With everyone — from presidents to your arthritic grandma — smoking weed, we’ve got a lot of people talking about legalization. There’s some logic behind this. Weed doesn’t cause nearly as much harm as tobacco or alcohol, for example. Come on now, you’re not going to see a kid in the emergency room for cannabis poisoning. Many think a good strategy would be to introduce marijuana into the marketplace and tax the hell out of it for a much-needed economic boost. But as nice as the idea sounds at first, it’s the last thing even the most committed stoner needs.
See, corporations these days are trying to entertain us with the most asinine and vulgar crap they can get away with. Take video games where you run around shooting prostitutes in their jiggling ass-cheeks, or movies produced by anyone whose name rhymes with “Cycle Flay” or “Cherry Shmuckprimer.” These are fun ways to get in touch with the grunting ape-creature in all of us, but if they were the only things we absorbed through culture we’d be back to clubbing people over the head and rooting through their loincloths for flint. Thankfully, most of us can only be shovel-fed shit for so long before we realize what it tastes like and wander off to do something marginally more productive for a while.
But consider that one of the major side-effects of cannabis is that it makes everything highly entertaining for unusually long stretches of time. For example, I once watched some clearly stoned frat boys laugh hysterically at “Golden Girls” for the better part of four hours. And they were just watching the DVD menu.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? Once corporations get ahold of marijuana, it won’t be long before they’re marketing it relentlessly with all of their brain-slaughtering entertainment, leaving all who succumb ditheringly receptive to any crap chucked their way. I’m thinking this is going to be especially awful when applied to reality TV shows. I can hear the ads: “If you’re somehow not entertained by watching a silicone-injected harpy shrilly accusing the token gay guy of being ‘fake,’ you aren’t getting the full cannaboid experience!!” Maybe they’ll make a whole new channel called Weed TV. The entire lineup would consist of videos of cats with their mouths crudely animated to lip-sync along with hip-hop tracks. And you know they’re only going to play shitty backpacker rap and hip hop.
Millions of hours of national productivity may go down the toilet, but the silver lining is that corporate advertising for weed is going to be hilarious. I’m picturing a sexy model Photoshopped to have bloodshot eyes and a negative body mass index, rocking some hemp lingerie and straddling a pizza box. Or maybe the quintessential polo shirt-clad Upper Middle Class White People Family, prancing merrily out of their giant three-story house (that no Americans actually have anymore unless they live in a television commercial) and chortling fondly with one another as Junior lights up a big fat blunt with the faces of all of his favorite Disney friends on it!
I hope this sounds entertaining to you, because if marijuana is legalized we’ll be gagging on clouds of this crap. And let me let you in on a little secret: THC, the chemical that creates the high in cannabis, stays in your fat cells for a while. If you don’t use it often, it’s not a big deal, but if you do more than about once a week it starts building up, dampening the high. That means you have to use more and more to achieve the same effect, which means you start spending exponentially more money.
Isn’t that great? The more we buy, the more we’ll need to buy. Business loves shit like that! It’s been demonstrated that sugar creates essentially the same addiction patterns, so now we’ve got 16 sugar cubes per can of coke and “medium” soft drinks at Burger King containing roughly the same amount of liquid as the Marianas Trench. I can just imagine walking into “Transformers IV: This Time No Fucking Robots at All” and being assailed by glittering displays reminding me to pick up my duffle bag full of drugs at the concession stand. Just stuff more and more of it into our systems so we keep buying it in larger helpings and eventually we’ll be so brain-dead we might actually start caring about Shia LeBeouf.
Am I overreacting? Maybe. But thinking up elaborate scenarios to panic about is the second easiest way to waste spare time.
Eileen Stahl is an LSA senior.