No thanks

23Nov18

The first two Massachusetts recreational marijuana shops opened this week, just in time for your holiday celebrations!

Marijuana hasn’t been in the news this much since the election two years ago that legalized the drug for recreational use. You’d think on this Thanksgiving weekend, the Cannabis Community would be grateful for the wall-to-wall media coverage of this much-anticipated, “historic” occasion.

But they aren’t. That’s because most of the stories in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and local TV and radio tend to remind the public of why legalizing weed might not have been such a great idea after all. Reefer Americans would actually prefer less press fanfare right about now.

So naturally, I’m happy to add to it. You’re welcome.

Several Boston media outlets have recently reported the fact that one consequence of adding another legal intoxicant to the menu is that everyone’s auto insurance rates will be going up. Even if you don’t use pot yourself, you’ll be paying higher car insurance premiums so that your neighbor can get wasted legally. The advocates somehow neglected to mention that detail when they were selling us on the wonders of legalization. To be fair, they probably just forgot. You know what they say about pot and short-term memory.

If you listen to radio in the Boston market, you’ve no doubt heard those commercials saturating the airwaves these days inviting you to “invest in the booming cannabis industry.” Remember when legalization advocates were running around assuring everyone that there was no intention whatsoever to expand the marijuana market? All they wanted to do was offer it legally to existing users and get it out of the black market.

Now they’re advertising on the radio.

The Boston Globe has been its usual helpful self in encouraging any form of decadence. So, last week, the Globe published “Marijuana 101: what you need to know about pot.”

I’ve been called out by stoners for pointing out that there is no marijuana equivalent of social drinking. The Globe says essentially the same thing. They also include some encouraging words for newbies and budding stoners.

“It’s important to remember that the relationship between the amount of marijuana you consume and how high you feel is far less linear than with alcohol and drunkenness,” Boston’s paper of record advises. “Your first time, you might smoke and smoke but feel nothing (that’s normal, try again). Another day, you might take one hit off a joint and embark on a psychedelic tour of the universe.”

Wait – I thought using pot was no different than relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. I’ve never taken a psychedelic tour of the universe after a glass of wine. Maybe I need to switch brands.

For its part, the Globe isn’t concerned with increased traffic accidents, higher levels of drug dependence or the already proven spike in youth marijuana use. None of those social costs bother the Globe one bit.

But they do have one concern: the skin color of the people operating the pot shops. On Wednesday, Nov. 21, lead editorial in New England’s leading newspaper was devoted to their concern over pot sellers’ level of skin pigment.

“Both of the first two stores are white-owned,” the Globe fretted. “More worrisome, almost all the applicants in the queue are white too.” The Globe goes on to outline various forms of affirmative action that could encourage more minority participation in the legal drug peddling business.

Once again, Massachusetts is on the forefront of yet another dubious distinction. Giddy marijuana advocates have been crowing all week about the fact the Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi to have retail recreational pot shops.

For that reason, the rest of us need to exercise extra caution in our travels this festive season. That pumpkin pie you’re bringing to the holiday dinner might not be the only thing arriving baked.
—-
This column originally appeared in the November 21, 2018 Wakefield Daily Item.

Stoner girl photo by Cannabis Culture.

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One Response to “No thanks”

  1. 1 Barbara J Mahoney

    Love your column.


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