By Rosalie Tirella
If this were some cool suburban town filled with aging baby boomers, we might have voted yes on Question 2. If some English professor in this cool town wanted to smoke some weed while listening to his old Pink Floyd lp’s, we might have said: Go ahead, old man! Who’s stopping you? Who really cares? You’re in your living room, relaxing after grading all those boring frosh essays on … Question 2!
But this is Worcester, and Green Island Grrrl (moi!) lives in District 4, home to just about every dysfunction you can imagine (and lots of wonderful people, too). But for the moment, we want to concentrate on the district’s pond scum – the creeps/dope pushers and the druggies, and dopey adults/parents/guardians who are too screwed up to be decent role models for their children and their neighborhood’s kids. If you vote yes to question 2, you are validating the pond scum and losers of the inner city. It’s as if you’re saying: Go on! You’re fine! Continue to sell weed in our neighborhoods! And other drugs if you like! And if a scuffle or fight or shooting should ensue? No problem-o! It’s only District 4! And to the pot heads: Smoke your pot while sitting on your font door stoop, for all we care! Smoke it out here on our street – for all the little kids in the neighborhood to see. You’re fine – really! And take another hit off your bong while relaxing on your front porch! If the good neighborhood lady who is walking home from working long hours at the local donut shop or from the school where she’s a teacher’s aide catches a whiff of your weed as it wafts by her (she’s doesn’t make enough money to own a car), tough shit for that lady!
This is why we shout out a resounding NO to Question 2. For this good lady and every other kid and adult who is trying to do the right thing in the inner city. Marijuana decriminalization would embolden the punks and pukes of the neighborhood. One ounce of marijuana – the amount that you could carry and NOT face criminal penalties – has, according to the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, a street value of $600. According to the association, that’s about 56 individual sales. If you vote yes on 2, the puke selling the pot is gonna make way more money than the good lady slaving away at the donut shop! And society will be saying: That’s OK! Society will be validating this loser.
Another important point, which I think proponents gloss over: Pot can fuck you up – it can be very potent. Years ago, when I was a young thing (19!) in college, I “tried” pot twice. First time OK. Second time: AURGH!!!!!! I felt very fucked up, very AFRAID. It’s hard to explain where my little brain was at, it was so long ago, but it was not a happy, goofy and/or chilled-out place. When I told my English prof (of course), she said I probably had gotten my hands on some pretty strong stuff. In other words, kids’ brains and pot don’t mix. Also: buying marijuana is not like going to the local liquor store and purchasing wine or beer. You really don’t know what you are going to end up with. According to the DA’s Association, today “marijuana contains nine times the mind-altering THC as 30 years ago.” It also, according to the association, “is twice as carcinogenic as tobacco, is a primary factor in juvenile hospital admissions, and its users are more likely to be involved in automobile crashes.”
How would your doctor feel about this ballot question? What would she/he recommend for you and your community?
The answer is perfectly clear: they would give you a resounding NO – and we mean NO, NO, NO! to Question 2.