Is cannabis a pacifier?
North Dakota voted on November 8th to try and legalize cannabis in the state, as many other states, which means that many people expressed their “opinions” about the matter. While the vast majority of opinions are best left ignored, I found this one submitted to “MinotDailyNews” asking the question, “Will Marijuana be the Next Pacifier?”
The reason why this question caught my attention is because of a combination of factors. Firstly, this is the exact same rhetoric that was used in the 1970s-1980s during the US-Russia Cold War. Interestingly enough, the US and Russia are yet again at another Cold War. Let’s call this one “Luke Warm War” where the Ukraine is being used as a proxy for their idiocies.
“But Reginald…the War in Ukraine is all about…” Money, Power and a shifting of global dynamics. But most people are focused in on the narratives being sold to them by the media. If you actually did some critical analysis, you’d understand that it’s about the US losing its firm grip on the global stage, the devaluation of the Petrodollar, the low-key alliance of China and Russia, and if you really want to get all conspiratorial – unelected Elites pushing a globalist agenda aka “The Great Reset”.
But we’re not talking about any of that. Rather, we’re talking about the specific usage of the words, “Cannabis the Great Pacifier”.
During the Cold War, Prohibitionists utilized the same rhetoric to maintain the oppressive policies of prohibition claiming that “cannabis would pacify Americans against the Russians” and therefore, they justified prohibition to keep everyone on the “up and up.”
Interestingly enough, a few decades earlier, cannabis was “making people violent” which was their justification for keeping it illegal.
This was the reason my interest sparked at the question. However, upon reading the opinion, I understood that it wasn’t entirely about this geopolitical perspective but from another one completely different.
Therefore, in this article, I’m going to be analyzing the opinion of Lloyd Omidahl claiming that cannabis is a pacifier to get through life.
Oh my Lloyd!
The dynamics of this article will go as follows. I’ll directly quote him and respond in kind.
Since some may think this measure is about marijuana for medical purposes, it is necessary to verify that North Dakota already has medical marijuana. It is a well managed system after a lot of hard work by the legislature cleaning up a poorly drafted measure and the Department of Health then working through the administration.
I really don’t have an opinion about this. I knew that ND have a medical cannabis program but didn’t know how disorganized it was. However, I don’t think people are unwary of the fact that they are voting on recreational cannabis. Most people voting on November 8 are going to vote for recreational cannabis, not for medical cannabis. This isn’t about medical cannabis, it’s about undoing the harms of prohibition.
Administering and controlling recreational marijuana will fall primarily on law enforcement officials who will now have to police underage potheads. Law enforcement at all levels has bigger fish to fry than to chase juveniles violating the 21-year old limitation. Like alcohol, marijuana will drift down into the hands of the lower ages — even junior high and senior high students.
I don’t think “administering and controlling recreational marijuana” will fall on law enforcement. If we take a look at every other recreational cannabis market, there is typically an agency in charge of establishing the rules of engagement. Sure, it’s on law enforcement to ensure that those who do not abide by thus said rules are “punished” – however, the administration and control will most likely fall on a special government agency. While it’s true that “the police have bigger fish to fry”, the fact of the matter is that drug prohibition chews up a lot of their resources. This goes beyond just marijuana, it includes all drugs.
Drug use is not a law enforcement problem. It’s a public health problem that stems from a lack of education. It’s like trying to mend a broken bone by beating it with the butt of a gun – it doesn’t do anything! And yes, Lloyd is correct that cannabis will make its way into the hands of the youths, however, if we look at the statistics in Colorado and Washington, it will actually reduce the instances of this happening. Young adults, those above the age of 21, will see a spike in use, but that too will eventually level out.
We never seem to run out of the need for more and more pacifiers to cope with life. In the early ’90s, we outlawed booze because it was eating up families. Dad’s check wasn’t making it past the bars. But it had to be repealed because the people rebelled, needing an alcoholic fix more often than the “blind pigs” could provide.
I didn’t know that ND outlawed alcohol in the 1990s. After doing a basic Google Search, I couldn’t find any instances of it anywhere. Perhaps it was a specific county in North Dakota? What I did find was that between the 1890s and 1910s, there was a prohibitionist move as all over the US. The following years, we also saw a rise of violent illegal alcohol operations and the rise in the power of the Mafia. Alcohol prohibition was finally repealed when enough young blood was spilled over the control of sales of alcohol. These giant mafias then started the brands that you drink today. People didn’t rebell because they needed an alcohol fix – they repealed prohibition because the quality of the alcohol sometimes killed people, mafias grew in size, and those who were addicted to alcohol still found a way to continue consuming. In other words, prohibiting the substance only made matters worse.
And we now have what is called “comfort food.” I would guess that Americans eat more crunchies and chips than any other nation in the world. And it shows. In North Dakota obesity has tripled from 11% in 1990 to 32% in 2020.
Yes, you can actually track down obesity spikes to the 1970s with the introduction of High Fructose Corn Syrup and processed foods. Try buying anything in the US that doesn’t have this. Couple this with a decline in exercise and you’ve got yourself a perfect scenario for inflating people’s cholesterol. I do agree that “comfort foods” became a thing, but that could also be due to the addictive nature of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Also, the FDA has done a piss poor job at actually ensuring that Americans get healthy foods in their system – mainly because they are funded by the very groups they are supposed to be regulate.
But alcohol and comfort food are not enough. We also have high-powered coffee. If that doesn’t produce the right high, we can also down a Red Bull or something like it. I didn’t mention terminal cigarette smoking.
Alright Lloyd – when are you going to make your point?
Sometimes we can escape ourselves by becoming an addict to the electronic hand devices that permit us to be alone while in a crowd. While family and friends are present, we still choose electronic isolation.
Apparently, we don’t believe we have enough options to conquer this need to live outside of ourselves and expect recreational marijuana to be the silver bullet for unhappiness. History tells us that no matter how many pacifiers we concoct that they will never be the solution for a nation of malcontents.
Ah, finally, you’re starting to get to a point. “Sometimes we have to escape ourselves”. While this is true, I also don’t think that this is why people are legalizing cannabis all over the world. The fact of the matter is that cannabis prohibition has a lot of overlap with alcohol prohibition, except its amplified. The Mafias during alcohol prohibition is nothing compared to the Cartels of drug prohibition. The problem isn’t about pacification, the problem is with government over reach. Furthermore, when you have some understanding of the mechanics of cannabis, you’d understand that endocannabinoid deficiencies do play a role in happiness.
This isn’t to say that you NEED cannabis to be happy, but for someone who is in a deep depression, or someone who can’t sleep due to PTSD, cannabis provides a buffer for them to find their way back to wholeness. It isn’t “because of cannabis” but rather “with the use of cannabis”.
Where I do wholeheartedly agree with Lloyd is that any substance is not a solution for a nation’s malcontents. This is the responsibility of the individual.
According to the mental health community, unhappiness has been increasing steadily since the 1970s and includes just about everybody — old and young alike, working class, college educated employed and unemployed.
It doesn’t make sense.
This is the United States of America, where these unhappy citizens have more food than any other country. In fact we throw away enough to feed the 2,500,000 children that starve each year. We have a premier medical system.
We are free to exercise our rights. It’s okay to call the president names or to stretch the truth on Facebook. We can travel the country without being harassed by government agents.
While greed has required some controls on private enterprise, the economy is still controlled by the private sector. We can start new businesses if we wish. We can choose our own religion and not that of the government.
In the United States we have the most of everything and we still seem to be more unhappy than people with less.
Another pacifier — like recreational marijuana — will not put an end to our unhappiness.
Since the 1970s, “happiness” has been in decline. But this isn’t due to the things mentioned. While it’s true that the US has the ability to exercise many rights without government scrutiny unlike the people in North Korea for example, and that there is a surplus of food (albeit shit food), and that you have “some freedom of expression” (except if your Kanye) – another thing happened since the 1970s. Firstly, Nixon removed the US from the Gold Standard, and since then, the way people made money changed. This is something that many people don’t understand and as a result, the money gap between the top earners and the bottom earners widened.
Now, you couldn’t simply do an “honest day of work” and buy a house. Rather, you had to learn complex money making strategies where you borrow money and create profit from these dynamics, where most Americans were ill equipped to maneuver.
Secondly, the 1970s also established the War on Drugs. This meant that pharmaceutical companies were the sole monopoly on “accepted drugs” and since then, they started pumping people with anti-depressants, funded the media, the FDA, and started buying politicians.
Oh, and High Fructose Corn Syrup was added to all foods in the late 1960s and peaked in the 1970s.
But probably the most impactful of all is the beginning of the disillusionment of the US government and that they “represent you”. The fact of the matter is that where Lloyd says, “While greed controls some private enterprise”, the truth is that it controls the government. Every corporation has “free speech” which translates into dollars. They can donate and influence public policy.
This means that the individual no longer has power compared to the Banks, the Drug companies, Media conglomerates, etc. With the decline in direct representation, and people’s rights being sold out to the highest bidders…it’s become ever clear that YOU are the product. It’s probably why some activists are going crazy over animal meats – they see themselves as the livestock. And that’s exactly what we are under the current government configuration.
The fact of the matter is that happiness is a result of feeling like you have purpose. The US has long been turning people into simple cogs in their machine. The elite political and corporate classes colluded to maintain policies like prohibition which benefit the few at the expense of the many.
While for some, cannabis will certainly be a pacifier, the truth of the matter is that it’s also a great “awakener”.
For some it will be an escape, but for others it will be an aide in coming online, seeing through the veil of lies and misdirects and the fact that North Dakota wants to end a policy that was founded by a criminal president – well – that’s a step in the right direction.
You see Lloyd, cannabis re-legalization is about reclaiming ownership of your body. Under the Controlled Substance Act, “Your Body Your Choice” is not on the table. The only justification for making “drug use” illegal is because according to the US government, “you don’t own your body”. In fact, you get assigned a serial number at birth which they call “Social Security”.
These days, people have the lowest trust in their government. People don’t trust the media. The corruption is blatant. The Pandemic was a massive wealth transfer of public funds to private coffers – as is the War in Ukraine.
Just follow the money and you’ll see that the vast majority of those “billions of dollars” being printed out of thin air are not going to the Ukraine, but private contractors. And the politicians own stocks in those companies.
Unhappiness is due to the fact that people feel powerless against an overreaching government, they feel voiceless in an ocean of lies, they feel like they have no purpose or future.
However, this is not the end of all things. A few more years of this, and we’ll either see a mass amount of people bend their knee to their corporate overlords – or an uprising like we’ve never seen.
I personally am advocating and working on the latter. I believe we’re at a critical point in history where the powers that be, are trying to solidify their grip before the awakening of the individual is complete. Technologies like Crypto is giving us the ability to decentralize power and this scares the piss out of legacy institutions.
Cannabis legalization is simply humanity peeling back the authoritarian grip around its neck saying, “WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”
And getting a little high in the process is just an added bonus!