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Last week people in Washington and Colorado voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for people over twenty-one years of age. The law applies to state as well as non-state residents, and hippies from Nevada to Oregon are already packing up their bowls and hacky sacks and planning road-trips to the new pot-friendly states.

As usual, the Feds are being total kill-joys about this and will probably sue Colorado and Washington to block the implementation of the measures.

I think our current drug laws are a bad joke, and for the life of me I can’t understand why we incarcerate people whose only crime is addiction. If you want to go after dealers, that’s fine, but locking up junkies makes far less sense than, I don’t know, giving them treatment.

While I applaud the people of Washington and Colorado for loosening the reins of our budding police state, I’m not sure I would smoke any more pot, legal or not.

According to a study cited in The Daily Telegraph, “persistent users” who started as teens and continued through adulthood took a permanent hit to their IQ. The average loss was about eight points, which is significant. If you started with an IQ of 100, you ended up with an IQ of 92.

That’s why I stick with alcohol. As Cliff Clavin explained in his elegant beer theory, a herd can only move as fast as its slowest member. As predators eat the oldest and slowest members, the herd gets faster and has a better chance of surviving.

The same is true with brain cells. We all know alcohol kills brain cells, but it kills the oldest and slowest first, thus enabling the brain to run faster and more efficiently. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

Damn I hope that’s true.

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