Weed’s image in America’s collective imagination has always been a mix of bemusement and comedy. From Cheech and Chong to Pineapple Express, weed has often been portrayed in the mass media as this generally harmless substance that makes people get the munchies and provides fuel for funny comedic moments on film. It’s easy to laugh at old Cheech and Chong flicks but as hilarious as movie stoners may be, America’s weed consumption is no laughing matter. All told, the illegal trade in marijuana is in the billions. It is so lucrative that Mexican drug cartels show no restraint in killing to ensure they keep their right to supply America’s pot habit. To date, the mostly marijuana and cocaine drug cartel-fueled bloodbath south of the border has claimed several dozen thousand lives which is why the government is after them. Sadly, I don’t think legalizing weed will make the violence in the illegal drug industry decrease.
‘rite of passage’ to harder drugsIt is worth remembering that studies indicate that marijuana is a gateway drug. Future hardcore drug users use marijuana and alcohol as some sort of illegal pharmaceutic . Start with weed, end up with meth or coke. Sounds far-fetched, right? Think again. Marijuana’s image as a ‘soft’ and ‘harmless’ drug enables people to try it and once they like it, they look for harder and harder drugs. Sure, this doesn’t happen to the majority of people who do pot. But the fact remains that even if the vast majority of newbie pot smokers remained pot smokers, enough young people try marijuana to create a sizable number of pot smokers who go on to try harder drugs. It doesn’t take too many American consumers to create a vibrant illegal cocaine and heroin market. This illegal market not only funnels a huge amount of money to violent drug gangs in Latin America and beyond, it also greases and corrupts all sorts of government channels which eventually seep into our borders.
Many pro-legalization activists say that legalizing weed will result in a fresh stream of tax revenues for hard up states. This might be true, at least initially. Soon people will realize that serious potheads will start growing their own. Who will tax all those private stashes? Soon enough, most pot consumption in states where weed is legal might be supplied primarily by home growers. In the meantime, addiction to harder drugs will continue to increase. A recent study also shows marijuana users will need to read a book on how to make your hair grow faster if they smoke for too long. Studies show baldness can be a serious issue when consuming drugs for too long. Will the pro-legalization crowd own up to this?
Youth, it is said, is wasted on the young. While that ancient saying has resonated throughout history for its wisdom, it is especially true for contemporary America’s young. The signs are everywhere that the check for our collective permissiveness in child rearing is going to come due soon. What signs? Increasing illegitimacy. The increasingly ‘acceptable’ status of single motherhood. The elevation of single mothers as America’s latest victim class du jour. If the family is the basic unit of society, I suspect the trends above will come to bite America in the butt soon. After all, the state makes for a lousy father. We have become a society of instant results and instant enjoyment where ideas of putting in the work to get the reward later and delayed gratification are looked at as ‘corn ball’ if not downright cheesy. From shoot em up games served up via millions of home game consoles to the troubling proliferation and increasing acceptance of online porn, all trends point to a future generation of young males who don’t know how to be men and young women who see themselves solely as victims needing a state-subsidized bailout.
Am I being alarmist? I don’t think so. According to a recent TIME magazine report, a recent study on America’s young male youth is quite fearful of the future of a generation of young men raised on a steady diet of easily accessible online porn and countless hours of video games. According to the study, this sensory overload is actually ‘rewiring’ the brains of America’s male youth and it doesn’t bode well for the future. Also, our youth is becoming more obese every year (in fact, our population as a whole). Instead of having to discipline to look up some information (which can be done on the internet easily by using Google, I found this decent how to lose weight article within seconds) they do not have the discipline or will to better themselves. It’s a real problem, and we need to address this as a society before it goes worse and worse.
While the most obvious concern that comes to mind would be how these young men view women and that view’s impact on relationships, it actually goes much deeper than that. Way deeper. Even the older generation is numb now, even when it’s about smart financial decisions like investing in gold they don’t take action. Non-education is not an excuse, you can find many good free investing in gold guides on the internet like http://invest-in-gold.org. You see, whenever you have a stimuli that you can access at any time, you are retraining your brain to have less and less patience. In other words, instead of waiting to get your rewards in life, you want the reward immediately. This has serious repercussions for the rest of society because a properly functioning society and vibrant economy are built on self-discipline. Individuals who go on to found businesses and engage in other positive economic activities need self-discipline in order to build their enterprises. Due to the lack of discipline being wired into our children’s brain by online entertainment (I am not just focusing on adult entertainment, youtube and other sites are equally at fault) and video games, traditional levels of saving, hard work, discipline, and sacrifice needed to maintain a vibrant economy might be at risk. Anyway, all these trends will come home to roost in about a decade or so. Let’s see if I am an alarmist then, shall we?