Back in the 1920s and 30s, anti-cannabis advocates came up with a campaign to criminalize the popular plant: Mexicans will use marijuana to seduce your wife. There was a little more to it, but that was the basic campaign. In fact, that’s why we call it “marijuana” and not “cannabis” these days, because the campaign to associate marijuana with Mexicans was so effective (as for the obvious racist implications of this campaign, that really wasn’t an issue thirty years before the civil rights movement).
Now, with marijuana legalization polling as high as 55% nationwide, Colorado and Washington setting up million dollar industries in the cannabis business, and more states flirting with doing the same, the anti-marijuana crowd needs a new enemy, and Bill O’Reilly has chosen his pariah to associate with marijuana.
Yes, really. That’s his updated anti-marijuana campaign: the kids these days, they’re addicted to the pot and the facebook and the texting. Both, O’Reilly claims, are a sign that kids want to leave reality. So, yes, keep pot illegal, but there’s a long way to go after that. For starters, we need to close down all the movie theaters. Did you know that every day, innocent looking Americans walk into a dark room and become enveloped in fictional stories? It’s an addiction! Television of course, will have to be outlawed, except for shows that deal with reality (not to be confused with “reality television”).
Of course, not all changes can happen through the legislature. We need teachers to crack down on children who think outside the box. In fact, public schools should be supplied with learning cubes to contain children both physically and metaphorically.
And what’s with all these books? Can’t people just read the news?
Back to reality—actual reality, not the one Bill O’Reilly perceives—opponents of marijuana legalization have a problem. Basically any argument you can make against marijuana legalization applies even more so to alcohol. Alcohol can kill you by itself (marijuana can’t), it makes you drive poorly (as does marijuana, but less so), it makes people violent (marijuana makes people silly), it’s addictive (studies are mixed on marijuana’s addictiveness, but either way it is far less addictive than alcohol).
That’s why Bill O’Reilly has turned to texting, which is a sure sign that marijuana opponents have run out of ideas.