Since the Lowe Down appears to be dwelling on the theme of hypocrisy lately, we might as well ponder why it is that a killer drug like alcohol is legal and readily available all over Florida, while small amounts of marijuana for personal use are not.
Republicans who decry the medical marijuana initiative — like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, for example — predict that once doctors are given the authority to prescribe reefer, they’ll be writing scripts for it as a cure for everything from hangnails to acne. In other words, legalizing medical pot will be tantamount to legalizing pot, period.
Let us leave aside that what really terrifies politicians like Bondi and her ilk is that a medical pot referendum will attract hippie subversive Democrats to the polls, which might have an adverse effect on the death grip Republicans maintain on this state. The real question is, if legalizing medical pot opens the door to widespread legal pot use, so what?
At least, if pot were legalized, it could be taxed (that would put tax-averse Republican legislators in one heck of a bind: either argue for imposing a tax on something, or risk being raked over the coals by social conservatives for not penalizing users of Demon Weed with a sin tax). Like any consumed agricultural item, it could also be regulated for quality, use of pesticides, adulterants and potency.
Opposition to weed is largely visceral. It isn’t based on reason, but more on prejudice and vague memories of decades-old propaganda movies like Reefer Madness that hyperventilated about how marijuana smoking would lead to the destruction of morals and the undermining of everything that is good and pure about America.
Getting back to the hypocrisy angle, when I was in college back in the early seventies, any stoner who needed to drive somewhere figured that the best way not to attract the attention of the authorities was to cruise at about 20 mph in the slow lane, and punctiliously observe every traffic law. Contrast this with the way a drunk drives.
I rest my case.