The world is filled with so much hate, rage and bitterness it’s enough to make us cry.

Pot shirt party goer/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Pot shirted party goer/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Daily headlines scream about bombings, brutality and bloodshed. Neighbors hate neighbors and strangers hate friends.

But there may be a simple way to turn all that bitterness and rage into peace and harmony – just hand everyone a joint.

After all, pot is known to make people happy, generous and loving. We don’t recall any stories of pot-smoking hippies tearing each other’s hair out. That Manson thing was just a fluke.

For the record, I am not a fan of pot, or any drug for that matter. Drugs have ruined too many lives.

But let’s look, just for a moment, at all the compelling pot information put forth on Drug War Facts. This website is run by Common Sense for Drug Policy which is “dedicated to reforming drug policy.”

Yes, we know the site is slanted to only show pot’s benefits – we’re making a pro argument here.

And after checking out some of the site’s fast facts, it makes sense not only to make marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, but for any adult who wants some.

Marijuana may be less harmful to us than some stuff we already eat, the site tells us. And we’re not talking about deep-fried Twinkies or greasy drive-through fries. We’re talking vegetables.

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume,” says Francis Young, the DEA’s administrative law judge. “For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.”

Even lab rats don’t die from the stuff. Heck, Drug War Facts said you can inject 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of marijuana into rats, mice, dogs and even monkeys and they don’t drop dead. That translates to a 132-pound person eating a whole 2 ounces of pot with no ill effects.

We’re not sure why people would be eating pot rather than smoking it, but we do know that five deaths originally attributed to marijuana in Britain were found to have other causes. Drug War Facts says the five didn’t die from pot, but from choking on their own vomit, presumably after passing out and puking.

See how safe marijuana can be?

Decked out VW bus/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Decked out VW bus/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

And we didn’t even get into the traffic statistics. Marijuana could actually help some drivers do better on the road.

“…Cannabis consumption either increases driving ability or, more likely, drivers who use cannabis make adjustments in driving style to compensate for any loss of skill,” Drug War Facts said.

In other cases, marijuana poses absolutely no risk on the road whatsoever.

“Cannabis is only considered a risk factor for traffic accidents if drivers operate vehicles after consuming the drug.”

There we have it.

In addition to bettering traffic, a society full of pot smokers could benefit the economy.

The first savings would be, of course, a major cost reduction in the more than $30 billion government spends annually on the drug war. Taking marijuana out of the mix would shave off a few dollars for sure.

More jobs would be on the market. We’d have gads of new pot packaging and processing plants as well as openings from those who decide to now smoke pot daily. Some may quit their jobs when they realize they could legally sit around getting stoned all day while others would likely be fired when tasks that used to take them two minutes began to take them two hours.

The economy would get a major boost from marijuana taxes. If pot taxes were anywhere near the astronomical ones levied on cigarettes and booze, the government could make up a good chunk of funds wasted on the drug war in the blink of a bloodshot eye.

Society would become one big well-oiled machine.

Folks who smoke pot are generally not violent like those on PCP, don’t start dumb fights like angry drunks, don’t make weird sniffing noises like the coke fiends, and don’t hold up gas stations like those with rabid crack habits.

They are not prone to spreading AIDS like needle-happy heroin addicts and don’t lose all their teeth like the meth heads.

The argument stands that pot smokers are usually peaceful, harmonious folks – who even know how to drive.

Please note: I am still not sure if making pot legal would make society any better – but I am wholly impressed that pot only poses a road hazard if you drive after smoking it.

Cartoon by CHRIS EDWARDS, UA student who drew it for English class on public argument

Cartoon by CHRIS EDWARDS, UA student who drew it for an English class on public argument



Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who likes VW buses. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at and E-mail

logoWhat do you think?

Should pot be legal in Arizona?

Should it be legal everywhere?

Should all drugs be legal – or should we get rid of everything, even alcohol?

WOULD the world be a better place if everyone smoked pot?