Surgeon General-To-Be Votes No on Pot, Will Wear Epaulets


CNN resident neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta (who's going to look snazzy in those surgeon general's whites—see the fabulous ensemble on our last surgeon general at right) has some deep thoughts about marijuana over at Time.

Maybe it's because I was born a couple of months after Woodstock and wasn't around when marijuana was as common as iPods are today, but I'm constantly amazed that after all these years—and all the wars on drugs and all the public-service announcements—nearly 15 million Americans still use marijuana at least once a month.

Therefore, as the title of the article so succinctly put it "I Would Vote No on Pot."

To review: I'm not a boomer. Also, I'm an overacheiver who was never the kind of guy who got handed a joint at parties. I've noticed that an awful lot of people smoke pot recreationally, millions and millions of them on a regular basis without apparent civic collapse, but that always strikes me as totally weird, man. Therefore, pot should be illegal.

"As a doctor,"* Gupta wants us to know that "marijuana isn't really very good for you." Though Time is a "news magazine," this isn't what you'd call breaking news. Pot will not always cure what ails ya, and it's not a substitute for a Flinstones chewable vitamin. However, as Gupta so astutely notes, most people who want to decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed don't have glaucoma or cancer or Alzheimer's or any of the many disease marijuana helps with, they "just want to get stoned legally." And short of noting that a lot of smoking isn't going to work wonders on your short term memory, and that driving while blitzed isn't a stellar idea, Gupta fails to offer much of a case against a little gentle legalization.

Maybe this is really all about the uniform. Nothing worse than some joker spilling bong water on your white pants at a ribbon cutting ceremony, right?

*A modest proposal: Every time Gupta says "As a doctor," he has to put a quarter in a jar. If we impose that fine retroactively, his debt is going to come to about $1,467,032.75, because he works that phrase pretty hard in his CNN gig.