On the Beat: 4/19/16

Alcohol versus pot: the debate continues

By Jim Bucher

During a recent conversation with my boss/publisher Paul Noah on the alcohol versus marijuana debate, he asked, “Why do fights break out at Metallica concerts where copious amounts of alcohol are consumed and at a Phish concert, more the cannabis crowd, many babies are born nine months later?”

Wow, great thought provoking question, Noah, and if I were high on pot right now, I could probably go on and on about it, but would have to break for some Cheetos.

Heck, I’m impressed with the use of the word “copious,” but I digress.

And the debate? Well, many, many deaths have occurred as the result of drunk driving. Bet you can’t say that about someone high on pot.

Most times if you’re high you’d be driving like a little ol’ lady from Pasadena. Slow and cautious.

Now, I’m in no way, shape or form condoning pot use, but take a look at some statistics.

In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used marijuana. (That’s 2.7 percent to 4.9 percent of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65.) In 2015, almost half of the people in the United States have tried pot, 12 percent have used it in the past year, and 7.3 percent have used it in the past month.

It seems like majority rules right? But in most states pot is a no-no. You can get locked up in the pokey, but alcohol not so much. Unless of course you get behind the wheel of a car smashed and kill people. That’s a different story all together.

I remember back in the day for a Little River Band concert at Hara, the pot smoke was so thick you could cut it with a broken beer bottle. Crowd, though, was very mellow.

An Aerosmith concert on the other hand brought out the drinkers and after a couple hours rockin’ the house inadvertently a fight or three would break out.

Coincidence?

Look, I’ve smoked before. (If my kids are reading this, daddy never inhaled.) Heck, had a buddy who kept the old Golden Rod Music Store on N. Main Street in the black purchasing pot paraphernalia.

So, what do my awesome DCP readers and Facebook followers say about the pot debate? Should we or shouldn’t we legalize here?

Daniel says, “YES!” with an exclamation mark no less.

Kimberly writes, “Of course. People are already smoking it. Make it legal and make money from it. Ohio is so behind.”

Another “yes” from Rodney. Note no exclamation mark.

Rose says, “Yes, yes, yes.” What, are you high?

Jeff, “Hell to the yes.”

Edy says, “Yes, people are gonna smoke and deal and grow no matter what. Police and courts are wasting time on this goofy weed. It needs to direct attention to the heroin situation. People are dying from that.” I’d have to agree there. Seems our priorities are outta whack.

Mark says, “At least decriminalize it.”

Kay writes, “Yes, but for medical reasons.”

I’ll smoke to that. JOKE!

Jimmie chimes in with, “Of course, but there should be mandatory sentencing if you violate someone else’s rights while under the influence.”

Henry says, “Yes, but tax and regulate like alcohol which is more harmful than marijuana.”

Trust me, our elected officials see the big money, it will happen here. Can you imagine paying a sales tax on an ounce of pot? Five years ago that would sound insane.

Wanda writes, “No, would be great to legalize for medicinal use if someone can figure out how to control it. So far, that hasn’t happened and everybody and their brother has a marijuana medical card.”

Linda, on the other hand, says, “Yes, if they’re willing to pump people full of manufactured chemicals they can certainly allow access to a natural herb. I’ll take a mellow high, being a bit slow and hungry over a blind drunk any day.”

There, a small sampling and completely unscientific.

Personally it’s been forever since I’ve smoked a joint. Do I miss it? Can take or leave, but for many it’s a daily ritual to reduce pain for medical conditions. Think about it—world leaders passing the bong around during peace negotiations. Bet things would be ironed out with lots of laughs … couldn’t hurt!

As you know 2014 has brought with it the first legal sales of marijuana to people who aren’t using the drug for medical reasons in a few states, and I’m sure more to come. Is Ohio next?

Only time will tell, but with all this talk of pot, does anyone have any Cheetos?

Cheers and stop bogarting!

Buch

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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