As of Tuesday, April 19, 2005, the federal government has spent well over $6 billion on the great “War on Drugs” for this year. I suppose it’s needless to remind you that this year has barely kicked off. I’m reading a report from the California government that claims that more toxic waste is created as a result of “clandestine labs,” or meth labs, as we here in the real world know them, than by any source other than oil spills. That seems like a noble enough cause. Drugs must be bad if they create that much waste.

It can’t be ignored that maybe if this shit were legal, there could be regulations for these sorts of things – and also for quality! I’m sick of getting nasty meth, man. It’s gross — I kid, I kid.

But what about the harmless and lovable drug we all know as hangover medicine? Yep, weed. It’s even fun to say. Try it: “Weeeeeeeeeeed!” It’s like saying “Whee!” with a D at the end. Next time you need a bunch of smiles for the camera, ask them to “Say weeeeeeeeed!”

But not too loud. You might get searched and Tasered by cops, until they figure out that you’re one of those unfortunate fuckers with a slight heart defect that would have gone unnoticed if heavy electrical charges weren’t shooting into your body; or maybe your heart was already a little jacked up from the meth, coke or whatever the upper of your choice may be. In either case, after that you might not have a pulse.

But I digress. We’re just talking about marijuana here, not vicious jacked-up cops with electro-guns and a grant for an amount that is unidentified even by the stat sheets of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a law enforcement team armed with automatic weapons, helicopters and all sorts of neat, expensive shit that we pay for so they can take our damn plants away and ruin the high times. We pay those bastards to do that. Why?

Wow. I think I just found out. At this moment, I am staring at a press release of some sort from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and some other group made up of concerned parents that don’t exist – or maybe made up entirely of James Baron. It’s called “Marijuana — Debunking the Myths.” It says, apparently, that there is scientific evidence — sci-en-tif-ic evidence — that marijuana can “lead to dependency and addiction.” Well, here’s what the PBS has to say about that: “Chronic use does not establish physical dependence… but may be psychologically habituating.” Psychologically habituating? Like chewing gum? Or drinking caffeine? Ah, but that’s another story.

Well, PBS is just a bunch of subversive commies anyway. Actually, the only really bad thing PBS had to say about marijuana was that regular smokers of marijuana can get respiratory problems. So, who wants pot brownies?

Wait! The Office of National Drug Control Policy also states that some scientists have discovered “a link between frequent marijuana use and increased violent behavior.” That’s so ridiculous that I don’t even feel the need to address it here, but it is indicative of the idiocy and misinformation of the “War on Drugs.”

Sure, they mention that it’s not safe to drive while high — but they say nothing about how fun it is! Again, I kid. If you drive while high, you’ll run over little kids outside McDonald’s. Obviously.

Back to real information: According to BBC news, in 2002 there were over 135,000 people in prison for marijuana offenses in the U.S. — 50,000 on a felony charge of possession. That’s a lot of people just for possession, and we pay for them to be locked up, too! God, it’s good to be an American taxpayer. It’s too bad some of the estimated $7 billion it takes to enforce the prohibition of marijuana can’t go to education. But we gotta get those stoners — they’s dangerous!

Cory Anthony is a Daily Nexus columnist.