SIMONE VIRZI — Copy Editor
The slogan “Go Green” has become increasingly popular as the country continues to make a half-ass effort to become more eco-friendly to save the planet, which is lovely. However, there are also people who use the same slogan in an entirely different direction: to support marijuana. But how much do people really know about the drug, besides the fact that it’s illegal?
Marijuana has been a part of this country for hundreds of years. In fact, drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written on hemp paper. But what is hemp paper? Hemp is the fibrous material found inside the cannabis plant (which marijuana also comes from), which is then manufactured into paper, clothing, etc. I’ve also read that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Hemp-Sister.com says in 1616, Jamestown Colony, Va. passed a law requiring all farmers to grow hemp.
Today, the government is ever-so-slightly different. Cops frequently arrest people with marijuana possession; other times they’ll “confiscate” the weed and let the person off with a warning. A few years ago, high school students were even expelled from school for making a sign that said, “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” The case went to the Supreme Court, and the students lost because it was decided the public school has a right to prevent encouraging drug abuse, even though they were not on school property. Whether or not you agree with the decision, it is certainly interesting to see how much laws have changed.
Medical marijuana is legal in several states, the closest state being Rhode Island. It is often prescribed for cancer patients to help their appetite, which may be decreased from chemotherapy. However, it will not cure what the person has. Now, this topic can be controversial, especially when it comes to children. Should a parent be encouraging their cancerous five-year-old to consume marijuana? Medical marijuana is also an issue because, like most laws, people find ways to “beat the system” and use the law to their advantage. Additionally, since it is not legal in every state, is it fair that Rhode Island cancer patients can use medical marijuana but Connecticut residents can’t?
It’s all in the Mind, you Know?
People smoke for a variety of reasons, whether they feel obligated to because a friend is or because they believe it will help them relax. Another reason someone may use the drug is because it helps alter his or her perspective. In everyday life, we as humans are constantly thinking; often having an overwhelming amount of thoughts. It can also be easy to conform to being a robot; subconsciously being the citizen society and the government expects. Focusing on material possessions helps keep people “occupied,” and too busy to think about what is really going on in this corrupt country. But when someone is using marijuana, they may feel they can see things more clearly for what they really are. They are focused on fewer things, but at the same time, they are opening their mind and eyes. In fact, song writers, musicians and writers have used marijuana because they believe it improves their creativity. Singer/songwriter Willie Nelson has been quoted saying, “I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is a flower. God put it here..”
April 20, otherwise known as 4.20, is about as important to a stoner as the Fourth of July is to Americans. Ironically, on both days cops are out and eager to pull over drivers under the influence. But why 4.20? One theory is that 420 is the code police use when finding someone using marijuana. Another theory is that college students wanted to designate a specific time to smoke. They came up with 4:20, which then spread and became affiliated with April 20. Either way, it is undeniable the number is affiliated with marijuana.
Marijuana and Music
Weed references are everywhere, from movies to music. For instance, there’s the notorious Bob Marley. (I will admit it bothers me his name is something as generically annoying as Bob, but that’s a different story.) It is unquestionable his name and weed are like peanut butter and jelly. For instance, both he and Sublime have versions of the song “Smoke Two Joints.” Some see it as a great driving song while others see it as a way of life: “I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war. I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more.” Many of Sublime’s songs reference weed. There’s also the song “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which has sparked debate over the years. Is it a child’s song about a dragon, or is it about weed? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie center of a Tootsie Pop? I guess these are two questions the world may never know.