Maybe I just don’t get it, but as a longtime reader of the Nexus’ drug articles, I still find myself at a loss as to what the paper or frequent drug columnist Kevin McCarty is actually advocating. A recent column (“The Pointlessness of Pot Persecution,” Daily Nexus, May 16, 2011) essentially stated “the man is keeping us down by illegalizing weed,” and then — and this one is a direct quote, mind you — insisted that “we only need a nanny state to take care of us because we have become disconnected from our natural niche within nature.” The column goes on to assert that social programs, modern medicine and war are merely byproducts of our disconnect from the natural state of affairs.
I’ve heard this argument before, and I think it tends to be made by people who do not have a good idea of what might actually constitute “our natural niche within nature.” Anyone who has a legitimate interest in nature probably knows the unaltered natural environment is a dangerous place where animals barely scrape out an existence. They reproduce, live long enough to ensure their progeny can survive and then they die — for humans this probably equates to a lifespan of about 30 to 40 years. It should also be noted that agriculture — growing weed included — probably would not be considered within our natural niche. In fact, without modern technology or “the man” defending us, we would probably be forced to spend the majority of our time fighting off wild animals with sticks and not getting baked. Being stoned is not generally conducive to survival.
Now, I don’t think the column was legitimately claiming we’d be better off as hunter-gatherers, but that’s actually my point. I don’t think even the columnist really knows what he was advocating, and long angry rants about society and drug laws remind me of an upset toddler, screaming and waving his arms after not getting his way. I’ve seen several articles that seem to assert legalized weed is great because primitive cultures used it. Primitive cultures also used opium and sacrificed human beings to their gods. While I personally wouldn’t equate marijuana with narcotics or human sacrifice, I also think there are many things primitive cultures did that we now recognize are not particularly beneficial.
Essentially, these pro-weed arguments seem about as coherent as someone who is currently stoned. If you make a cogent argument and present your thoughts reasonably, maybe I’ll agree with you. But the burden of proof is on the person trying to change the laws. You shouldn’t write articles that suggest we’d be better off if we replaced our centralized government and modern medicine with weed — at least, not if you want any reasonable person to agree with you.
Connor Long is a third-year biological science major.