An intriguing example of this weird, new shift on marijuana (currently hopefully happening) can be found in an awful op/ed from the San Jose Mercury News. The writer, Rocio Ramirez, writes badly for both the staff writer and the high school student she is, but she's buried something interesting under her grafs of awkward prose about a friend who fell hard for sweet lady Mary Jane, then several more on her boyfriend's marijuana-influenced school flunking. She admits that marijuana to her "surprise" has never killed anyone, but it's still bad for you:
He smoked more than two or three joints a day and more than two bowls a day with a "bong" water pipe. His "wake and bake" was the usual, and through the course of this he failed various classes and headed down to my town's remedial high school in Salinas. He forgets things, has difficulty concentrating, he doesn't think before he acts, and his attitude for various subjects is he could not care less. It jeopardizes his relationships and the people around him, making things critical and unstable…It's a behind-the-scenes look at marijuana abusers….
Knowing people who smoke marijuana is upsetting and excruciating. People might think it's their way of life, but I truly feel like they have potential, and it is all brought down not only by marijuana, but also by the painful atmosphere it brings along with it.
This isn't just their story. Marijuana addiction takes down a lot of people, not just the smoker.
Most every word, inspired by knowing some true, depressing burnouts or not, is DARE-iffic. But then, Ramirez shakes it up on us:
Even though many people, politicians and law enforcement agencies fight so hard to keep marijuana illegal, they don't realize how easy it is to get, especially on my campus. We should further decriminalize marijuana and offer free treatment to smokers willing to quit.
She even says "offer" not force (Putting her ahead of Chris Christie, as Mike Riggs noted.) This is sort of a hopeful sign, because dammit, in a free society, you could write all the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer anti-marijuana screeds you wanted and it wouldn't matter because drug use would be a personal choice. I'll even almost forgive her for ending thus:
We need to find new ways to bring awareness, set up programs that reach out to our youth and truly let others see that although marijuana doesn't kill, it can lead them to Ms. Cocaine and Mr. Speed.
Although marijuana doesn't kill, it has a way of destroying dreams and relationships.
Yeah, she's just a high school student who mostly sounds like a pamphlet to hand out to teens, yet she still manages to stumble towards a more sensible drug policy than many anti-marijuana adults with much slicker prose.