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Marijuana use is widespread and here to stay

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Marijuana use is widespread and here to stay, as underlined in a recent Washingtonian Magazine feature article entitled "High Society: Washington’s Love Affair With Marijuana."

One great quote in the article is from Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: “This is a town where I could probably kill 200 major careers if I wanted to be a complete prick… There is more smoke in DC closets than there is sex.” The article opens with the author’s joining a marijuana baked goods seller making deliveries to those with medicinal marijuana needs, professionals and others.

I can count on one hand the number of times I have smoked marijuana, never really knowing whether I was getting any effect from it — and never taking more than three or four puffs — possibly because I did not learn how to inhale (despite Bill Clinton’s claim on his own use), perhaps because all but one time was accompanied by beer, or perhaps for other reasons. Add to that my concerns about marijuana’s illegality, the purity of the substances going into my body during the age when marijuana mainly was imported, and proverbial and actual blood on imported marijuana, I did not smoke it more. This was at no small personal sacrifice during times in the late 1970’s through college graduation, when invitations to social gatherings often depended on whether the invitee was going to join in smoking marijuana. In fact, a close high school friendship disintegrated with my friend’s discomfort that I did not join his marijuana smoking, drank moderately, and insisted on being a designated driver when he wanted to drink.

Once quality marijuana was grown domestically, I was not going to risk my law license over smoking it. On top of that, my alcohol drinking trickled to a maximum of a dozen drinks yearly after the first year of law school, down to none at all starting five years ago. Not exaggerating at all, I prefer getting my highs and medicinal benefits from good diet, rest, exercise, taijiquan, and spirituality.

Nevertheless, my own freedom of choice with all aspects of my life is better protected when others have a right to smoke marijuana as freely as the right to use beer, wine and other alcohol; the right to use the services of prostitutes, and the right to gamble.

For me to keep up with defenses for my marijuana clients, I live somewhat vicariously through them, learning of their experiences with marijuana and with the motivations for my medical marijuana clients not to share, and for recreational clients often to pass the toke.