An Open Letter To Stoners: Don't Be Reckless

by Rocky Zook

Dear Cannabis User,

You and I both know there is nothing wrong with marijuana. It’s fun and it’s soothing. It helps you sleep after a long day of work or a long day of class. It makes the “Scary Movie” series almost watchable.

It causes all foods, from Fritos to falafel, to taste like they were made with sunshine and orgasms. It can provide relief to those who suffer from a range of ailments, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. It enables some people to be more creative and thoughtful.

There are scores of reasons as to why marijuana is wondrous and beneficial, which leads to the main purpose of this letter:

To all you stupid stoners out there, do not f*ck up the legalization movement for the rest of us.

...I’m begging you. For the sake of all who are enjoying marijuana responsibly, do not ruin this.

I’m talking about the people who think it’s funny to hotbox their cars in broad daylight in public places. I'm directing this to those who wear Bob Marley shirts while simultaneously reeking of weed and body odor -- in an attempt to convey to the world that they’re just so free-spirited, man.

You are causing mild-mannered, politically-centered adults to view anyone who partakes in puffing as a lazy, vapid idiot. “Why should I care,” you may start, as Lucky Charms spill out of your mouth, “what a bunch of middle-aged assh*les think about weed?”

You should care, because those middle-aged assh*les vote. They vote, young pothead! The vast majority of American voters are over the age of 30. These are the people who will determine the fate of America’s relationship with cannabis.

Yes, of course the entire pot-smoking population should not be judged based upon the actions of a few dumbasses.

Unfortunately, though, as we all know, hasty judgment is, indeed, abound. A soccer mom may unknowingly pass 20 sensible people with weed tucked away in their pockets, purses and briefcases. She will, however, notice the car that recklessly zoomed past her with a “420” bumper sticker and smoke curling out of the windows. This is what she will recall when someone asks her to sign a petition to support the legalization of cannabis. This is also what she’ll think of when considering whether or not to vote for a pro-legalization politician.

People remember extremes. So, silly pothead, take caution. Take care. This is bigger than you.

When it comes to legalization, we have made great headway in recent years. Washington and Colorado both legalized cannabis. Nineteen states, including the District of Columbia, have medical marijuana laws, while bills are working their way through the system in many other states. While this is undoubtedly progress, we still have a long way to go.

In many states, possession of marijuana is considered to be a felony. The plant that could help your great aunt’s glaucoma might land her in jail if she’s caught with a joint.

For the sake of your great aunt and all other sufferers of the many ailments that cannabis can pacify, don’t make the voting public hate weed and those who are keen on it. Save the hour-long rants about zeitgeist and other conspiracy nonsense for your bong circle. Do not bring it up in your political science class.

Do not proudly display your bloodshot eyeballs. Eye drops are great for that.

Do your best not to reek of ganja. Wash your clothes.

Do not allow cannabis policy to be the only political topic you can intelligently discuss.

Watch a documentary that is not about marijuana. Try. Just... try.

Carry yourself in such a way that when people find out you smoke regularly, they think, “Whoa, that human tokes on the daily and totally has his or her sh*t together.” Help people understand that a fondness for marijuana does not equate to laziness or stupidity.

We’re all counting on you. I know that’s a lot of pressure, but you can do it. I believe in you.

No one is asking you to stop dressing like James Franco in “Pineapple Express.” Do what makes you happy but don’t do anything that casts a negative light on the weed-smoking community.

Kid, our future is in your hands. As Ignatius of Loyola said, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” But, don’t actually set anything on fire with flaming hunks of hash. Spread good vibes and show the world how intelligent and responsible stoners can (sometimes) be.

Always Yours,

A Cannabis User

Top Photo Courtesy: Tumblr