With apologies to Linda, who is using her hydroponic greenhouse for salad greens, I have to establish ground rules for any discussion of the medical-marijuana issue. It’s pretty simple: I will happily concede that marijuana has a role to play in the health care of many people who either are not helped by conventional pharmaceuticals, or don’t wish to take them. In return, I only ask that they stop pretending legalized medical marijuana isn’t the best thing to happen to recreational pot smokers since the invention of Zig-Zags.
Not so much to ask. And yet, here is medical marijuana, happily taking root in Michigan, and to listen to one side, you’d think the entire state is filled with chemo patients, or MS sufferers, or victims of AIDS-related wasting, or some other affliction that can only be helped by Nurse Mary Jane. And the other side says it’s all about potheads who are claiming “anxiety,” “insomnia,” “excessive whiteness of the eyes” or whatever else they can come up with, to Drs. Feelgood all over the state who will happily write “prescriptions” for a drug whose strength and efficacy — even the dosage — is either a big question mark, or left up to the user.
Before I get Prospero all up in my grill, I hasten to add I have no particular problem with pot smoking, as long as a) it’s not done by my husband or child; and b) it’s done in a place where it won’t affect my own personal safety — which is to say, not behind the wheel. I have no interest in it personally, having reached a point where I most often cut myself off alcohol after two. The way I look at it, the world is already full of attractive substances that will make me dumber, from Facebook to poorly executed LOLcats. I don’t need any more.
I should add this: De facto legalization seems to have made the air a little more herb-scented. In my unscientific observations, I see pot appearing more often in the police reports I see, smell it more often on the street. Some guy was smoking a blunt in the butcher shops at Eastern Market this weekend. Just standing there, self-medicating in front of dozens of people, no effort to conceal it at all.
Two “dispensaries” have opened in our neck of the woods in the last couple of weeks, both on the Detroit side of our border. This is the story behind one of them. I guess Big Daddy got what he needed from medical marijuana. (Although I’m puzzled by the math in the story. It says a work injury and subsequent convalescence pushed Big Daddy from 300 to 600 pounds, and that treating himself with marijuana allowed him to shed 250, which means he’s still 350 pounds. Well, munchies can be a pow’ful thing.)
For what it’s worth, I’ll be surprised if it’s still legal in 10 years. It’s possible the legislature will tune up the law to everyone’s satisfaction, but I doubt it. Bigger fish to fry, etc.
Why the New York Times is worth whatever they’re charging; A.O. Scott on Charlie Sheen’s Detroit show:
You could say that Mr. Sheen and the audience failed each other. The ticket buyers did not show him the “love and gratitude” to which he felt entitled, and he did not give them the kind of entertainment they thought they had paid for. But you could also say that the performer and the audience deserved each other, and that their mutual contempt was its own kind of bond. The ushers, in their black gold-braided uniforms, retained an air of inscrutable dignity in the midst of an orgy of depthless vulgarity. Everyone else in the room — onstage, backstage, in the $69 orchestra seats — had to swallow a gag-inducing, self-administered dose of shame. And no, the journalists who traveled to Detroit to gawk and philosophize at the spectacle are not exempt from that judgment.
Via LGM, a little wit from Krugman.
Finally, a tax-season cautionary tale of stupidity: Don’t be as dumb as this TV anchor, who thought, because she was on the teevee and everybody else did it, that she could deduct the cost of all her work clothes, as well as her contact lenses, teeth whitening, manicures, hairdressing, and thong underwear.
Monday commences now. Have a good one, all.