America Is Going To Pot!

America Is Going To Pot!

I was in college during the 1960′s. Experimenting with marijuana “pot”, “poo”, “Mary Jane”, etc.. was an exciting social experience. A many of my fellow Ph.D. students and I participated. It was against the law, but the 1960’s were a “heady” and  exciting time. There was a $ 200 fine in my university’s state for being caught with less than an ounce of the stuff. I remember one upperclassman Ph.D. student laughing and happily proclaiming: “I got $200!”

For my part, I eventually discovered that I was fuzzy-headed for a day or two after imbibing. I discovered mild, seemingly temporary cognitive impairment and I began to grow concerned.

Shortly before my graduation, my dear wife and I had a child. Soon after that,  I was an overwhelmed new college instructor, needing to finish my dissertation and defend it within one year of my hiring, or face termination at the college. I had to secure an advancement to the rank of assistant professor and then face the do or die  (publish or perish) tenure decision in seven years.

At this time I was also lecturing college classes (some with 90 to 100 students) six times a week,  every week, doing research and community service. Quickly the true implications of my continued ( even intermittent) use of marijuana became very clear to me: Legal or not!

My wife and I had worked and sacrificed so hard for so many years to secure our life-style that could be so easily be damaged, even lost, if I continued to use of marijuana.  As important as all of the above, I was now a role model for my young son. It was time to deal with my happy, but very challenging, reality:  So I quit.

Fast forward to now (over 40 years latter) as a retired full professor of psychology and a still practicing behavior therapist,  I am honestly horrified that America appears to be moving in the direction of the wide-spread legalization of Marijuana.

When I learned that marijuana would be legalized “for medical use” a few years ago, I knew that is was a significant step in the direction of its legalization for recreational use. The “Genie was out of the bottle” and it would be very hard, perhaps impossible, to put it back in.

As a professor and practicing psychologist, I have too often witnessed the profound damage that marijuana has done to children, teens and  adults. I will not go into detail on these damages, but I can tell you that the harms to our youth, families and to society are very real.

But, the most freighting thing for all responsible patriots should be that this is happening at a time when virtually every metric of American sociocultural health is indicating nothing less than our great decline, as well as that of the whole of Western Culture.

The so-called “4:20” smoke-out in Denver (prophetically occurring on Easter 2014) was mirrored by similar events in Trenton N. J. and San Francisco.  The news videos of hordes of stoned senseless citizens, some accompanied by their teens and young children, foreshadows our dire future.

Already, Denver is calling upon the Federal Government to help fund programs to stem the behavioral problems that stoned driving and other irresponsible behaviors of drugged citizens are causing. So now, we add an accelerating rate of marijuana intoxication to that of alcohol and other still legal drugs.

To make the point that alcohol consumption is worse for people than marijuana (a point not proven),  does not support the logic of adding wide-spread legally available marijuana to our cultural alcohol problem. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, Polysubstance Abuse and Dependency are the diagnoses of America’s future.

So, all Americans who work, avoid drug abuse or dependency and pay their taxes, will now be saddled with the expense of managing the problems of states that legalize drugs?

So it is during America’s decline in the 21st.

Quoting one Denver 4:20 smoker: ” ‘It feels good not to be persecuted anymore’, said Joe Garramone, exultantly smoking a joint while his 3-year-old daughter played on a vast lawn crowded with fellow smokers.” (April, 2, 2014 South Bend Tribune).

His little girl was not alone, there were hundreds of other children attending the giant pot parties, just as they do in homes and small groups across America every day.

Remember this powerful psychological principle: When stimuli (sight of marijuana; smell of marijuana; the word marijuana; and the stoned behavior of parents, loved ones and friends) are frequently associated with happy, fun, and rewarding times….those stimuli become learned rewards for the observer. America’s stoners are exponentially multiplying their numbers through their children and naïve acquaintances.

Wake-Up America!

The legalization of drugs is another nail in our cultural coffin.

V. T. Mawhinney, Ph.D., 4/22/14

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