Two Facts And A Wee Rant

I’m feeling a bit edgy today, perhaps because I haven’t smoked any weed. In ten years! And no, it wasn’t a habit before then. It was a very infrequent indulgence. I last purchased the stuff in 1986, a whopping quarter ounce that lasted about a year. The last quarter ounce I possessed was a gift I received about 12 years ago, and most of it was discarded a couple years later. Qualifications thus dispensed with:

  1. Colorado did not just legalize pot on the 1st.
  2. Decriminalization is NOT legalization.
  3. If you’re going to write on a subject, please research it first.

On point the first: Possession of up to one ounce of cannabis by one 21 years of age or older has been legal under Colorado law since December 10, 2012. What became legal on the first of January was retail sales.

On Point Two: Colorado decriminalized pot in 1975. Decriminalization made possession (by an adult) of up to two ounces of marijuana an infraction rather than a criminal offense. Some overzealous police officers still arrested people for possession alone, but it was an error to do so and probably motivated by desire to inconvenience (AKA hassle) the arrestee. The maximum penalty for a first offense was a fine of one hundred dollars and, naturally, confiscation of your weed. Smoking in public could have got you up to fifteen days on ice. Simple possession, though, was not a criminal act under state law so did not leave you with a criminal record. Unless the feds got you.

Point three speaks for itself. If you’re going to pretend to be a journalist, don’t write that Colorado legalized pot on January 1, 2014 or make the bonehead mistake of using the terms decriminalization and legalization interchangeably.



8 thoughts on “Two Facts And A Wee Rant

  1. whyzat

    SorrEEEEEE! It sounds as though the article of which you speak was typical of today’s journalism. It irks me to know that people get paid for making such mistakes! I nevver smoked pot;; in fact, I never saw any until I was on a jury and there was a bag of it in evidence. I can understand people smoking pot and drinking booze because you get a kind of high from them, but I don’t understand smoking cigarettes. They stink, are bad for you and are expensive….what’s good about t hat? I’m off the subject of your rant,but it seem like you’ve said you used to smoke, so I thought I would ask.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I’ve seen dozens of articles and videos in which those mistakes have been made. If it were just one dozen, or it were just random folks and not professional journalists making those mistakes over and over again, I could and would easily enough blow it off.

      According to the UMass school of psychiatry, “44% of all cigarettes consumed in the US are by smokers with a psychiatric disorder”. It’s a pretty safe bet, I think, that the non-crazy (not clinically bat shit crazy) smokers started using the things for mood regulation. My observation as a teenager was that I had a lot more in common with most of my friends who smoked than just the smoking.


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