Legalization of marijuana is a thorny topic. Acceptance has gone further than it did even during the 1970s. Statewide legalization (Colorado and some others) will prove to be interesting experiments. For some, it’s a cause for celebration. Still, there’s reason for caution.

Confession time

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

I’ll admit it. I smoked weed in my younger days. I even inhaled. However, I did so very seldom, and there’s a reason. I quickly observed that after I toked up, for the next few days I’d lose motivation. That meant doing less homework and studying. The grades I got would dip for that week—not enough that anyone else noticed, but I realized I had to keep my priorities in order. The last time, I concluded that it works by dulling the senses. It takes the edge off, but I don’t want to lose my edge.

So that’s what very occasional use does. Later, I began to observe that my friends and acquaintances who toked up regularly were barely skating by. Those who did so daily were burning out and turning into losers. Living one’s life in a cloud of smoke doesn’t work!

The active ingredients in marijuana (particularly THC) are oil-soluble. Therefore, it takes a long time to get out of one’s system. This is the major problem. If a hardcore pothead goes cold turkey, recovery happens eventually, but it can take six to nine months before the THC levels become undetectable.

Marijuana advocates do admit that it causes amotivational syndrome in adolescents. However, the truth is that weed-induced laziness doesn’t disappear the moment one turns eighteen. When I went to college, I witnessed living proof.

A mind is a terrible thing

Engineering major with a formerly stratospheric IQ

My section (housing 41 students) of our dorm had two dope dealers—one on the top floor, one on the bottom. That’s right—one pusher per twenty students, not including the RA on the middle floor. Apparently they had enough business that competition wasn’t a serious issue; no shootouts occurred. I suspect that our college had a higher density of amateur pharmacists than Manhattan has of fast food joints. One of them, of my unfortunate acquaintance, became known for breaking the cafeteria’s very durable ceramic plates over his head. He kept his merchandise inside a plumbing panel, and the only item his mini-fridge contained was a bong.

I saw Plate Breaker’s SAT results once. The first time he took the test, it was stellar. My own score would almost get me into the Triple Nine Society, but this guy’s first result was considerably higher. He was an engineering major, and probably got a full scholarship from that first score. I’m not sure why, but he took the SAT three more times. Each subsequent try was two or three hundred points below the previous. Admissions lets you use the best result, but the last one probably wouldn’t have allowed him into college, if the final one had been his only attempt.

So something happened between when he took the SAT the first time (well above the genius threshold) and the last (below the national average). Worse, he got dumber by the time he actually entered college. This effectively amounted to the loss of at least 50 IQ points. So what happened to this promising student after his self-induced chemical lobotomy?

According to the scholastic probation policy, a freshman who flunks out gets another year to pull it up. If grades are still not passing at next year’s end, the student is expelled. Plate Breaker proceeded to do exactly that. In two years, he made an ‘F’ in every single class, with the sole exception of one ‘D’ (probably sociology). So he started out in the same league as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and William Shockley, but became a reverse magna cum laude.

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How did he spend his college years, besides selling dope and not learning? He became the pre-Internet version of a Social Justice Warrior. He spray-painted “Fuck Apartheid” on an exterior wall, likely so he could look out the window every morning and contemplate the complexities of the South African situation. He considered creating a diversion so his comrades could do a 1960s-style sit-in at the administration office, but missed his chance to get arrested like the rest of the chumps. Other than that, he dropped four hits of LSD once and saw the devil. Note well, those who use psychedelics should do so in moderation.

Toward the end of his second year, he was about to flunk out. He began disassembling his motorcycle, taking it up to the room piece by piece. His plan was to put it back together on the very last day, and ride it down the stairs. I didn’t hear if the motorcycle actually worked when he reassembled it, but as the story goes, his roommate was left to clean up the engine grease on the floor. After that, he moved to another city and continued selling dope.

So much for that engineering career. This guy could’ve gone places. That’s how a promising student wasted two years of his life, the scholarship funds, and any contributions his father (who he hated) might’ve sent. Not everyone who smokes dope burns out quite like that, but it happens.

Why being a pothead is bad

What’s The Lightworker lighting up there?

Some will say that alcohol also causes problems, though it’s not quite the best argument that we need to embrace another substance like that. Granted, there are far worse drugs out there than marijuana. For example, it’s kid stuff compared to crack cocaine, which is basically Satan’s boogers. However, although weed is a relatively “soft drug”, it does have long-term effects, especially in habitual users. It causes loss of motivation, is known for memory problems, dulls the wits, and exacerbates mental problems in people at risk for them.

Furthermore, those who aren’t smoking home-grown weed or using some legal source are supporting organized crime. Hopefully it’s not unfair of me to state that drug traffickers generally aren’t nice people. They’ve made life a living hell for decades in parts of Colombia, Mexico, and elsewhere. Some people have a marked hatred for GMO foods and refuse to shop at certain big box stores, considering the effects on domestic agriculture and manufacturing. (Hey, I get it too.) Ironically, many of them haven’t given the first thought to where their pot comes from and how it gets to them.

We at ROK strongly emphasize self-improvement, as well as the betterment of society. People who are serious about making the most of themselves shouldn’t partake of bad habits that’ll make them lazy and stupid. Furthermore, a bunch of lotus-eaters aren’t the best candidates for bringing about constructive changes in the world. Those who argue that people should be free to do whatever they want with their bodies are missing the point about how this affects society too.

For all these reasons, those who really must toke up are cautioned to make this a very occasional indulgence.

Read More: Why You Should Stop Using Pot

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