With two states set to legalize recreational use of marijuana, it’s time for the media to do what they do best – scare and misinform the citizenry. Yes, we’re starting to see articles on the dangers of teenage pot use. You’ll see all of the usual fears that have been around for ages but have been thoroughly debunked by research – teenage use leads to decreased cognitive skills, use of harder drugs, schizophrenia, etc. Only one common claim you’ll hear is actually true – it causes kids to laugh at their parents’ corny jokes.
For example, one time in high-school my Dad looked at me and two of my friends as we were heading out for the evening. With a straight face Dad said “What’re ya gonna do tonight? Shoot some pot?” That faux-stupidity was funny to our sober brains. But imagine the laugh Dad would’ve gotten if we were high.
Let’s do something the media will never do because they’re a herd of animals that move in one direction until it’s safe to go another way (remember the flag-waving group-hug that was the run-up to the Iraq War?). Let’s consider the upside of teenage pot use.
We’ve all seen the dreary and depressing sight of teenagers standing behind a table selling cookies. As you walk into the store they smile and say “Would you like to buy some cookies to help fund our orchestra?” They’re charming and loveable the way young people always are. But you know they’re thinking “If you cheap-ass adults just raised some taxes or passed a bond measure we wouldn’t have to be standing here begging like the Little Match Girl.”
Now picture a teenager who takes their summer-job money and gives it to their older brother. The brother buys the weed and gives it to the teen. The state pulls in a bunch of tax revenue, which gets spent on schools. The adults get to keep shooting down tax-hikes and bond measures (and they don’t have to bake cookies for those fund-raising events they’re sick of). And the rest of us get to walk into the grocery store in peace, feeling guilt-free.
Best of all, the teens don’t have to do bake sales anymore because they’ve replaced them with “baked sales”. Yes, they’re taking charge and helping raise revenue for their own schools. We should be totes-down with that (teens still say that, right?).
But what’s the biggest payoff of all? It’s not that teenagers’ grades will improve because they’re no longer squandering study-time doing car-washes and bake-sales. It’s that your kids will start laughing at your corny jokes.