As the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado is still making massive headlines, Henry Rollins decided to share his two cents on the whole matter, dubbing cannabis smoking a "monumental waste of time."
"I think smoking pot is a monumental waste of time, so I don't do it," the singer kicked off his LA Weekly blog post. "However, I am not at all interested in keeping you from it. If America can regulate, tax and sell alcohol and tobacco - two wildly addictive and potentially harmful substances - you would think legalizing marijuana shouldn't be an insurmountable hurdle. I think it will be a slow and costly process."
Rollins continued with a question, "Is marijuana any better or worse than the aforementioned celebrated intoxicants? If you ask this question, you are met with decades of America's back pages. The 'war on drugs' is not only a deeply invested revenue stream, it allows law enforcement incredible bending and stretching of probable cause and violations of protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment."
Focusing on alcohol and tobacco, Henry described both substances as "very important to the American identity. They are macho, kickass, old-school, working-class and, most important, eternally conjoined with violence," he added, along with a question: "How many small cigars did Clint Eastwood go through shooting all his Westerns?"
Going back to marijuana, the singer commented that cannabis is "much, much harder sell. Yes, white Americans smoke it by the ton, literally, but there is still a widely held and energetically maintained perception that it's a black/brown (and obviously criminal) man's stimulant. Now that some weed companies are publicly traded, watch that change."
After noting that "for some parents, the thought of their kid drunk is cause for concern but the idea that they smoked weed and are high reeks of failure," Rollins focused on the legal part, adding that "on the federal level, marijuana is not only an illegal drug, under the Controlled Substances Act, it is a Schedule I Controlled Substance, right there with heroin and LSD. So Colorado has basically thumbed its nose at the Obama administration and given Attorney General Eric Holder a very public wedgie."
In conclusion, Henry pointed out how "it is very difficult to tell Americans that they can't do something," adding that "change is hard but the times are indeed changing."
As Huffington Post reports, legal marijuana sales have grossed a total of $5 million within the first week. The projected annual sales of $600 million could earn the state almost $70 million in taxes.
Does Mr. Rollins have a point here and "is marijuana any better or worse than alcohol and tobacco?" Also, what are your thoughts on cannabis legalization in general?