All the right reasons

This is not to advocate for pot smoking, but frankly, pot smoking probably does less harm to a person’s brain than two hours of watching The Simpsons, The Family Guy, American Dad and The War at Home or a half hour shopping at the mall. It certainly causes less damage than a Friday night at the Green Room with some of our newsroom staffers.

Be that as it may, we here in the RN&R’s editorial department haven’t offered knee-jerk endorsements of the marijuana legalization efforts that have been made in Nevada over the years. We did endorse the medical marijuana initiatives, and we recommended a yes vote on Question 9 in 2002, but we didn’t endorse the marijuana initiative in 2004, mainly because it didn’t make it to the ballot—since somebody over there forgot to turn in a bunch of signatures.

Not pointing fingers, we’re just saying.

The fact is, the prohibition against marijuana has to end in this country, and that’s why we endorse Question 7 (Regulation of Marijuana Initiative), which will make possession of up to one ounce of Mary Jane legal in Nevada for people over 21 years old. (OK, there’s more to it than that, check out With all the important things we have to worry about, it doesn’t make sense to spend one more cent of resources persecuting a mostly innocuous and private activity. Don’t prohibit it, regulate it. American citizens have been irreparably harmed by the so-called War on Drugs. There are dozens of reasons for ending prohibition and not that many for keeping it.

Hemp, the nice, friendly face of the illegal, serrated leaf, which has thousands of potential green-business uses, got caught up in the reefer madness, and our environment is the worse for it. Maybe the rehabilitation of the illegal twin will help the hemp industry move in the right direction.

Many people have had their lives ruined by the criminal system that enforces draconian marijuana laws. Law enforcement has taken a decidedly un-American attitude toward personal property associated with drug users and distributors. Wouldn’t it be fun if law enforcement treated corporate, white-collar criminals and businesses the same way?

The reason marijuana is a “gateway drug” is because it’s illegal. People who sell marijuana illegally for profit (as opposed to just maintaining their own stash) are just as likely to have heavy drugs, like crank or heroin. That’s the “gateway,” the availability. Otherwise, the real gateway drug is alcohol, and America doesn’t just endorse that drug, we practically swim in it.

The amount of money this country has spent attempting to eradicate a weed is incalculable. You want to eradicate illegal marijuana growing in Nevada? Encourage growth of hemp. The low-THC pollen will cross-pollinate with the female pot plants making the next generation of plants decidedly less smokalicious.