Friday, March 19, 2010

And I don't even smoke pot

Something about this cartoon really irritates me:

I won't get into the portrayal of people who buy sweatshop-free clothes and fair trade coffee as smug and superior. On the one hand, good for those people for thinking about where their stuff comes from and caring enough to spend a little more to avoid clothes made by an 8-year-old for a dollar an hour or coffee grown on a plantation and blanketed with pesticide. On the other hand, the people that buy that stuff usually are smug and superior. Still, it's a lame construct because it's so easy. It's shooting coastal elites in a barrel.

So that's annoying. But I really dislike the implication that people who smoke pot are somehow responsible for murderous Mexican drug gangs. For one thing, although Mexico remains a huge producer of marijuana, I bet the liberal coastal elite types portrayed here either pay more for quality hydroponic shit or have a medical marijuana card like everyone else.

And, as I think is pretty clear, it's not marijuana that makes murders; it's the illegality of marijuana. Make it legal and my guess is that marijuana-related drug gang violence drops precipitously. After all, you can probably count on one hand the number of illegal cigarette-related murders every year.

It is no doubt true that if Americans suddenly stopped buying marijuana, some amount of violence in Mexico would be reduced (although I'm not sure how much, because I'm willing to bet that a huge amount of the violence stems from trade in cocaine and methamphetamine, rather than pot). But it's also true that decriminalization would do the same thing.

Kind of a drag for a Friday! Sorry! I'll be funny again next week!

1 comment:

amy.leblanc said...

agreed maybe not so much with weed (in NorCal anyway, why would anyone buy mexican weed?), but i feel this way about other illegal intoxicants popular amongst the eco-bohemian-bourgeois-hipsters, esp in SF.