Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana, giving an unexpected lift to an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut down on the number of people arrested as a result of police stops.
This decision is embedded in New York City politics, which are quite different from those of much of the rest of the country. But the fact that the mayor of one of the world’s major cities and the governor of a large state are willing to rethink the dangers of pot (because, in the end, that’s what this boils down to) is a good thing, not a bad thing.
When it comes to pot, I had high hopes for a new view after the bust of Michael Phelps a few years ago. (See here and here.) It’s time to get over the Reefer Madness conception of marijuana use. Actually, it was time to get over that YEARS ago. How caffeine and alcohol can be legal, and pot not, is beyond my comprehension.
But — perhaps this new stance by the state of New York and the support of Bloomberg will push matters forward.
And for the record: Yes, I smoke pot — as in: several times a week in the evening, I light a joint and inhale once. And then go about my business.
Yep, that’s it. That’s all I do. It’s satisfying and relaxing — far more so than a martini.
And for those who are keeping track: Yes, I’m a responsible citizen who’s never been arrested and who works harder than hell every single day and who, most important, lives a life of moral integrity. My inhalation doesn’t change any of that.
And for those who also wonder: My view is that some one who has a “problem” with alcohol or drugs or any other kind of “addiction” (sex? shopping? shoplifting?) is gonna have that problem regardless of the law. Most people I know drink alcohol. Almost no one I know is an “alcoholic.” Because that’s how the human experience works: some of us can handle, and some of us can’t (probably for reasons that have to do with genetics and biology), and all the laws in the world won’t change the fate of the latter.
So: New Yorkers, please: go smoke a joint. In public. Please. It’s the only way we’re gonna get some sane legislation nationwide.