Smith Smacks His Head

Here's why you won't catch our MMJ columnist wearing a pot leaf T-shirt or celebrating 4/20

Over the past year and a half, I've skimmed the surface of medical cannabis like a bat snatching bugs off the surface of a Sonoran creek. I've swooped down week after week, picking tidbits from the surface but never dipping much below it.

There are a lot of reasons for that, one of which is that I'm not sure I have the stomach to immerse myself in medical cannabis. As a journalist, I have always had a pretty good bullshit meter. It has a served me well throughout a lengthy, successful career in the news industry. My bullshit meter has been working overtime since taking this gig.

Sometimes I look around at the cannabis community, and all I can do is sigh and shake my head. There are a lot of marijuana-obsessed people out there who have hijacked the medical paradigm, stripping away any real chance of significant credibility among the establishment. I'm guilty of some of it myself.

This column has at times become a shrill, screaming fit of hyperbolic grammar and syntax that has surely sometimes widened the division between Us and Them. I've probably pissed off a few Teabilly fuck sticks, but most of them were already pissed, so I feel only marginally bad. I've pissed off some friends of cannabis, too.

What I haven't done is jump blindly on the cannabis train, waving my green flag at rallies and various and sundry gatherings of cannabis advocates and seeming profiteers. Interestingly, a lot of these people advocated legalization before Cali struck medical gold in 1996. They simply went legit, veiling their weed obsession with medical garb.

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't acknowledge 4/20. If that bothered you, then Mr. Smith suggests you take a look at your motivation. I didn't recognize 4/20, because it has nothing whatsoever to do with medical cannabis.

Nothing. Period.

I think I'll start a new holiday—10/20. That's what time people take ibuprofin for headaches that would otherwise keep them awake. Let's contrive a holiday and have a huge rally. The official color will be ibuprofin red. We can march in the hundreds, openly taking ibuprofin right in front of everyone, singing the virtues of our favorite wonder drug. We can carefully craft giant flags with pills on them and wave them around for the television cameras. Sound ridiculous?

It is.

The 4/20 obsession is a childish excuse—invented by high school students, according to urban legend—to smoke dope. People try to cast it as something more, as if it were a reasoned, measured response to oppression by The Man. Sorry, but cheering and waving a blunt around in the street isn't helping the medical cannabis world. It's making you look like a high school sophomore.

I hear a lot of hyperbole from fellow cannabis advocates. They get all up in arms about the lies and selective truths coming from the establishment ... then they spout lies and selective truths. My favorite is the "cannabis never killed anyone" song.


If you believe cannabis never killed anyone, you are every inch as naive as the anti-cannabis pig fuckers who want you to be their pig. Cannabis has undoubtedly killed many, many, many people. If you think millions of people can inhale carcinogens daily through their entire adult lives, all of them somehow miraculously avoiding cancer and none of them dying because of it, I feel sorry for you. I hope you are not in a responsible job that requires well-reasoned, life or death decisions.

Yes, I use cannabis daily, but I don't have any pot leaf shirts. I don't have pot bumper stickers on my car. I don't keep cannabis in a tray on my coffee table next to a giant Fathead glass piece, like some kind of altar to be approached with reverence and ritual as need arises. It isn't integral to my psyche.

After all, it's only medicine.