My recent column titled “Potheads in Paradise” (Commentary, Sept. 18, The Aspen Times) described my experience in a pot shop in pot-legal Colorado. (It wasn’t one of the dozen here in Aspen, I’m glad to report.) If you want to read about it again, it’s at http://bit.ly/2cTA3PH.
That column generated a lot of, let’s say, rebuttals. Fairness requires that I pass these rebuttals on to my readers.
By way of background, my first column explained that the pot store I visited assaulted my senses — my nose with a weedy smell, my ears with pervasive and inexplicable shouting and my eyes with long and unkempt beards, tattoos, piercings and dirty t-shirts.
These Jethro get-ups were apparently some kind of uniform of non-conformity. The funniest part were the baseball caps worn backward in that manner that weirdly reduces the IQ of the wearer.
Now let’s get to those rebuttals left in the form of comments online, in social media and through correspondence. I haven’t corrected them for spelling or grammar but have edited some of the unsavory language with asterisks. After each of the quoted comments, I’ve offered my response.
Commenter: “When do you want to meet douche bag?”
The Aspen Beat: I don’t think I want to meet you.
Commenter: “I want to pull my plant out of the ground and beat you’re a** with it you dripping douche. I wont flip the ballcap around-I’ll just flip your head around instead.”
The Aspen Beat: That’s not a very good argument for legalizing pot.
Commenter: “Pot stores are like any other store.”
The Aspen Beat: Uh huh.
Commenter: “In addition to curing cancer, (except for my brothers who died of it) you all keep forgetting that cannabis cures impudence.”
The Aspen beat: I’ve heard that pot cures impotence, when it doesn’t put you to sleep anyway. But this commenter informs me that it also cures impudence, presumably when it does put you to sleep.
Commenter: “Not worthy of comment.”
The Aspen Beat: That comment was followed by two paragraphs of additional comment.
Commenter: “You, sir, are an a**hole.”
The Aspen Beat: That’s not a good argument for legalizing pot either.
Commenter: “What a simpleton! Another moron with an agenda. lmao Go drink some booze, idiots!! By the way, elections are meanigless! Israel is your God! Israel is the entire planets god, unfortunately.”
Same commenter: “Amerika was founded on hate, genocide, white supremacy, racism, and slavery, and nothing much has changed in 3 hundred years. Your military, and country, are owned by Israel.”
The Aspen Beat: Studies mentioned in my first column show that pot is a good recipe for poverty, poor education, brain abnormalities, pot-related traffic accidents and emergency room visits for toddlers who’ve accidentally ingested pot. Judging from this comment, maybe anti-semitism also is in the mix.
Commenter: “There are now over 100 official studies, from the best schools on earth, that prove Cannabis cures cancer and dozens of other ailments/diseases.”
The Aspen Beat: For evidence of these “official studies,” this commenter concluded with a citation to YouTube.
Commenter: “d bag you are.”
The Aspen Beat: That’s very poetic, but tell me this: Why do smelly potheads obsess about feminine hygiene?
Commenter: “Pot smoke has been proven to have zero effect on the lungs, no matter how much is smoked.”
The Aspen Beat: Cough, cough.
Commenter: “Congrats for posting an extremely idiotic piece here. You set a gold standard for dumbassery that will be hard to challenge for many millennia to come. Seriously that was one stupid ‘article.’ Like it was embarrassingly terrible. I feel bad for you.”
The Aspen Beat: This was from a guy whose Facebook pic shows him wearing a backward baseball cap in the “IQ reducer” manner that I described in my column.
Commenter: “Aloha this ridiculous article left me speechless.”
The Aspen Beat: But not for long. He immediately added more words.
Commenter: “Your a F***ing Idiot. Good luck with that.”
The Aspen Beat: At least I’m not just an ordinary one.
Commenter: “Quit pushing your articles on us.”
The Aspen Beat: Quit pushing your pot on us.
Commenter: “I have never herd shouting in a pot shop.”
The Aspen Beat: I’m surprised that you’re unable to hear the herd that you’re following.
Commenter: “This article is the definition of old white doomsday prepper idiocy.”
The Aspen Beat: I’m proud to have written the definitive piece.
One commenter was determined to get the last word, and then some. He left 16 of the 40 online comments, several of which were exact duplicates.
But another commenter left a comment that, I have to admit, was persuasive, incisive and irrefutable: “(T)he absolute gall for this guy to be criticizing someone else’s hat!”
(Published Oct. 2, 2016 in The Aspen Times at http://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/beaton-potheads-and-potty-mouths-in-paradise/)
I’ve tried pot a few times over the years, and the one thing that was clear to me each time: pot slows down the smokers’ thinking.
I fear that our government has basically said, “Here’s a whole generation of people who are going to be screw ups. They have no hopes. They have not motivation. But honestly, that’s OK, because there really is little opportunity for them.”
So how do you keep this kind of generation from rebelling against the establishment? Make it easy for them to get wasted. No on has ever launched a revolution being stoned. You can just imagine, Fidel Castro saying, “OK, let’s get the guns out of the armory….well, wait, let me smoke this bowl first…. Never mind man, we’ll get the guns tomorrow.” Cuba would still be run by the Mob!!!
When Putin invaded Crimea and Western sanctions hurt him at home, one of his first domestic reactions was to drop the price of vodka by 15%. History tends to rhyme.