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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Column: Futures

Thanksgiving puts one in a pensive mood, and I’m sitting here contemplating what lies ahead in the world of weed.

I’m reflective, and to reflect upon marijuana over the past few months – in the media, in politics, in my own life – is both a pleasant and hectic experience. Despite grandiose shortcomings, I’d say that the “marijuana movement” (or whatever you’d like to call it) is surely on the up and up.

It’s a controversial issue for sure, and it seems proponents of the movement have steadfastly collected critics and adversaries: in the form of law enforcement, the DEA, politicians, your mother and all her friends and perhaps some of your own friends as well.

I myself have my own collection of haters. Since writing on my somewhat extreme and exalted views of marijuana, I’ve been told to apologize, resign, grow up and more. Haters, I’ve come to realize, are going to hate, and so the old adage is true. But to stiffen my mouth on the subject would only restrict the volume on which I could release my marijuana smoke. And seeing as there are not many things in this world that could stop me from indulging in the pleasures of weed, including its discussion, I have continued with my daily shenanigans and commitments to inducing lung cancer and furthering drug use and the destruction of the world.

As you can imagine, this has all been stuffing to my vastly inflated ego. Can you hear my evil laughter from where you’re sitting, Reader? It goes something like this: muhahahaha!

All jokes aside, though, writing on marijuana – and for marijuana, I should say – has taught me how divisive the issue of legalization and cannabis use really is, even on a campus that is generally accepting and open-minded. But as the results of Prop. 19 have shown, one’s view on cannabis control is not simply a matter of one’s political standing, or whether the person is a cannabis user. Many dispensary owners and employees were against Prop. 19; some are against recreational legalization in its entirety. Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties (the so-called ‘Emerald Triangle’, which I call the “Land o’ Pot”) voted against it, though their economies have been greatly benefited by the illegal growth of weed. They can say what they want – that they fear falling prices for their crop or commercialization – but the truth is they are protecting their individual interests, and not the interests of the issue at large. Legalization would mean more competition and less profit. And there is a lot of profit involved – medical marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry nationally.

Legalization would also mean that that dreaded drug would haunt you, from television commercials to more ballot initiatives to those annoying teenagers that breathe behind you at the movie theaters.

Yes, that will happen too, whether you like it or not.

People will never stop using marijuana, and the steps to legalization are happening now. Just accept it, and quit complaining.

Huffington Post writer Paul Jury wrote in July of his experience talking to a Venice Beach dispensary owner named Craig. Craig owned a lavish clinic and was against Prop. 19. In many ways, he became the face of stoners against legalization, when his idea of tobacco companies controlling the marijuana market began to circulate. But one line summarized his list of complaints against legalization simply: “I like the way things are now.”

Aren’t we all scared of change?

But a lack of change is just promotion of more of the same. That means $25 billion in debt for California, and 28,288 drug-related violent deaths in Mexico since 2007. That means continued prohibition of a drug that has limited harms to health and risk of destructive addiction, as compared to prescription drugs, of which nine million plus people in America currently abuse.

We’re Americans, right? We’re a society of complainers. We don’t want our balls groped at the airport, and we don’t the opportunity to purchase drunken stupor slash death in a can. We want regulations damn it, and we want the government to baby us – but apparently not when it comes to such an ill-fated issue as cannabis control. Of course not.

But what do I know? I’m just a lowly, lonely stoner.

Well, this lonely stoner is signing off this quarter, and I thank you all for reading, whether you have a snideful regard for me or the subject, or not.

I’ll be moving on to harder drugs now, but will be sure to lay off the crack, because as Whitney Houston once said, “Crack is cheap”, and even more poignantly, “Crack is whack”.

Yes, that is how MAY YANG just ended her last column, and she is probably joking about the first part of the last sentence. Tell her what a horrible person she is at mayyang@ucdavis.edu.


  1. To have an informed opinion about anything, you need factual information. Since cannabis is a medical matter, that information should come from reliable medical sources, not the police, politicians, “High Times”, or DARE!

    Sadly, most folks haven’t a clue where to get that sort of information. Well, I did all the searching for you and put it into “Granny Storm Crow’s MMJ Reference List”. The list is free compilation of links to PubMed, medical journals, WebMD as wel as news articles about medical cannabis studies (and it can be a great source for writing a pro-cannabis paper, lol)! Cannabis is an amazing healing herb! Educate yourself!


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