by Ken Gage,WWH/CJE – I like the former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy. He’s done a lot of good here in the U.S., particularly with his organization One Mind for Research, working to improve the fields of mental health, brain injuries and neurological disorders.
But sometimes this same class of Elites get entirely too full of themselves and their positions as opinion makers. Which is the case this week.
In a widely circulated Alex Dobuzinskis article, Patrick Kennedy has been quoted as saying that he is against the marijuana legalization trend that is growing in this country. He calls the popular support for it a “knee-jerk” reaction by liberals.
Leading an organization called “Project SAM” (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), Kennedy claims that he would like to get beyond the nation’s culture wars over pot with its “images of long-haired hippies” fighting against law enforcement. (How dated is that imagery!) President George W. Bush’s speech writer David Frum is a board member as well, which Kennedy believes will give his group bipartisan credentials.
Patrick Kennedy, known for his own battles with alcohol and Oxycontin addiction in the past, has famously said, “No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions.”
He might just as well claim that no one is immune from racism or even burnt toast. Because, aside from the spirit in which the comment may have been made, it is completely untrue. There are plenty of people who do not have addictions in their futures (or racism or burnt toast). I’m talking about people who will lead healthy productive lives and not once find mental slavery to anything significantly more biologically untoward than a breath of fresh air and food and water.
Reigning beauty queen Olivia Culpo (Miss Universe) also weighed in on marijuana this week, saying there are “too many bad habits that go with the drug.” She obviously is referring to the ingestion of raw cookie dough or maybe an impulsive predilection toward beauty contests (but did not return an answer to my inquiry on this for clarification).
On Wednesday [January 9th], Kennedy intends to speak further about Project SAM from Denver. I have taken the liberty to rename the acronymic Project SAM (“Stupid Approaches to Marijuana”) in the interest of logical consistency.
If Kennedy had an urge to ban alcohol or Oxycontin — substances he has had real addiction problems with — I could understand this sort of one-size-fits-all problem solving methodology. (Sure, it would be just as wrongheaded and stupid, but one might have some kind of sympathy or understanding for the approach.) Unfortunately, by aligning himself with old establishment viewpoints insisting that marijuana is more dangerous than legally common substances like alcohol or Bayer aspirin or Sea Monkeys, Kennedy opens his organization and himself up to ridicule as being unscientific, delusional and irrelevant; a farce to anyone with common sense (or without deep investments in Big Pharma). Worse yet, the cynical will say that he merely is looking for government money to protect the mental health cottage industry of “marijuana recovery” programs that will likely suffer when marijuana is completely legalized.
No truism has been truer than, “One person’s ruin is another’s good time.” Plenty of Americans have played the stock markets (or gambled in other ways) without becoming addicted. They have responsibly used alcohol AND marijuana without becoming addicted. They may use Facebook or play video games without becoming addicted. So it’s insulting to every responsible citizen in this country every time some concerned politician, patrician or “moral” busybody (all 3 in this case) comes along claiming the magic fix is in maintaining prohibition or something else that takes freedom and choice away from the individual.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” said the President of the United States while speaking to ABC News’ Barbara Walters on the trend of marijuana legalization. “… It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law, that’s legal.”
Kennedy also played the what-about-the-children card, speculating that his recently born son could be more vulnerable to addiction on account of gene tyranny.
My advice is to teach your children responsibility anyway, Patrick. Don’t give them these “It’s not my fault, it’s in my genes!” routines as an instant out. Or else they’ll never learn responsibility for anything. That alone will resolve these knee-jerk tendencies toward Nanny-state laws attempting to protect us from ourselves and making a buck while doing it.
Marijuana smoker Carl Sagan once said, “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” Smoke on that for a moment.