Want to know a secret? I've never set eyes upon marijuana, let alone tried it. Genuinely haven't had occasion to see the stuff, which is quite the feat of uncool-ness -- especially considering the bold and sometimes jarring things I say on these pages.
The truth is that I like to hang out with my parents, shop for orthopedic shoes and watch documentaries on Netflix. See? Feats of uncool-ness. And I'm in my 20s, still ... imagine what kind of dud I might be at 60.
Anyway, back to marijuana. Since I've never seen or tried the stuff, you may think I have no dog in the fight over legalization. And I don't, really, except that 1.) I get quite ornery when the government tells me I can't do something and 2.) I just read another report on the deadliness of sugar.
Sugar is a drug, in every sense of the word and according to any definition. It is physiologically addictive (sugar withdrawal is medically real) and mind-altering (simply seeing an ad for a donut sends dopamine levels skyrocketing). And it kills.
As with heroin or alcohol or Xanax, we can overdose on sugar. It just takes longer, but that stealth doesn't make it any less lethal.
So it's strange to say that weed should remain illegal unless you're also prepared to criminalize or regulate sugar. And Americans are clearly not prepared to sacrifice sweets. Remember the hullabaloo over New York City's supersize-soda ban?
Now don't get me wrong, I don't myself want a sugar ban. In fact I don't want a ban on basically anything ... recall that I get ornery when the government asserts its authority. But to those who do oppose pot legalization, I have to assume that you're also anti-sugar. Or else you're intellectually bankrupt, because it makes no sense, from either a scientific or a policy perspective, to forbid one drug while permitting another.
And that's to say nothing of federal sugar subsidies, billions of dollars of which were renewed just this past week. Imagine if the government was using tax revenue to subsidize marijuana. I'm not even being hyperbolic, here ... literally Congress is paying farmers to harvest a drug.
Except for the health-nut crowd, most people aren't mad (or even aware) of the existence of sugar subsidies. I mean, it's not a sexy issue. You know what's a sexy issue? Weed. Weed is sexy. I can't count how many jokes I endured during last Sunday's Superbowl about both teams coming from the two states with legalized pot.
Whether pro- or anti-legalization, people can't stop talking about weed. And this is where I get mad at the pro-pot crowd, of which I am a part simply by virtue of my libertarianism. Rather than forcing smart and honest comparisons between marijuana and sugar, the pro-pot people are ... I don't know, getting high? Posting on Facebook about getting high? I'm not sure.
In the meantime, you know what's a sound business model? Brownies. Pot brownies.
Contact Wilkes, a local cultural commentator, at email@example.com.