Substitute Marijuana Has Substitute Problems
I was in my mid twenties before I smoked my first marijuana cigarette. After so many rather pleasant contacts from being around friends and others that indulged, I finally gave it a shot. I remember being really relaxed but seriously paranoid. I thought every knock on the door was the police about to demand entry. I remember finding everything so funny from my first official toke. I never experienced any reefer madness. I enjoyed the experience and become a toker, at least for a good while. I never developed the desire to do stronger drugs. The idea that marijuana is a gateway that leads people to stronger illegal drugs or controlled substances is like saying beer leads to alcohol addiction or people who use Sudafed will drive people to methamphetamine. Just because some people are so inclined doesn’t mean everyone would and therefore the association is not automatic.
I would like to have the freedom to smoke marijuana in my home without the risk of prison or losing my job. If me smoking marijuana would lead to the type of antisocial behaviors that would cause me to become a social menace, that would drive me to infringe on the rights of others, then I’m sure society has plenty of legal tools to handle such an outcome. Unfortunately, living here in Missouri, it doesn’t look like I’ll get that opportunity any time soon if ever.
A few months ago I discovered K2, a blend of dried leafy green herbs that is, for all practical purposes, a marijuana substitute. K2 looks like marijuana and when it is smoked it gives a similar high to marijuana. But because it isn’t marijuana it is totally legal, at least for now.
The product has caught the attention of law enforcement who says that usage for K2 is on the rise State legislators are proposing a K2 ban in Missouri that is aimed at killing the market for the herb before it gets any worse. Police and school officials say they are concerned about K2’s unknown health risks, since the herb has become so popular so quickly. State Representative Ward Franz, a Republican from West Plains, has introduced a bill to add the chemical compound in K2 to Missouri’s list of illegal drugs under the excuse that if we don’t do something, somebody is going to be using the herb while driving and kill somebody.
The problem is that there’s no evidence that people who use K2 are driving and killing anyone and Mr. Franz’s and others supposition that they will is totally baseless. Besides, we know for a fact that there are people who are having accidents, killing others, because of alcohol consumption and yet alcohol isn’t an illegal substance and is widely available. In Missouri, your local grocery store will sell you everything from the cheapest beer to the finest spirits. We know alcohol kills. But we want to focus on K2? People who text on cell phones kill other people. And yet cell phones are not illegal. Why the focus on K2? We know that there’s potential for people to have accidents while eating fast food or reaching for a drink from their super sized beverage. Tobacco cigarettes have the ability to kill people without the use of a car. And yet, none of these items have been declared illegal. Why is there such a quick and immediate need to curb the use of K2?
In the meantime, I’m going to take advantage of the time I have to do a little K2. I will admit that I had one experience that was pretty unsettling. One night, family came to the house right about dinner time. We had brought out a bottle of wine. It was an early spring day and there was pollen in the air and my allergies were seriously kicking. I took an antihistamine. About thirty minutes later, I went out to the porch to do a couple hits on a K2 cigarette. That was not a good combination. I suddenly found it hard to stand and made it to the bed only with the help of the misses.
But rather than pointing a damning finger solely at K2, instead of assuming that everything would’ve been fine if I hadn’t did my occasional hit, I think it would be more reasonable to point a finger at the thoughtless combination of all three substances. I should’ve been more aware of what I was doing. Thanks to that experience I’m a little more careful of my drug and alcohol combinations now, regardless if the combination includes K2 or not. I do think that’s a good thing.
If people are so concerned that K2 is the seriously dangerous drug that they believe it to be, it seems that the best way to eliminate it is to eliminate the market for it. Make marijuana legal and people’s need for K2 goes away. While there may not be any evidence that K2 is not the bane of people’s existence, there are plenty of studies that show marijuana is not the danger that people try to paint it out to be. If these people were truly concerned about our health, we wouldn’t be working so hard to make K2 or marijuana society’s problem with reasoning that we conveniently ignore when the conversation turns to alcohol or tobacco. Let’s take care of the real problems in our midst before we start looking for problems where none exist.