A numbing hotch-pot of ideas

Let us smoke! Let us smoke! Let us smoke!

If some Caribbean leaders and political and social commentators have

their way, that’s what some among us could be singing this Christmas.

The air could take the place of Bing Crosby’s Let It Snow.

Of course, the present and vigorous call for the decriminalizing of

marijuana use is nothing original, or distinctive. People have been pleading

for its legalization since the 1970s.

And, legalized use or not, some Rastafarians have been extolling its

holiness; the drug lords, its business benefits; and some of our doctors and

lawyers, its medicinal value and health good.

We have highly educated and reasoned minds making a strong case for

marijuana decriminalization, despite the fact the herb –– for all its medicinal

magic –– yet impairs logical thinking and benumbs the mind, making users

lethargic and unproductive; even despite the fact the drug

could induce psychosis.

It is not unknown that one of the dozens of fundamental herbs of

traditional Chinese medicine has been cannabis, prescribed for an avalanche

of illnesses –– which revelation peaked fervent interest in the use of the drug

more as an occasion than a reason or cause in the Western world.

Of course, the medical marijuana theory has always met opposition,

as it continues to today.

Its opposers have argued that the plant really fails to meet the standard

requirements for approved medicine, some presenting “documented

evidence” of serious negative health effects.

From back in the 1970s in the United States, proponents of marijuana

use have been hailing its healing properties, and some American states,

capitulating, approved it as such, as well as decriminalized it that it might be

puffed legally at one’s leisure.

We are not unmindful of the many stories of usage of marijuana in the

Caribbean as a smoking stress reliever and as a tea for a variety of ailments.

But it is the social argument for its decriminalization that provokes

compelling thought. Proponents say prosecution of spliff users, plant

growers and distributors takes up much police and court time, and that

the legalization of pot would free up our officers to prevent and seek out

far more serious crimes, and ease the backlog of court cases, and, to boot,

reduce the number of people in prison.

In addition, proponents argue that in these hard economic times legalized

marijuana and its use could raise millions in tax revenue –– like drinking

alcohol does. Furthermore, it would eliminate the gangs and turf battles, for

any shop, minimart or supermarket could now sell pot.

How long the freeing up concept will work for Colorado in the United

States where since November last year that state, under the Campaign

To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol ballot initiative, backed by

the Marijuana Policy Project, allows personal cultivation, possession,

production and distribution is anybody’s guess.

In some other places people are allowed to be in possession legally of up

to one ounce, even though possession per se remains a crime under law ––

a situation where, obviously, constant access to weight scales and the tedium

of police surveillance ensue.

Some years ago, the British medical journal Lancet opined that smoking

cannabis, even long-term, was not harmful to health.

“It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat . . . than

alcohol or tobacco,” it said.

The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in the United

States has been more cautious. It is of the view that “except for the harms

associated with smoking, the adverse effects are within the range tolerated

for other medications”. And we know how debilitating and sometimes fatal

those side effects can be.

Interestingly, American studies have shown that marijuana

decriminalization has had virtually no effect on marijuana use among youth

in states enacting the policy. And where there continues to be enforcement

of the law there has been no reduction in use either.

Users just don’t believe they will be caught.

Indeed, what to do? Shall we wander as Britain and the United States

are? Or shall we apply the commons sense our centenarians unremittingly

espouse in the media on their birthdays?

A numbing


of ideas


One Response to A numbing hotch-pot of ideas

  1. sungoddess October 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I believe the term is “hodge-podge”… even if you were playing on words with “hotch-pot” and the “pot” referring to marijuana, I am still kind of mystified by the “hotch” part.

    Lastly, why is there such a glaring difference in the formatting of your posts?

    Some are properly spaced and lined, but there are just as many with crazy formatting like this page.

    Unfortunately the formatting above makes your content unreadable–I gave up after the first couple of paragraphs–and the inconsistency is maddening.

    It is–to be fair–consistent in its inconsistency… there are too many posts like this for it to be accidental, which leads me to ask: Why is it that online content is mistreated such?


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