Dopey dopeheads


Thomas Jefferson grew it, as did George Washington, who also encouraged others to do the same. Bill Clinton smoked it but defied physics by managing not to inhale. It made Louis Armstrong’s world more wonderful. Stephen King once noted that its legalisation could boost New England’s economy and Paul McCartney has often advocated against the persecution of its users. Much has been said both for and, of course, against the legalisation of the growing and smoking of cannabis, also known by the names marijuana, weed, pot dope, ganja, Mary Jane and by several other aliases.


Being in a flippant mood as I write this, however, I will resist the temptation to go into either side of the argument. A whole book can be written- indeed, many already have- about the chemical properties of cannabis and its effects on human health. According to who you believe, cannabis may or may not bring about convulsions, conniptions, explosive diarrhea, madness, blindness, drooling, warm fuzzy feelings, lots of laughing and smiling, relaxation or nervousness, extreme awareness or none at all, hunger pangs or a loss of appetite, out-of-tune singing and the urge to line dance. Different people believe different things about cannabis and very little of these things have been conclusively proven.


Although by the looks of it, long-term cannabis use does make you stupid. This is not to say that cannabis is worse than other drugs or stimulants- users of hard drugs are concerned with nothing but how they can get their next fix; alcoholics are never pleasant company; coffee drinkers walk around like zombies first in the morning and are wide awake when you just want them to leave you alone so you can go to sleep later in the day. But evidence is now suggesting that potheads are idiots. And the evidence, though entirely and emphatically unscientific, is mounting.


First we have the example of a Utah teenager who called the local police station after a burglar took a bag of cannabis from his home. He told the police that another man had contacted him about buying the stash of hash but the deal had fallen through and that he suspected that it was this very man who had smashed his window and stolen his precious pot. The police located the burglar and then asked the youth to identify the bag at the station. When he did they promptly arrested him. 


Then there is the story of a fifty-two year-old man in Germany who lodged a complaint with the police claiming that the cannabis he had been sold was “completely unenjoyable”. He had wasted a lot of money to buy weed that was of “absolutely mediocre quality” and demanded that the police take action. “I am a victim of fraud” he apparently said. To his shock, the police refused to take action. Then they arrested him on charges of illegal purchase of drugs and extreme stupidity.


The moral of the story is: Don’t do drugs, but if you must then keep your mouth shut.


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