Weed: Been There. Done That.
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Weed: Been There. Done That.
Posted by CN Staff on January 03, 2014 at 18:22:30 PT
By David Brooks
Source: New York Times 
USA -- For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships. But then we all sort of moved away from it. I donít remember any big group decision that we should give up weed. It just sort of petered out, and, before long, we were scarcely using it. 
We didnít give it up for the obvious health reasons: that it is addictive in about one in six teenagers; that smoking and driving is a good way to get yourself killed; that young people who smoke go on to suffer I.Q. loss and perform worse on other cognitive tests. I think we gave it up, first, because we each had had a few embarrassing incidents. Stoned people do stupid things (thatís basically the point). I smoked one day during lunch and then had to give a presentation in English class. I stumbled through it, incapable of putting together simple phrases, feeling like a total loser. It is still one of those embarrassing memories that pop up unbidden at 4 in the morning. We gave it up, second, I think, because one member of our clique became a full-on stoner. He may have been the smartest of us, but something sad happened to him as he sunk deeper into pothead life. Third, most of us developed higher pleasures. Smoking was fun, for a bit, but it was kind of repetitive. Most of us figured out early on that smoking weed doesnít really make you funnier or more creative (academic studies more or less confirm this). We graduated to more satisfying pleasures. The deeper sources of happiness usually involve a state of going somewhere, becoming better at something, learning more about something, overcoming difficulty and experiencing a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. One close friend devoted himself to track. Others fell deeply in love and got thrills from the enlargements of the heart. A few developed passions for science or literature. Finally, I think we had a vague sense that smoking weed was not exactly something you were proud of yourself for. Itís not something people admire. We were in the stage, which I guess all of us are still in, of trying to become more integrated, coherent and responsible people. This process usually involves using the powers of reason, temperance and self-control ó not qualities one associates with being high. I think we had a sense, which all people have, or should have, that the actions you take change you inside, making you a little more or a little less coherent. Not smoking, or only smoking sporadically, gave you a better shot at becoming a little more integrated and interesting. Smoking all the time seemed likely to cumulatively fragment a personís deep center, or at least not do much to enhance it. So, like the vast majority of people who try drugs, we aged out. We left marijuana behind. I donít have any problem with somebody who gets high from time to time, but I guess, on the whole, I think being stoned is not a particularly uplifting form of pleasure and should be discouraged more than encouraged. We now have a couple states ó Colorado and Washington ó that have gone into the business of effectively encouraging drug use. By making weed legal, they are creating a situation in which the price will drop substantially. One RAND study suggests that prices could plummet by up to 90 percent, before taxes and such. As prices drop and legal fears go away, usage is bound to increase. This is simple economics, and it is confirmed by much research. Colorado and Washington, in other words, are producing more users. The people who debate these policy changes usually cite the health risks users would face or the tax revenues the state might realize. Many people these days shy away from talk about the moral status of drug use because that would imply that one sort of life you might choose is better than another sort of life. But, of course, these are the core questions: Laws profoundly mold culture, so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture? What sort of individuals and behaviors do our governments want to encourage? Iíd say that in healthy societies government wants to subtly tip the scale to favor temperate, prudent, self-governing citizenship. In those societies, government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like being stoned. In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be. A version of this op-ed appears in print on January 3, 2014, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Weed: Been There. Done That..Paul Krugman is off today. Source: New York Times (NY)Author:  David BrooksPublished: January 3, 2014Copyright: 2014 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by Ryannn29 on January 05, 2014 at 09:35:18 PT:
Washington & Colorado encourage drug use? How about the whole United States encouraging drug use as well, a much worse drug, called alcohol?Children are raped and beaten by drunk fathers, while their mothers are beaten and even murdered.Drunk people begin fights all the fucking time, it never ends. Some become alcoholics and ruin their lives as well as others.And they drive drunk, killing innocent people and their selves.Alocohol's a poison and you're going to stand there with a full article in the NY Times spewing this shit? Cannabis use isn't responsible any of the above. GTFAB- get a fucking brain. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 04, 2014 at 13:29:20 PT
Thank you. The article is now posted!
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Comment #6 posted by Universer on January 04, 2014 at 11:58:20 PT
OT: Maryland Senate President Favors Legalization
FoM, et. al:A link for your posting consideration:
Long-serving Maryland Senate president supports legalization of marijuana
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on January 04, 2014 at 10:20:05 PT
Brooks' "Moral ecology" looks very warped.
He's a hypocrite. He admits certain behaviors, that he was not punished for, and not harmed by, yet he desires to punish others for doing the same thing. That is what a hypocrite is!A truly decent person, like he claims to want to be, would be very thankful that unjust laws are being struck down.
 There is nothing moral or admirable about being a hypocrite. 
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on January 04, 2014 at 07:17:25 PT
He is just pissing into the punch bowl.
Mr. Brooks is a buggy whip salesman, his day has passed.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on January 03, 2014 at 21:00:40 PT
Thank you Matt Taibbi!
You took the words right out of my ... mouth..."The Brooks column is particularly infuriating because in just a few hundred words it perfectly captures why marijuana needs to be legalized. Here's this grasping, status-obsessed yuppie who first admits that that he smoked an illegal drug without consequence in his youth, then turns around and tells us, as a graying and bespectacled post-adult, that it would be best if the drug remained illegal for the masses.Would David Brooks feel the same way about drug laws if he was one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans arrested in weed-related incidents every year (it was over 700,000 people in 2012)? If he'd been prevented from getting a student loan or getting a state job because of such a bust? If he'd lost a professional license, or had his property seized, or even had a child taken away from him?We'll never know, because by and large, people like David Brooks, or me for that matter, don't suffer serious consequences for weed arrests. Most people who get busted on pot charges are non-white and from poor neighborhoods: In the Bloomberg years, there were as many as 50,000 pot arrests a year in New York City, the overwhelming majority of which were black or Hispanic people. Brooks should ask himself how sending people to sit in Rikers on weed charges (I've met such people) reflects upon our "moral ecology," especially when it's almost guaranteed that the cops who sent that person there also smoked pot in high school and/or college.Meanwhile, your typical well-heeled white kid blazes up unapologetically throughout his or her school years, and may even spend much of that time tooling around the country watching Phish concerts and pounding Chex Mix with eyes glazed over in open worship of weed culture. And he or she generally never gets in serious trouble.Later this same youngster often leaves school, ditches the tie-dye in favor of a bunch of V-neck sweaters from Barney's, and spends the rest of life from mid-twenties on trying to become respectable Ė he or she hopes in the end to maybe become a New York Times columnist, or a Senator or a Governor or the Vice-President or President of the United States, at which point past marijuana use is quietly excused.This career path is allowed in places where the police are not encouraged to go rampaging through dorm rooms or asked to do random pocket checks of all pedestrians as a matter of course Ė you'll never see a stop-and-frisk in the Hamptons. Therefore people who grow up in these environments tend to look at the legalization issue solely through the lens of, "Well, all we're doing by making it legal is telling kids that it's okay."No, actually, by making it legal, we're deciding that letting people get high is a lesser evil compared to a person's life being derailed forever by a pointless and intrinsically hypocritical marijuana arrest. But Brooks/Brown/Scarborough wouldn't know anything about that, apparently."
Weed World
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on January 03, 2014 at 20:42:29 PT
Mr. David Brooks please grow up!You are; a. not getting it, or b. getting paid to 'not get it,' Ok?You: "Aged out?"Good day and night to you sir!The issue is and remains: whether we should keep marijuana/cannabis (or ANY other substance) illegal. And, why is there selective enforcement of drug laws across the USA? (racist)And this drivel appears in the NYT? Lost my respect for that rag, thank you Mr. Brooks! Good night!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 03, 2014 at 18:53:27 PT
NO sane argument for cannabis prohibition, here. 
David Brooks smoked pot - but you shouldn't also didn't care for The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus write up (referred). They come across as believing they have more credibility for supporting cannabis prohibition because they know 1st hand. In reality they are simply CANNABIS PROHIBITIONISTS.I've said it before and say it again, A SANE ARGUMENT TO CONTINUE CANNABIS PROHIBITION DOESN'T EXIST.
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