One of the longest-standing arguments against marijuana use by opponents has been that pot makes people lazy. It has been argued, without research to back it naturally, that folks who smoke cannabis become dulled in their senses, unable to properly function in society, and generally lethargic — a drain on the economy.
Opinion by C J Oakes
This argument has been so enduring that even self-professed potheads often joke about how lazy marijuana makes them. The stereotypical stoner in films and TV is Jeff Spicoli, masterfully played by Sean Penn in the teen high school movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Cheech and Chong made a career overplaying their pot-makes-you-dumb-and-wonderfully-oblivious characters.
But are these stereotypes true?
What’s Behind Door Number Two? Actual Evidence.
Since the days when Harry J. Anslinger wrote his terrible 1953 book The Traffic in Narcotics, those who do not care to indulge in the science of proof have accepted his wrongful notions of marijuana as the ultimate truth. Consider what Anslinger stated about marijuana on page 21. Citing “medical experts,” he claimed there is a
“complete unpredictability of the effect of marihuana (sic) on different individuals. A small dose taken by one subject may bring about intense intoxication, raving fits, criminal assaults. Another subject can consume large amounts without experiencing any reaction except stupification. It is this unpredictable effect which makes of marihuana (sic) one of the most dangerous drugs known.”
Can anyone say Bulls**t?
And what about the “medical experts” he claimed to have informed him of these effects? Nowhere in the book does Harry S**tslinger cite them. For his uber-conservative 1950s audience that bought into his fable, there was no need. Anslinger was telling them what they wanted to hear and many of the tall tales he told are repeated by some today. One of the biggest things his modern s**t spreaders have in common with their mentor is that not a one of them have clearly ever tried pot.
If they did, they would know that it patently DOES NOT make a person violent. Furthermore, one of the other arguments Anslinger made is that with regular use, a person will become “insane.”
The above quote is from the movie Forest Gump. In the film, he is making the wise observation, in the words of his “Mama” that people become stupid by being around other stupid people. The word stupid differs from ignorant in that an ignorant person simply lacks facts — a stupid person ignores facts.
The facts are that marijuana does not make people stupefied, at least not when they are not high. Sure, when a person smokes weed, they get silly, stupefied, somewhat lethargic, and very creative, but once the high wears off, they are back to themselves. For some, themselves are jerks, so the weed is a benefit to those who must be around them.
But evidence out of Washington State appears to make the case that marijuana does not have a negative impact on productivity or the economy.
In 2012, Washington State became one of the first in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
By 2014, something equally big happened — for the first time, Washington State began to rank in the Top 10 of CNBC‘s Best State for Business. CNBC has been using the same formula since 2007 and typically, Texas ranks in the top 10, but Washington never has. In fact, Washington State began a steady climb that year and in 2017 made the number 1 spot. This, despite the fact that marijuana is legal for recreational use…
Or could it be said that the state made the rankings BECAUSE of marijuana?
Nah, that would be just as factual as Anslinger’s tale.
Still, it does seem to strongly disprove the notion that marijuana dumbs people down — Washington State boasts the highest concentration of STEM workers. And if you do not know what a STEM worker is, you are merely ignorant. If you fail to look it up right now, you are Harry J Anslinger.