Since the 1940's Cannabis has been demonized and made out to be a gateway drug that triggers a descent into insanity. William Randolph Hearst made sure of that. For years, we have all heard the propaganda denouncing marijuana, claiming it is a dangerous drug on the level of opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamine, capable of turning little Johnny next door into a serial rapist and drug mule. But why does marijuana's social stigma persist, years after it has been repeatedly determined to be many times safer than societies legal vices? Why does the civilized world continue to fill their prison systems with non-violent offenders? And why can any adult freely purchase a lethal dose of alcohol?
In a side-by-side comparison with any other recreational drug, marijuana is always the lesser of two evils. Even with societies "safe" recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco, a laundry list of side effects and chronic diseases far outweighs any benefit or fun to be had. Alcohol is one of the only recreational drugs on earth with a potentially fatal withdrawal. Lifetime consumption of tobacco inevitably leads to heart disease, organ failure, or cancer. But we can freely purchase these poisons from a grocery store. This does not make sense by any stretch of the imagination or twisted logic. Marijuana has been proven time and time again to have no physical ill effects (allergies exempt), minimal psychological effects, minimal effects on driving, no possibility of fatal overdose, and neuroprotective effects. It actually undoes some of the damage done by chronic alcohol abuse. If marijuana were legalized, regulated, and taxed like tobacco, it would be a cash cow for the government.
The primary motive for marijuana's continued prohibition is the United States' privatized prison system. Profit directly correlates to the number of prisoners held. This means that it is in the prison owners' collective interest to lobby to keep these laws in place. 45,000 americans are in prison right now for marijuana possession charges. At approximately $36,000 per year, this equals almost 1.5 billion dollars a year spent to keep stoners behind bars. (And this is not counting all the money spent on the 800,000 marijuana arrests made). The United States Government spent 15 billion dollars on the War on Drugs in 2010, and they have nothing to show for it.
One could say William Randolph Hearst was the grandfather of the prohibitionist movement. Marijuana posed a threat to the paper industry, of which Hearst had significant holdings in. He spent vast sums of money on a lifelong slander campaign against marijuana, claiming it was a dangerous, violent drug that would cause white women to seek relations with "negroes and mexicans." He succeeded. To this day, there are programs dedicated to scare the general public away from marijuana. Prohibitionist propaganda today claims that marijuana has 4 times the tar of tobacco, causes lung cancer, and increases risk of a heart attack. These have been repeatedly disproven by both funded and independent studies. If consumed orally, no ill effects are even possible, other than consuming more than intended. The founders of America were even proponents of marijuana consumption, Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as saying "Some of my finest hours have been spent smoking hemp on my back veranda and observing as far as my eye can see."
In conclusion, the war against marijuana has cost the United States many billions of dollars, and has gotten us nowhere. Many lives and dollars would be saved if marijuana was legalized and regulated like tobacco or alcohol. There is no reason whatsoever to keep marijuana illegal, as this only puts more money in the pockets of the gangs and cartels. Legalizing marijuana would save lives, create new jobs, and give people a new, safer social vice.
I have always been fascinated with music. It amazes me that music can take a person out of their ordinary life and place them in a world of their own imagination. It amazes me that people have collaborated over time to create this beautiful form of expression. For me, it is precisely the thrill and excitement of being taken on a musical journey .
I remember my first experience with music was my mother playing classical music for me during nap times. I remember specifically listening to"Claire de Lune", that tune has followed me throughout life to this day . It was a magical song that took me on a journey, even as a child and formed the person I am today. Ever since that initial impression became solidified in my imagination many years ago, music has became a form of release for me. Even if I am having the most stressful day of my life I can turn to music and all my problems dissipate.
The first concert I ever went to was Bruce Spring in Rotterdam, Holland. I was only 8 and I was there with my father brother and mother. As my father led me into the arena by my hand, the air heavy with legal marijuana smoke, I heard loud blues rock music. As the concert got more intense Bruce Springsteen stood on his piano and danced along with the music. I remember my dad lifting me up onto his shoulders and scooting his way through intoxicated fans trying to get as close to the front of the stage as possible. We were getting closer when we were confronted with two large bodyguards, my dad didn't have passes to get into the section closer to the stage, but I guess they felt bad because I was with him and let us in. My dad scooted his way closer to the stage until we were there, right in front of Mr. Springsteen himself. I specifically didn't think of Bruce Springsteen to be a hero of any sorts, but i knew he was my fathers idol. I remember a new song came on and Bruce decided to come to center front stage and started high fiving fans, my dad got me as close to him as possible, and I touched his hand. I remember how excited my dad was after that experience, I remember thinking that one day I want to make music so I could influence someone the same way that Bruce Springsteen influenced my dad.
With each year my love for music grows. Every new journey I discover through a new song always leaves me feeling such deep emotion. When I make music on my programs on my computer I feel such a deep connection to the form of creation. When I begin working on a project I can get so deeply hypnotized in it I don't even notice time passing. I have had times when i've sat down to make a beat and upwards to four hours had drifted away right before my eyes, kind of like sleeping throughout the whole day and awaking to a dark sky, you feel like your dreaming.
My fascination with the environment music creates is deeply engraved in my soul. A trip through "Flying Lotus: Golden Diva" never fails to thrill me. Sometime I wonder if I could have been a Musician in a previous lifetime, or conducting a symphony. Music is truly the most beautiful form of creation I have found to date and it will stick with me all my life.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?", A question iv'e been asked my whole life. For a peculiar reason I have always half assed the answer with saying an artist, because i've always known i'm a creator. I have, however though, never fully questioned myself as to what type of artist I would like to be, or what medium of art i'd even like to create. As children, we think the words "growing up" mean becoming like mom and dad, when in reality, we are much too young to understand the real concept behind those two dreadful words. If only someone had told me the truth, I could have prepared for the shock.
The phases of growing up are like a horrible date. They start off real nice and eventually smack you in the face. I remember back in kindergarten when there used to be nap time. Oh how I took that for granted! If only they still had an hour of sleep a day at school still. If school over the years wasn't difficult enough, now you have to prepare for college and life on your own on top of graduating high-school. All happening rapidly with no time to breathe.
Growing up causes the "unthinkable" to happen, it brings more responsibilities. The days of mom coming in my room every morning and saying, "Time to get up!" are now limited. I never thought i'd have to go out get a job, be responsible for my life. Weren't mom and dad supposed to take care of me forever? Today, I have to make sure I have money to get a bus pass, pay a cell phone bill, buy my own clothes, and have at least a dollar left over for the ninety-nine cents menu at McDonalds. Someone also failed to mention that as I got older the prices would rise and an apartment could be as high as six hundred dollars per month.
Growing up leaves no time for fun. I remember being eleven years old and going to Chuckie Cheese's or the movies every weekend. Sometimes my friends and I would even get bored because we had nothing to do. That isn't the case anymore. My weekends are now spent looking at the walls of my bedroom, along with the stack of books I have to read and analyze by Tuesday morning. My days of "cruising" with friends down Lakeshore and kicking the shit have almost vanished.
Children never really think about the future because it seems so far away. They figure that they will be young forever. I think there are a lot of us who never grow up. Sure we get older in appearance and become forgetful, but inside we are still little kids. Although I can't stop it, I will always hate growing up. It's one of the reasons why I've decided to do what I've always said I would. I plan to move to Never Never Land and never grow up.