Boomers use…then oppose…”recreational” drugs

Cannabis Smoke

Cannabis Smokis

A radio show in CA recently asked their listeners to weigh in on the legalization of marijuana that will be on the State’s ballot tomorrow.  Amazingly, many Boomers were against it…and of course, that was after having enjoyed it themselves in their youth….none having been harmed by it, all now sounding a bit like the proverbial “reformed whore”…

For being the most educated generation in our nation’s history, we have a tendency to minimally use the fruits of the tens of thousands of dollars our parents spent on that higher education.  I say this because all the reasons these call-in opponents gave for keeping marijuana illegal –

  • it’s stronger today…
  • Mexican cartels will take over CA…
  • it’s a gateway drug…
  • it’s another way for drivers to be under the influence –

are the precise reasons it needs to be legal.

What’s mind-boggling to me is not their hypocritalism (is that a word?), but that they don’t recognize their reasons as what in fact make legalization an imperative.

Once legal, cartels go away, type/strength of all pot is regulated and use is controlled/age-limited, and drivers who will operate a vehicle under the influence will do so no matter what is legal…or not…so that argument goes out the car window.

If they want a cogent argument, it would be that legalizing pot may be a gateway to legalizing other presently illegal mood altering substances, like cocaine and heroine.  Which would lead to…you guessed it, regulating/controlling those drugs as well…

History shows conclusively that the prohibition of alcohol did not work as a deterrent, but did work to create a huge underground criminal element, increase violence thus requiring a significant increase in money for law enforcement, and in fact the most compelling factor for finally overturning it (for better or worse), caused the loss of millions (billions in today’s dollars) of tax revenue.

I ask my fellow Boomers to do your research – opt for brain-jolt  rather than knee-jerk, before you decide matters of such weight, let alone make your thoughts public.  After all, we want our children and grandchildren to make informed choices… let’s lead by example.

Looking for Someone to Blame…

Talk to the handWe can all understand a national angst around a number of life-altering issues, from our woeful economy & jobs outlook, to food that makes us sick and a growing number of crazed individuals who want to see all of us blown to bits.

And when we get scared, or angry, or feel out of control, we want to pinpoint the source of the problem – we want someone or some entity to blame.

Is it Congress?  Is it one political party or the other?  How about the media, issuing  inflammatory stories, whether ultimately true or not, to keep their market share from falling?

Or, is it that we as a nation, and we Boomers as the current leaders of it, have lost our “moral compass” – that our society as a whole is disintegrating, causing much of what’s wrong with our nation today – as we hear more and more often these days?  How about our own unwillingness to make tough sacrifices thus keeping ourselves reliant on extremely unstable parts of the world?

It’s really tough to resist the natural temptation to look everywhere else but in the mirror for the root cause of our problems.  But here’s the cold truth of our distresses:

  • A bad Congress continues to be bad only because we let them get away with it…and I don’t mean just keep voting ’em out…I mean we don’t hold them accountable when they’re in.  Admittedly that takes time…to write them…let them know consistently what you want them to do – but that is the pesky part of a “representative government”
  • Sensationalism in the press continues because it works…we watch/listen/read it
  • Political parties respond to their loyal and most extreme base because they’re the most vocal; moderates are the least, which is the majority of Americans
  • The disconnect that is now the norm in our communities (our lack of involvement), our spread-all-over-the-world families, or our use of technology more often than face-to-face, makes life a tad surreal, moving ever closer to an imitation of it; this may make life easier, but it doesn’t make it better…
  • Companies that do bad things rely on us forgetting about their bad behavior in short time…and we do.  The best example of this over the past year has been the toxic food that’s made it’s way into our homes as a result of agribusinesses’ unsanitary conditions (being humane and clean takes too much out of the profit-margin).  They also know that we simply do not use our consumer clout to send them a clear message of discontent – refusing to buy from companies with poor track records is a tad inconvenient (shopping elsewhere…keeping track) and they rely on us being too busy, or apathetic, to do so

As the song puts it so well:

I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

Here’s the link: Sing along with Michael Jackson, and perhaps we’ll finally take seriously the powerful message of this song from so many years ago, that is even more relevant today.

NIMBY

  • Congress … they’re all crooks!  Except my representative…
  • Government entitlement programs need to be cut!  Except my Medicare/SS…
  • I’m totally against “pork-barrel” projects!  Except for the ones for my community (that keeps me voting for my legislator who “brought home the bacon”)
  • Bullying and drug use in the schools is becoming rampant…just not in my school, or by my kids (or kids they know…)
  • The people who got mortgages they knew they couldn’t afford need to be held responsible for that as part of fixing the housing problem…except in my case…
  • We need to move from our dependency on oil to cleaner and more renewable energy sources…except don’t ask me to pay a little more at the pump to make the move a reality

See it?  There’s a clear pattern of deflecting responsibility for what we know is wrong and needs to be changed….but not by “me”…by someone else.

And there lies the crux of our stagnation…our gridlock.  You see, Congress, your school board, and all other democratically elected bodies, are in fact a reflection of us, as it was meant to be.  When you look at them, and what they’re doing badly, or not doing at all, you are looking in the mirror.

Once we get that, we’ll get change for the better.