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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Informed Dissent

Dude, seriously, I think you’ve got a problem. I know it’s hard to talk about, and I know not many people think this sort of thing is a big deal, but we need to have this conversation for your sake and for the sake of everyone on campus.

Usually, smoking pot is a harmless, recreational thing. But for some people it’s not that simple. For them, it can start to interfere with their academics, relationships, daily routines and even their jobs. Most people deny it, but once it spills into the open like it so publicly did for you this Tuesday, it needs to be addressed before it’s too late.

I mean, when I get high and write a column, it comes out as a hodgepodge of obscure policy decisions and random fiscal actions superimposed with little apparent cohesion over a Reagan-era children’s book warning our generation that helping people will lead to a totalitarian nanny-state full of welfare queens and lazy Mexicans. But I think it’s pretty clear that when you get high and write a column, you dive deep into a dark and demented world of deluded paranoia.

This isn’t your fault. It’s totally normal for weed to make people terrified of some pretty innocuous things; refrigerators, their own reflection, the Jonas Brothers, etc. So it’s not surprising that something as benign as a conservative Democratic president could take you to The Bad Place. But I’m worried you didn’t seek help for a problem that’s clearly grown out of your control and instead chose to go all Lewis Carroll on us. Why would you parrot Fox News and Sarah Palin with a little Michele Bachmann and Paul Broun thrown in unless you’d ceded your mental fortitude to our good friend Tetrahydrocannibol?

Seriously man, have Americans really grown tired of personal freedom? Are we actually looking for new ways to surrender control of our lives? Did you really predict that Nov. 4 marks the beginning of America’s descent into an Orwellian dystopia? A fucking Orwellian dystopia, dude? Like, no joke?

You need some serious Clear Eyes action; you and Ben Stein are way deep into red-eyed stonerdome and market worship, and it’s obvious you need some of his signature product. Cause if you really think Obama’s election means the end of free speech, free thought and self-determination, you’re not seeing straight. And that you would give Bush a pass while you deride Barack Obama for his sinister plans to undo the Constitution, concentrate executive power and usher in the thought police indicates a level of cognitive dissonance that can only be explained by mind altering drugs.

It’s also pretty silly to go after the man for advocating positive rights not only as though he were the first to do so (false), but that we don’t already have them (false) and that they will lead to total social collapse (true, just look at Norway). I can only suppose that stuff like SCHIP, public education, the EPA and fire protection either don’t really exist, don’t really assure positive rights by guaranteeing basic goods, services and environmental conditions or don’t really benefit society and all its individuals.

And since you’re obviously as stoned as a bikini model in Riyadh (ZING!), it probably didn’t occur to you that the government isn’t the only institution that can infringe on our rights. I can’t blame you; it’s a point often missed by people who cling to the mysteriously unanimous “intentions of the founding fathers.” But why should we automatically defer to them given how much America’s changed? In a world of credit default swaps, Bisphenol A and, uh, electricity, isn’t it possible that the framework set up 230 years ago by a bunch of aristocrats who had never even heard the word “externality” might not be able to handle the fact that business interests are now a larger threat to our wellbeing than political ones?

Oh, and I know marijuana can harm short-term memory, so I don’t fault you completely for implying that you’re the first brave soul to question Obama on these pages. So just in case you need a refresher, you should go back and read my stuff from the past 14 months. I think you’ll find there are much better ways to slaughter a sacred cow.


K.C. CODY can’t be reached at kccody@ucdavis.edu.


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