Biff America: I’m ready for my drug test
Vail, CO Colorado
Samples of my urine are available upon request.
It is not that I expect a huge demand – the holidays are long past and, with this economy, who can afford luxuries?
The reason I’m offering up my liquids is I have recently been accused of drug use; even by my friends.
This charge stems from my endorsement of a ballot initiative in Breckenridge that would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana for those 21 years or older.
To be clear, it would still be illegal to smoke pot, grow or possess large quantities, or to spread peanut butter on Oreo cookies (just kidding about the Oreos). And of course, like alcohol, underage possession would still be against the law.
I was contacted by members of “Sensible Colorado,” the group who is promoting this ballot initiative. They asked if I would meet them for coffee. I walked into the local caffeine-den expecting to see Cheech and Chong. Instead I saw two young, clean-cut guys wearing neck-ties.
Immediately, I became suspicious. Hoping to avoid entrapment I asked, “Are you guys’ cops?” Turns out they were lawyers.
The group was looking for well-respected, community figures to lend their name to this cause. After much searching they could not find anyone willing so they asked me. It seems many who were contacted agreed with the mission and even promised to vote for it; but none wanted their name attached to it.
Granted I have less to lose than many who did not want to be associated with this – I have no children, no real job and after some of the things I have been called, “pot-head” is a compliment.
During America’s war on drugs I’ve been a conscientious objector. Particularly, I’ve always felt that our nation could make better use of its money, cops and prison-space then to mess with stoners. But before I signed off on the proposed initiative I did a little research and was even more convinced.
One statistic that hit home was almost 800,000 pot arrests in 2007 for simple possession. In some states that means jail time. In almost all cases that means a more difficult task of getting jobs, loans and scholarships, and even enlisting in the military. Pot prohibition costs $10 to 14 billion a year.
Since agreeing to lend my name to this cause there have been good-natured allegations from friends and associates that I have a personal stake due to my lifestyle. That is why I’ve offered my wiz up for testing.
I’m guessing a fair amount of drugs would show up – caffeine, Crown Royal, Celebrex – and that is just the Cs. But you won’t find anything illegal – but to be honest, that was not always the case.
Of course this entire ballot initiative is more a philosophical gesture. In 2006, a Colorado state initiative to decriminalize marijuana (despite a 72 percent favorable vote in my town) was defeated. That being the case, even if this current initiative were to pass the police could still charge offenders under state law. However, the proponents hope the police will abide by the will of the voters and stop citing adults for possessing a drug less harmful than alcohol.
I would agree that marijuana is a drug – as are tobacco, anti-inflammatories, Viagra, and booze. Some of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in my life were under the influence of alcohol. Admittedly, I’ve done a few foolish things while stoned but it did them very slowly.
We know booze causes death on our highways, is a contributing factor in domestic abuse and violent crimes and inspires Karaoke. Tobacco use costs our nation many billions in health care and is linked to millions of deaths. Even Viagra can insert stress in a marriage and has been known to be the cause mass absenteeism of AARP meetings.
None of that stuff is illegal, but if any of it was, people would still use them – they would just be criminals. Can you imagine if they made Viagra use against the law? They would have to raid the Playboy mansion.
By the same token, you don’t have to look far to find businesses and lives ruined by booze, cocaine, meth and some other drugs I can’t spell. The worst result I have seen from pot use is watching Beverly Hillbilly reruns and driving 40 mph in a 50-mph zone.
I think it would be safe to say that you would be hard pressed to find many in my generation who have not at one time smoked pot. Many of them, for one reason or another, stopped. I would argue that they did so not because it is illegal, but because it is easy to quit. If you doubt me – my tinkle is available for testing. Just don’t store in your refrigerator next to the apple juice.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or from http://www.webersbooks.com.
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