So it seems that 47% is the magic number for everything in America. First there was Mitt Romney's claim that 47% of Americans don't pay any taxes, and now, according to a poll, the same number of people are in favor of legalizing pot. I think it may be the same people.
I also think that most of those answering the survey were stoned at the time they cast their vote. I mean, why wouldn't they be? But we're getting off track here. In fact, even the title of this blog isn't really connected to the main theme.
This piece is really about why marijuana should be kosher in the eyes of the law.
First of all, marijuana is a fairly harmless narcotic that really causes more trouble because it's illegal than because of any terrible effects that it has on the smokers. The number of perfectly lawful citizens who get thrown into jail because they smoked a joint, not to mention the draconian sentences handed out for growing a sprig or two in your backyard are pretty absurd. I mean, there are real criminals out there, killing people or pirating DVDs, and we're worried about Cheech & Chong?
Then of course there are all those people who need marijuana for 'medicinal' purposes. No, really, they do. It's a great way to lower stress and help the heart, especially if you live in a crazy city like New York. In fact, most doctors highly recommend that you stay stoned all the time, just to make sure that you don't get worked up about stupid stuff like those maniac bikers who have taken over the city and whom you may have a sudden desire to abduct and torture slo--but that's for another time.
Like, it's all okay, man. Just take a puff.
But none of this compares to the sheer immorality of going after potheads. I mean, have you ever seen a real pothead? They're so clueless and happy that it's just not possible to get mad at them, let alone throw them in jail. In fact, I would say that they are in a much more spiritual state of mind than you and me. They are seeing and sensing things that we cannot, and that's why we really judge them - because they make us feel inadequate and stupidly sober.
47%, ladies and gentlemen. Think about that, or if you're too stoned to think, just let it all flow over you like a tidal wave of heavenly bliss. Like, almost half of your country wants to legalize pot, and the other half just wishes they were chilled out enough to want to legalize it.
The reality is that we all want pot, we want to be able to score it without risking our life meeting some shady drug dealer in a dark alley, we don't want to lose our job as a drug counselor because of a stupid drug test, and we really don't want to go to jail because that uptight old lady across the hall (who can't see or hear for crap but has the nose of a bloodhound) smelt something funny at 2 am. Is that too much to ask for in a progressive nation in the 21st century?
I think not. I think we're ready for the pot revolution and I think we're ready to buy it conveniently off the shelves of supermarkets and Walmarts. Hey, if you can buy a damn gun from some of those places, why in heavens name can't you score some weed? I can even see a Groupon for pot in the immediate future; and that would be real progress.
So America, chill out. Half of your fellow countrymen have spoken, and they are good and ready to get stoned; if you are one of the 53% who have a problem with it, just don't smoke the stuff yourself. It's your life and if you want to waste it being sober, that's your choice.
But don't ruin it for everyone else. As Cheech Marin once said: "The reason we're so dangerous is because we're harmless." Then again, maybe that quote has no relevance whatsoever, but when you're high, who cares?
SANJAY SANGHOEE is a political and business commentator. He is a banker, has an MBA from Columbia Business School, and is the author of "Killing Wall Street". For more information, please visit www.killingwallstreet.com