A lone photojournalist exposes the madness.

It’s 4:20. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Did you come to Boulder, Colorado for a good education or a good party?  Have your folks paid the University of Colorado $38,000 a year for out of state tuition or $19,000 a year for in-state or illegal alien tuition?  Did your parents hope to give their little angel the opportunity to improve themselves for a happy successful future? Here’s a story about some of the extracurricular activities that can torch their dream and blow their little darling’s mind.

Annually, on 4/20, at 4:20 p.m. there is a “Smoke Out” on CU Boulder campus. This year’s crowd was certainly over 10,000. This was the scene at 3:30 PM. Most attendees were already well on their way to a parallel universe, but the big bang was still 50 minutes in the future.

420 is a term for meeting to smoke marijuana. It started with a small clique in California who met after school to get stoned. Then as the legend goes, the dog ate their homework.

Although the 420 marijuana protest at CU Boulder limits its advocacy to the legalization of cannabis, when asked the question, almost everyone I spoke to said they were in favor of legalizing all drugs. Ecstasy, LSD, Coke, Mushrooms, Mescaline, have been an integral part of campus drug culture for years and are inseparable from any conversation about marijuana legalization. The drugs listed are generally used in combination with Marijuana and obtained from the same sources. Meth, crack, heroin and a host of specialty concoctions are also available.

When I posed questions about drug use above and beyond pot smoking I got answers like an enthusiastic “Hell Ya” or “the works!!” from surprisingly innocent looking kids. The guy in the photo below surprised me by responding “anything I can get my hands on!!” when I asked him if his shirt referred to alcohol.

 

“There is a progression in the minds of men: first the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then it becomes an orthodoxy whose truth seems so obvious that no one remembers that anyone ever thought differently. This is just what is happening with the idea of legalizing drugs: it has reached the stage when millions of thinking men are agreed that allowing people to take whatever they like is the obvious, indeed only, solution to the social problems that arise from the consumption of drugs.”  Theodore Dalrymple

Look like Barbie smoke like Marley is a reference to Bob Marley the international drug culture icon from Jamaica. Believe El Marco, Barbie, you will never “smoke like Marley”.

I had the opportunity to photograph Mr. Marley before his early death from lung cancer which spread to his brain. I am well versed in the belief system, or lack thereof, of the Rastas of Jamaica. At age 16 I hitch-hiked  from Toronto to Miami and caught a cheap roundtrip ($65) to Montego Bay. I was on the verge of becoming an early anarcho-primitivist at the time. My misadventures traveling alone in Jamaica helped turn me around in the long run. But not soon enough to prevent me from dropping out of grade 10. I met many characters like Marley and learned a lot about them.

The main lesson was that some people will believe almost anything and that massive pot smoking doesn’t help the situation. Incoherent messianic mythology doesn’t begin to describe the Rastafarian worldview. Thats something the Rastas have in common with leftists worldwide.  The real tragedy of Bob Marley is not that he died so young. It’s that his “legend” has influenced so many young people from Bali to Boulder to abandon school and learning and descend into a world of marijuana dependency and countercultural nihilism.

Bob Marley in Concert by El Marco

Some of Marley’s stump-toothed followers from a previous generation were on hand to impart their universal wisdom to a new crop of “rebels.”

“Marijuana users themselves report poor outcomes on a variety of measures of life satisfaction and achievement. A recent study compared current and former long-term heavy users of marijuana with a control group who reported smoking cannabis at least once in their lives, but not more than 50 times. Despite similar education and incomes in their families of origin, significant differences were found on educational attainment and income between heavy users and the control group: fewer of the cannabis users completed college and more had household incomes of less than $30,000.

When asked how marijuana affected their cognitive abilities, career achievements, social lives, and physical and mental health, the overwhelming majority of heavy cannabis users reported the drug’s deleterious effect on all of these measures.”  NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE – (NIDA)

A recent study of over 300 fraternal and identical twin pairs, who differed on whether or not they used marijuana before the age of 17, found that those who had used marijuana early had elevated rates of other drug use and drug problems later on, compared with their twins, who did not use marijuana before age 17. This study re-emphasizes the importance of primary prevention by showing that early drug initiation is associated with increased risk of later drug problems, and it provides more evidence for why preventing marijuana experimentation during adolescence could have an impact on preventing addiction. – NIDA


This relic wandered around asking people if they had received their stimulus checks yet. He told me he got his $600, and he’s going to spend it all at the smoke out. I overheard him going through the crowd later repeating the same routine to others.

Great T-shirt on the right says MAKE AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVANCES, NOT WAR.  Get high and meet chicks!  Note Marley girl on left with her munchies in hand.  Looks like the young lady second from left is making her own advances.  Feelin Lucky!   Couple of cuties there guys!

“…no society until our own has had to contend with the ready availability of so many different mind-altering drugs, combined with a citizenry jealous of its right to pursue its own pleasures in its own way.”   –  Theodore Dalrymple

“…in a free society, adults should be permitted to do whatever they please, always provided that they are prepared to take the consequences of their own choices and that they cause no direct harm to others. The locus classicus for this point of view is John Stuart Mill’s famous essay On Liberty: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of the community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others,” Mill wrote. “His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” This radical individualism allows society no part whatever in shaping, determining, or enforcing a moral code: in short, we have nothing in common but our contractual agreement not to interfere with one another as we go about seeking our private pleasures.

Addiction to, or regular use of, most currently prohibited drugs cannot affect only the person who takes them—and not his spouse, children, neighbors, or employers. No man, except possibly a hermit, is an island…”   Theodore Dalrymple

“We all value freedom, and we all value order; sometimes we sacrifice freedom for order, and sometimes order for freedom. But once a prohibition has been removed, it is hard to restore, even when the newfound freedom proves to have been ill-conceived and socially disastrous.

Even Mill came to see the limitations of his own principle as a guide for policy and to deny that all pleasures were of equal significance for human existence. It was better, he said, to be Socrates discontented than a fool satisfied. Mill acknowledged that some goals were intrinsically worthier of pursuit than others.”   Theodore Dalrymple

 

“This being the case, not all freedoms are equal, and neither are all limitations of freedom: some are serious and some trivial. The freedom we cherish—or should cherish—is not merely that of satisfying our appetites, whatever they happen to be. We are not Dickensian Harold Skimpoles, exclaiming in protest that “Even the butterflies are free!” We are not children who chafe at restrictions because they are restrictions. And we even recognize the apparent paradox that some limitations to our freedoms have the consequence of making us freer overall. The freest man is not the one who slavishly follows his appetites and desires throughout his life…”     Theodore Dalrymple

“It might be argued that the freedom to choose among a variety of intoxicating substances is a much more important freedom and that millions of people have derived innocent fun from taking stimulants and narcotics.”         Theodore Dalrymple

“But the consumption of drugs has the effect of reducing men’s freedom by circumscribing the range of their interests.

It impairs their ability to pursue more important human aims, such as raising a family and fulfilling civic obligations.”    Theodore Dalrymple

T-shirt on left says: Marijuana! Hey, at least it’s not crack!

This girl’s shirt, WEEDING IS FUNDAMENTAL, is a play on Reading is Fundamental, a children’s literacy organization. It reminded me: this is an institution of higher education. So, just how does marijuana use affect learning?

“Another study produced additional evidence that marijuana’s effects on the brain can cause cumulative deterioration of critical life skills in the long run. Researchers gave students a battery of tests measuring problem-solving and emotional skills in 8th grade and again in 12th grade. The results showed that the students who were already drinking alcohol plus smoking marijuana in 8th grade started off slightly behind their peers, but that the distance separating these two groups grew significantly by their senior year in high school.”  – NIDA

OK HOUSTON WE HAVE IGNITION!! 4:22 PM LIFTOFF HAS BEEN ACHIEVED!!

Depression, anxiety, and personality disturbances are all associated with marijuana use. Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana use has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person’s existing problems worse. Because marijuana compromises the ability to learn and remember information, the more a person uses marijuana the more he or she is likely to fall behind in accumulating intellectual, job, or social skills.  – NIDA

“The idea that freedom is merely the ability to act upon one’s whims is surely very thin and hardly begins to capture the complexities of human existence; a man whose appetite is his law strikes us not as liberated but enslaved.”     Theodore Dalrymple

Directly across the quad on the steps of the brick building are two cops along with a number of other people.

UP IN SMOKE!!

PARTY CENTRAL

GNARLY

“No culture that makes publicly sanctioned self-indulgence its highest good can long survive: a radical egotism is bound to ensue, in which any limitations upon personal behavior are experienced as infringements of basic rights. Distinctions between the important and the trivial, between the freedom to criticize received ideas and the freedom to take LSD, are precisely the standards that keep societies from barbarism.”    Theodore Dalrymple

“When you smoke herb it reveals you to yourself”  

“Drug taking is a lazy man’s way of pursuing happiness and wisdom, and the shortcut turns out to be the deadest of dead ends. We lose remarkably little by not being permitted to take drugs.”                        Theodore Dalrymple

“Very often it impairs their ability to pursue gainful employment and promotes parasitism. Moreover, far from being expanders of consciousness, most drugs severely limit it. One of the most striking characteristics of drug takers is their intense and tedious self-absorption; and their journeys into inner space are generally forays into inner vacuums.”   Theodore Dalrymple

Munchie gratification. Note Mozzarella on matching lip rings.

“The extreme intellectual (simplicity) of the proposal to legalize the distribution and consumption of drugs, touted as the solution to so many problems at once (AIDS, crime, overcrowding in the prisons, and even the attractiveness of drugs to foolish young people) should give rise to skepticism. Social problems are not usually like that. Analogies with the Prohibition era, often drawn by those who would legalize drugs, are false and inexact: it is one thing to attempt to ban a substance that has been in customary use for centuries by at least nine-tenths of the adult population, and quite another to retain a ban on substances that are still not in customary use, in an attempt to ensure that they never do become customary. Surely we have already slid down enough slippery slopes in the last 30 years without looking for more such slopes to slide down.”    Theodore Dalrymple

Students who smoke marijuana get lower grades and are less likely to graduate from high school, compared with their nonsmoking peers.

“…research has shown that marijuana’s adverse impact on memory and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. For example, a study of 129 college students found that among heavy users of marijuana – those who smoked the drug at least 27 of the preceding 30 days – critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning were significantly impaired, even after they had not used the drug for at least 24 hours.”  Thank you,  NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE

These cops were not impressed with this advocate for legalization. I would describe their demeanor as politely disgusted. The slogan meets reality.

“It is of course true, but only trivially so, that the present illegality of drugs is the cause of the criminality surrounding their distribution. Likewise, it is the illegality of stealing cars that creates car thieves. In fact, the ultimate cause of all criminality is law. As far as I am aware, no one has ever suggested that law should therefore be abandoned. Moreover, the impossibility of winning the “war” against theft, burglary, robbery, and fraud has never been used as an argument that these categories of crime should be abandoned. And so long as the demand for material goods outstrips supply, people will be tempted to commit criminal acts against the owners of property. This is not an argument, in my view, against private property or in favor of the common ownership of all goods. It does suggest, however, that we shall need a police force for a long time to come.

In any case, there are reasons to doubt whether the crime rate would fall quite as dramatically as advocates of legalization have suggested. Amsterdam, where access to drugs is relatively unproblematic, is among the most violent and squalid cities in Europe. The idea behind crime—of getting rich, or at least richer, quickly and without much effort—is unlikely to disappear once drugs are freely available to all who want them. And it may be that officially sanctioned antisocial behavior—the official lifting of taboos—breeds yet more antisocial behavior, as the “broken windows” theory would suggest.”     Theodore Dalrymple

“Having met large numbers of drug dealers in prison, I doubt that they would return to respectable life if the principal article of their commerce were to be legalized. Far from evincing a desire to be reincorporated into the world of regular work, they express a deep contempt for it and regard those who accept the bargain of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay as cowards and fools.

Therefore, since even legalizers would hesitate to allow children to take drugs, decriminalization might easily result in dealers turning their attentions to younger and younger children, who—in the permissive atmosphere that even now prevails—have already been inducted into the drug subculture in alarmingly high numbers.

For the proposed legalization of drugs to have its much vaunted beneficial effect on the rate of criminality, such drugs would have to be both cheap and readily available. The legalizers assume that there is a natural limit to the demand for these drugs, and that if their consumption were legalized, the demand would not increase substantially. Those psychologically unstable persons currently taking drugs would continue to do so, with the necessity to commit crimes removed, while psychologically stabler people (such as you and I and our children) would not be enticed to take drugs by their new legal status and cheapness. But price and availability, I need hardly say, exert a profound effect on consumption: the cheaper alcohol becomes, for example, the more of it is consumed…

It is therefore perfectly possible that the demand for drugs, including opiates, would rise dramatically were their price to fall and their availability to increase. And if it is true that the consumption of these drugs in itself predisposes to criminal behavior it is also possible that the effect on the rate of criminality of this rise in consumption would swamp the decrease that resulted from decriminalization. We would have just as much crime in aggregate as before, but many more addicts.

If the war against drugs is lost, then so are the wars against theft, speeding, incest, fraud, rape, murder, arson, and illegal parking. Few, if any, such wars are winnable. So let us all do anything we choose.

The present situation is bad, undoubtedly; but few are the situations so bad that they cannot be made worse by a wrong policy decision.”    Thanks for the words  Dr. T. Dalrymple, City Journal


 VERY SWEET KIDS FROM COLORADO

Platoons of Paris Hilton impersonators marched at Norlin Quad for the big Smoke Out.

Paris Hilton has been seen by millions smoking hash in Amsterdam on utube.

  


PARTING SHOT

Sample of framed art available for students to purchase next to campus. Every dorm room needs one don’t you think? The teentoon has a butcher knife in his hand, LSD on tongue. Is this a reference to Charlie Manson who used a lot of acid and then a butcher knife?

LSD HOT WITH TEENS

The hallucinogenic drug LSD is making a big comeback among teens, experts say. The substance, popular in the hippy era, costs only about $5 a dose and lasts up to 12 hours, making it a cheap high for cost-conscious kids.  (text from  concert poster above)

In this photo essay I have quoted extensively from two articles. One is by Theodore Dalrymple the British physician, prison psychiatrist and author who is widely credited with influencing Rudy Giuliani in his highly successful reformation of NY City. The other article I quote is from the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE.

While Dalrymple’s article concentrates on the use of opiates and methamphetamine, cocaine, etc. the NIDA article is a review of research on marijuana use. These drugs should always be considered together with marijuana when the subject is legalization.

WARNING: The fact that persons depicted in these photos were all photographed in the vicinity of the 2009 CU boulder Smoke Out is not meant to imply that any or all are or were ever active drug users. The photos are intended only to illustrate contemporary campus youth fashion and culture.

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44 comments to It’s 4:20. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

  • Tom Balkovetz

    Love how this article quotes studies on high schoolers, yet this is a college event…

    • El Marco

      Not sure what your point is, Tom. Perhaps there is an interesting question that arises from the fact that there were so many people there under age 18. Maybe legalization for over 18, or 21, wouldn’t actually lower drug use as claimed, in fact it could make the drugs more available for kids.

  • Thetruth

    Most people attribute POT to being the reason that people are lazy, POT is the reason your best friend flunked out, POT is the reason your kid sleeps late in the morning.

    Quit blaming pot and using a scapegoat. Your family members, friends, and kids, are fucking losers, that’s why they fail.

    The general idea I see from these comments are that successful people who smoke pot do well, and retard idiots who can’t handle their shit fail.

    So take responsibility for yourself quit blaming a plant and get the fuck off your high horse

  • MrT

    Doesnt look much different than the 70’s. Actually the 70’s were worse than this and we managed to survive. Smoking weed never hurt anybody, what is the point to this article? Just to make some people feel guilty for smoking or maybe its to make fun of the people who attended this event. Well these kids do have parents so maybe they are the ones to blame. My mother always said if my dog craps on the rug its my responsibilty to pick it up and teach them NO! So I think maybe the author of this article should look themselves in the mirror first before judging others. Smoke On!

  • norcal420

    SMOKE WEED!

  • Jo Jo

    If this is our future….we are in big trouble! What a bunch of scary looking losers. Brain dead is putting it mildly! I feel sorry for their parents or did they have any??? Maybe evolution is true.

  • Robert

    How to kill the drug gangs’ profits without giving public moral approval to the use of these destructive drugs? This would seem to be a very difficult problem. In addition, the public may well be tiring of the “war on drugs”. Elliott Wave people, applying Elliott waves of social mood to cultural trends, predict we will see the end of the “war on drugs” in a few years. And stories like <a href="http://elliottwave.com/freeupdates/archives/2009/09/04/theycouldhaveshotanyofus.aspx&quot;?this would seem to illustrate why. We do have to consider the marginal case, even though the marginal case is unlikely to be any of us. We certainly would not want something so destructive to be glamorized or have the slightest hint of moral approval toward its use. Such a habit needs to heavily stigmatized and discouraged as much as feasible, like illegitimacy used to be. I have also heard another analyst say that the thing a drug lord fears most, aside from a bribed law enforcement officer turning him in, is decriminalization. Perhaps the best balance between those goals I can think of is to quietly drop the criminalization of possession of drugs by anyone old enough to vote, but levy extremely heavy excise taxes on their sale, and make anyone discovered to be using drugs a target of public ridicule and humiliation as the morally and psychologically weak person he is, unable to deal with reality, and instead poisoning his mind in a feeble and vain attempt to escape his problems. Drug use should automatically disqualify an individual from all public benefits, and make it explicitly legal to discriminate against someone based on drug use. And keeping literature on the destructiveness of these drugs easily accessible would allow people to educate themselves about what drugs have done to others, and would likely do to themselves as well. Such an environment would align every individual’s self-interest to be smart and avoid destroying his mind with poison.

  • I’m all for the complete legalization of marijuana. Then again, I’m for the complete legalization of all forms of firearms as well.

    However, the 4/20 celebration has turned into nothing but a massive exercise in groupthink. Only the weak-minded need chemicals to “think outside the box”. They are doing nothing productive. They are not creating anything; rather, they are consuming something in great quantities that simply produces a feeling. Nothing is accomplished. Thus, the core principle of leftism is fully embraced: If It Feels Good, Do It, And Damn The Consequences.

    I live with someone who lights up a doob or takes a bong rip several times per day. He is lazy, sluggish, and forgets things easily – though it’s nothing compared to his perpetually-stoned friend who I’d trust about as far as I could toss Michael Moore. I don’t need to be a medical researcher to see that frequent consumption of marijuana leads to groupthink and a disdain for seriousness and accomplishment.

    Public university campuses are wretched hives of scum and villainy, where everyone is so concerned with being “different” that they all end up looking and acting the same way – cheap beer, marijuana, parties, text-messaging, “hooking up”, and talking about things of absolute insignificance.

    If you’re wondering, I go to UC Santa Cruz.

  • taylor

    I personally think that pot is the best thing to ever come to the earth. it’s not a gateway drug unless you make it a gateway drug. alcohol does a lot more damage that weed ever will.

  • Andrey

    Thanks to a mix of some good education, some good bud, and some common sense, I have realized that the black and white, traditionalist, conservative world view is the biggest threat to my liberty and the main oppressor of opportunity and progress in this world. Whomever wrote this article is dangerously blinded by ideology.

  • ANN

    I’ve been a nurse for more than a decade and have dealt w/ so many drug-seekers (be it prescribed drugs or illicit ones). I also dealt with people dying from chronic conditions such as cancer. I personally oppose any kind of abuse (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Marijuana is something different. Should MJ be legalized it should only be legalized for patients suffering from chronic PHYSICAL conditions (ex. cancer)..not MENTAL conditions. I oppose patients growing their own MJ plants. I prefer to have MJ FDA or state regulated and treated like any LEGAL narcotic drug (Vicodin, precocet, etc.) NOT like something you can buy it from a convenience store. MJ should and MUST NOT be legalized for recreational use.

  • G Maloney

    These pictures are a good example of cannabis abuse. Sort of like how pictures of a rowdy frat party could be good examples of alcohol abuse, among other things. Has there been a pictorial on that? If not, there should be, as alcohol use surely must cause as much damage on not just an individual but society. But
    perhaps they should not be lumped together, as they are not the same thing. Similarly, they are not the same as tobacco, heroin, cocaine, or any controlled substance. Drink too much and you could poison yourself. Smoke too much and you might get lung cancer. People overdose, and behave negatively, on legal and illegal drugs. Unfortunately, some people at some point decided for the masses that legal cannabis/hemp reform isn’t worth any rational or open minded discussion.

  • Great article.

    A few comments to some of the nutty commentors:

    (This is what they generally state)

    “I’m going to completely ignore all the rationalization you’ve made above and still make a stump for legalizing Pot”.

    or

    “This article was paid for by the drug companies, Pot is safe I’ve used it for X amount of years and have a great life.”

    GOOD FOR YOU.

    Below are my encounters with Pot smokers. (somehow I managed to avoid the nuts in High School)

    1) When I entered technical school, EVERY classmate in my small class of eight was 10 – 15 years older than me, and they all toked up before a test. They ALWAYS tried to make me a participant in their idiotic Reindeer games, no matter how much I protested.

    ONE of them were somehow still able to get good grades. The rest of them got poor to bad grades.

    Regardless of the grade result of the one student who still got good grades he still exhibited pot head behavior. He would often forget where he placed things, and often exhibited other behaviors that are attributed to ADD.

    Being a supervisor of my department I would resist hiring a drug user. I don’t want to risk the damage to the customers equipment.

    2) My best friend from High School started smoking pot after he got back from the discharge from the Marines. He took the route of Pot being a gateway drug, and since IN HIS MIND, Pot was safe he tried EVERY other drug under the sun. He became anti-social, lazy and worked in one dead end job after another. All he cared about was getting high in some various way.

    I’ve often heard the proponents of legalization state that Pot isn’t addictive. This is an absolutely ridiculous statement and I’ve seen the effects of it first hand. There was one time (before I stopped hanging around this guy) he wasn’t able to get the pot to get high, and he FREAKED OUT. He couldn’t deal with feeling “normal”.

    CONCLUSION:

    Pot is an extremely dangerous psychoactive drug. It destroys lives, and in many cases creates PERMANENT short term memory loss.

    But why listen to my opinion?

    here’s the scientific fact:

    http://www.amenclinics.com/brain-science/spect-image-gallery/spect-atlas/images-of-alcohol-and-drug-abuse/

    Pot use creates activity holes in the brain. and you know what’ll be absolutely predictable? The pot proponents will see these images and decry them as fakes. THIS denial of reality IMO is another absolutely stunning effect of pot use.

  • MA

    This is a great photo essay. I’ll be bookmarking your site. I’m a physician, and I wholly agree with your conclusions about pot. Legalization would be a disaster. The Indy Star recently reported that ~8% of Hoosiers taking prescription narcotics abuse them. Ask any physician about prescription pain-killers and chances are he’ll state that percocet, darvocet, vicodin, norco, dilaudid, etc are the bane of his existence. Drug-seeking patients are not fun people with whom to deal. I shudder to think of the consequences of legalizing marijuana.

  • MystiKasT

    I have smoked everyday since my sophomore year in highschool … I am a college junior now. I graduated high school, have a 3.6 GPA in college and already got accepted to law school.

    This is an incredibly biased article it sickens me.

  • Blythe

    My name is Blythe.
    I smoked pot every day of high school while taking advanced placement courses which earned me college credit.
    I earned multiple awards from my high school and state for my artwork and writing, while still having time to participate in extra curricular activities. I even earned an internship in high school.
    Now I am a junior in college in New York. I continue to smoke pot every day. I have been on the deans list for every semester of university.

    You’re wrong. It’s that simple. You don’t have to do drugs to be a screw up, be lame, or lazy. It’s a personal preference, just like anything else

    • El Marco

      Blythe…Like so many of the responses on this page from potheads, you seem to think this article is all about you. Besides being unbelievable, you seem to be devoid of any social conscience and think that drugs should be made legal for your convenience alone. You claim to be a very rare type of stoner, smoking every day with no ill effect at all. If we are to believe that, then I’m sure that all of your many, many friends have never had a single negative side effect either. Or are you too busy being superbly excellent to notice if those around you are suffering and falling by the wayside.

      Mere mortals, unlike yourself, do in adolescence, encounter difficulties. Problems stemming from less than ideal family dynamics, psychological issues, or social pressures can be extremely painful and destabilizing. It’s these people who are often sidetracked in life by pot and all the other drugs that accompany it. What pot does is show vulnerable people that the brain can be a toy that can be tinkered with, using chemicals. If pot is so cool, then acid and speed must be great too. Why not experiment? Not only can you numb the problems of youth but you can be cool, and find a place to fit in socially.

      Unfortunately everyones world isn’t as idyllically perfect as the one you describe, and the damage caused, even by pot, in some communities is extensive. I doubt you were referring to the 60% of young African-Americans who drop out of school as “lame, lazy screw-ups”. Legalize pot and we might boost that number to 70% or higher. But I’m sure you wouldn’t notice.
      If you stopped smoking and started thinking you might wake up and realize you aren’t the only one that matters.

  • James

    I see lots of “arguments” from potheads along the lines of: I’ve smoked weed everyday for ‘x’ number of years and I’m a successful businessman!

    Uhu. And mightn’t you have been even more successful without the weed? Do you seriously think smoking weed aided your career?

  • Hi, Congratulations to the site owner for this marvelous work you’ve done. It has lots of useful and interesting data.

  • Mike

    Dumbest argument ever was at the top of this list. I guess you should expect it from a pothead.

    “who would you rather drive you home at 3:00 am
    a person who smoked 3 joints or the a person who drank 3 long island iced teas?”

    That’s like saying, if you are going to die, who do you want driving.

    How about neither. I guess my priorities are more aligned if those are the decisions you have to make.

  • MommyOh

    “a board of professional educators and scholars seem to think otherwise and I would trust their judgment over yours any day” ~NW Special

    I guess it depends on how credible you think those “professional educators and scholars” really are. Me? I don’t give two cents for most educators clogging up our nation’s universities today. All they do is bring their own agendas and narrow-minded beliefs into the classroom, and then students think that the grades they get actually mean something. Ha.

  • MommyOh

    70’sspirit- if that’s my only two choices, I think I’d rather walk. Get real.

  • My school is the shiiiittt. I will smoke weed until the day I die, I don’t care if you smoke weed, or not, but leave us marijuana lovers be. We fly under the radar as much as possible and are just chillin the only time there’s media attention is from people like this who are obsessed with us, soooo get a life? Find a real drug to attack not just the most popular

  • NW Special

    This article is grossly over exaggerates the effects of marijuana upon college students, and uses offensive and narrow-minded stereotypes to describe these students. I smoke weed every day, and am attending a four year university on a scholastic based full ride scholarship, and you are trying to say that my education is being compromised? Maybe you think of me as a “retarded” stoner kid, but a board of professional educators and scholars seem to think otherwise and I would trust their judgment over yours any day. Seriously, get a grip and leave people to their own personal preferences. After all, who are you to judge, you sound like a jaded old conservative looking for something to degrade the youth generation. Well if you’re every looking for a real job instead of blogging about other people, maybe i’ll hire you to mow my lawn, because judging for this article thats all I would say you are qualified for.

  • Sam

    Whoever wrote this article is disturbingly ignorant.

  • Molosus

    Federal Statist Cultural Dominion, which you obviously support, is a philosophical pattern diametrically to Constituionalisim and thusly Core Rightwing Values. Enjoy your serfdom as you have already accepted the yoke.

  • Sean

    As A student at University of Colorado, I had the unique opportunity to be present at this event, and I see nothing wrong with it or with marijuana in general. Furthermore, I am shocked at the cognitive dissonance of this website’s commentors, as well as its’ writer. The fact is that marijuana is not a harmful drug when compared to tobacco or alcohol. Furthermore, it has been shown by reputable studies to have real, legitimate medical benefits. Who can say that for the variety of legal drugs that anyone of age can buy, or, indeed, many prescription drugs? If you support prohibition of marijuana, you implicitly support many appalling injustices that this country has perpetuated for decades, including the support of cartels, the unsustainable and immoral privatized prison industry, egregious amounts wasted taxes and the dishonest, propagandist, and manipulative DEA.

    Undoubtedly what I’ve said will not find much favor among most of this blog’s regulars, but consider (although nobody here was alive back then) the events of the “noble experiment” or alcohol prohibition of 1929 to 1933. Because alcohol was made illegal, criminal organizations were handed an extremely profitable monopoly on a drug with built-in demand (as marijuana has). Demand did not decrease, and violence increased because of increased profits for mafia organizations. The same thing can be seen happening today in mexico and our southwestern states, and to a lesser extent, in the rest of the country. To those with open minds, ask yourselves, are a bunch of peaceful potheads watching the big lebowski and eating cheetos more dangerous than ruthless, greedy, resilient criminal organizations? As long as marijuana is illegal, you will have both, but if it were decriminalized, which would be severely curtailed, and which would continue to exist as before?

  • oyster head

    Umm –

    Try as he might, I don’t believe Dalrymple has adequately bridged the logical gap between Points A: Drugs are bad for you, and B: Drugs must be prohibited.

    His best argument seems to be that society as a whole becomes a victim of drug use. Well, I agree that it is possible that the kind of society Dalrymple or El Marco would like to think they live in might suffer, but who gives a rat’s behind about them?

    Conservatives love liberty, huh? Don’t make me laugh – they love to use the coercive power of the state to selectively serve their particular interests, just like libs. Why, oh why is drug prohibition an issue worth handing so much power to the government over, when most “conservatives” are bemoaning big government all the time?

  • trojandrummer

    Did anyone stop to think that maybe the weed didn’t lead to underachievement, and maybe the underachievement led to smoking weed, or occurred concurrently? I smoke at least three days a week, my friend and I can smoke an eighth of an ounce in afternoon. But guess what? I’m easily going to graduate magna from USC, and I’m going to do a year at London School of Economics as well. Smoking weed has expanded my world view, allowed me to think on a higher level about many, many things. So to the author: you say smoking weed decreases initiative and leads to lower household income…somehow I doubt an anti-marijuana blogger is raking in much dough. Get a life dude, let people live theirs. I’ll be smoking weed and be many times over as wealthy as you.

  • Thank you for this excellent report. (& this is one of the reason why my children will be going to a private Christian College). I fully agree with Zombie thoughts as well. Thank you for well thought out comment.

  • Smoke_and_Mirrors

    This article is the standard Anti-Marijuana PR that has been used for generations. I have smoked Marijuana every day for the past 8 years. I have a good job, pay my bills, contribute to society on a regular basis, and have never hurt myself or anyone else with my smoking.

    The argument of MJ being a gateway drug is BS. It is a gateway drug only because the Government makes MJ seem like such an evil drug, and when first timers smoke it and realize it is not really as evil as made to seem, they question the same evilness of other drugs, and may try them.

    I have experimented with Mushrooms, ACID and Coke. Mushrooms I love. ACID I will never do again, and Coke while good, lasts for 10 minutes, and then you crave more for the rest of the day. Me being of strong mind, decided long ago that I would stick to the naturals, MJ and Mushrooms. If it grows naturally and doesn’t require any fancy processing to make the product, I am all for it.

    Legalization would help fight the harder drugs. When MJ, the least harmful of all drugs is illegal, and the same risk is involved in obtaining and using MJ as Coke, the downside to using is decreased. If MJ was readily and legally available, why would people need to risk for other harder drugs.

    Then there is the final point. Nothing, NOTHING the government can do will stop the illegal MJ use. They can bust dealers all day long. They can cry about the Mexican Cartels and the evil committed by them, without understanding that it is an easy battle.

    Allow MJ to become a valid industry in the US and you are creating thousands of jobs with the growing, harvesting, distribution and sales, you are creating vast taxable income for the government, and negating what the Cartels are trying to do. It is a Win-Win for all if the government had the courage to embrace the MJ culture that is becoming more and more accepted with each generation.

  • Frank White

    As an unemployed seven year community college student that lives at home, I can say that smoking weed has had no negative impact on my life at all.

  • Rick007

    Anybody wondering how “O” Dumbo got elected??????????????????????????????/

  • “Pot is a gateway drug. It leads, inexorably, to pizza abuse.” – Pizza the Hut

    The real reason that pot is still illegal is because drug laws are the biggest bonanza of all for lawyers and police departments. Since lawyers make the law, judge the law, prosecute the law, and defend from the law – and the police are little more than their muscle anymore – nothing will ever change in this charade. The legal-industrial complex – prison guard unions belong in there too – will make sure the status quo is maintained as long as possible, and tools like Dalrymple will continue churning out irrelevant propaganda to support all of the lawyerly rationalizations.

    The real question is, should citizens have the freedom to do things you, personally, think are stupid? So long as said citizens aren’t harming anybody but themselves, according to Jefferson, the answer can only be yes. If you say no, well, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that you are an authoritarian, and therefore inherently anti-American. Again, regardless of any rationalizations you offer in protest.

  • Calypso Jones

    Well. I WAS anti legalization of marijuana before seeing this article with pix. But now…I think i’m for legalization….if you get my drift.

  • Joey Buzzard

    I smoked my way through most of the 1980s. Zombie and Dalrymple are both correct from my perspective regarding the behavior, attitude and affects on myself and friends.
    Nice report El Marco.

  • Is there any reasonable explanation as to why the hippie left wants to outlaw tobacco and legalize marijuana?

  • Obamageddon

    The third generation of a demoralized America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlpODYhnPEo

    “Useful Idiots”

  • Obamageddon

    The photos in this essay portray a general flabbiness among the 420 crowd, not to mention an endemic brain dead thousand mile stare.

    I’d say that the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and Southern Hemispherians are chomping at the bit at the prospect of facing such a bunch of half witted future leaders of America. I can imagine them now, grinding their teeth, like Alaric at the gates of Rome.

    Enjoy your freedom, future residents of Northern Aztlan.

  • zombie

    Thank you for this excellent report, El Marco. Glad to see at least one other person has his head screwed on straight.

    When the topic of marijuana legalization came up on Little Green Footballs, I expressed what I thought was the self-evidently obvious opinion — that it should remain illegal. And while I already knew ahead of time that many of my cyber-buddies were in favor of legalization (based on passing comments in the past), I was unprepared for how widespread and strong the pro-legalization stance was, even on a sensible blog like LGF. It seemed as if 75% of the other commenters on the thread disagreed with me, some mildly, some strongly. I was pretty stunned, to be frank.

    Keep in mind that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have many friends, colleagues and even family members who are pot-heads, so it’s not like I’m speaking from inexperience, or grew up in some puritanical environment. I’ve been surrounded by marijuana and marijuana culture all my life. And in fact it is my very experience and long-term observations of marijuana users that has caused to me come to the inescapable conclusion that pot is bad for individuals and bad for society.

    To be it bluntly:

    – Pot makes you stupid.
    – Pot makes you irresponsible.
    – Pot makes you narcissistic.
    – Pot makes you intensely boring.
    – Pot makes you unmotivated.
    – Pot gives you delusions of creativity.
    – Pot saps you of any reason to achieve anything real in life.

    When in my LGF comments I made the same argument that Dalrymple made — i.e that drug use is a short-cut to a sense of satisfaction and unearned happiness and as such is a noxious influence on society as a whole because a nation of zoned-out pot-users is a nation with no gumption, no entrepreneurialism, no enthusiasm, and diminished competence — I met a wall of resistance and “disappointment” that I was thinking like a puritan and that I had abandoned my pro-freedom philosophy. When I then pointed out that they had no moral basis to legalize pot but continue to ban other now-forbidden drugs, I thought I was making a good counter-point — but to my further surprise many people chimed in that yes, they would support the legalization of all drugs.

    Now, I liked (and continue to like) many of the people who were taking the pro-legalization stance, and we agree on so many other issues, that it surprised me then and continues to surprise me just how commonplace the pro-legalization position is. I have little hope, actually, that marijuana will remain illegal. Obama has already semi-legalized it by announcing he was not going to enforce federal marijuana laws in any state that had a medical marijuana statute. I think the next step he will take is total legalization. Which personally I think will be disastrous for this nation.

    Thank you also for posting that Theodore Dalrymple essay, because it touched on many of the same reasonings I have concerning marijuana legalization. I know from repeated personal observation that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug, and that it leads many people to a lifetime of drug use of all sorts. This has been proven again and again statistically and anecdotally, but the pot advocates refuse to believe it. And it’s not pot’s illegal status that makes it a gateway drug: if it were legalized, it would lead exponentially more people into a life of semi-permanent intoxication and self-medication.

    I understand very deeply that there is a trade-off between “taking away our individual freedoms” and protecting society as a whole. I derive no perverse joy from making “victimless crimes” illegal. But there are times when being pragmatic and realistic trumps ivory tower theories about total personal freedom. We know from direct observation and from just plain common sense that people are prone to self-destruction and that if you don’t set up rules to guide them onto the right course they will ruin their lives. And when enough people ruin their lives, society as a whole becomes ruined.

    One of the reasons Somalia and Yemen are such backwater hell-holes is that most of their populations are addicted to qat, a legal natural “herb” that when chewed produces drug effects similar to a mild combination of MDMA and cocaine. Qat is often cited as a good parallel to marijuana, because while the manner of intoxication is different in each case, both are “natural” drugs on which it is nearly impossible to overdose and which don’t cause violent behavior or serious side-effects. The argument goes — if qat is legal in these places, why shouldn’t marijuana be legal here? And the answer is embedded in the question: Have you taken a look at Somalia and Yemen recently? Both countries are in the crapper specifically because most of the population wastes away their lives spaced out on a legal “harmless” drug. That’s not the model I envision for America.

    Anyway, seeing these photos is not surprising to me (I did after all march with the huge pot-head contingent to Obama’s inauguration during the Democratic Convention in Denver), but they were depressing nonetheless. Seeing all those potentially smart but ultimately idiotic young people insisting on their right to throw their lives away is just sad.

    My only hope is that the majority of Americans still secretly want to keep marijuana illegal, but they aren’t the type of people motivated enough to hold a public demonstration in favor of continued criminalization. So all we’re seeing at protests like this one is a vocal minority of voters. Let’s hope, at least.

  • CMartel2

    I’d be comletely in favor of having the feds surround this place and charge every using kid there with drug possession. A few busts like that, and you’ll “weed” the drug culture right out of a place like Boulder. It’s the same way Giuliani cleaned up NYC. You’ll never get everyone out, but let’s face it, a lot of people were at that party and smoking pot because it was the ‘cool” (read: idiotic and immature) thing to do. I’d be willing to bet, as well, that 90% of these dingbats wouldn’t have the foggiest about Rastafarian beliefs or could even justify why they liked them. It’s a shame, as there are no doubt a lot of gifted, beautiful kids there from loving, caring families who just get swept up in the culture of retards, and away and downward they go….

  • 70'sspirit

    this is a 100% drug, you couldn’t overdose or kill yourself if you tried too

    I tried lots of drugs and MJ was the least dangerous

    gateway drug because it is illegal, most pot sellers also sell harder drugs so you can blame the gate on the gatekeepers

    who would you rather drive you home at 3:00 am
    a person who smoked 3 joints or the a person who drank 3 long island iced teas?

  • Moonbats Celebrate One of the Their Gods …

    Not to be outdone by the hundreds of thousands of decent Americans who turned out for the Tea Parties last Wednesday, moonbats have gathered en masse to prove that they too hold certain things dear. Just as conservatives love liberty,……

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