We do indeed live in interesting times, dear reader—a curse if ever I heard one. It's becoming harder and harder to keep track of the days as they whiz past on their way to the eschaton. Maybe the transhumanists are right, and time is speeding up as we near the singularity, or apocalypse, or whatever. Maybe it's just what happens when you get old.
If you haven't noticed, someone came in while you were sleeping and replaced the world you knew with the set from “The Outer Limits.” Out there, quantum computing is a reality, rogue Chinese scientists are creating gene-edited babies and an alien object named after the Hawaiian word for “visitor from afar arriving first” went cruising through our solar system.
And marijuana is still illegal.
Welcome to the spring edition of the Cannabis Manual, where we can all huddle around the fire and share stories with like-minded folks while the rest of the world goes to Hell in a tote bag. We're experiencing a time of high weirdness in America, and the best plan is probably just to duck and cover until that madness passes. In the meantime, we can use this space to educate ourselves about this wonderful plant we love so much.
The well-respected General Social Survey, which has been analyzing cannabis trends since the '70s, found that support for legalizing recreational cannabis reached an all-time high across all ages, regions and political affiliations during 2018. According to the poll, 61 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalization. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and General Social Survey staff said 76 percent of Democrats support legalization, as do 54 percent of republicans. It was the first year that the majority of Republicans surveyed were in support.
And as the inevitability of legalization looms, the enemies of marijuana have redoubled their efforts. Accusations that cannabis use can cause psychopathy have become fashionable again for the first time in years (we'll get into that later) and concerns over teenage use have risen to a squealing pitch.
That means you've probably been fielding some touchy questions from friends and family members that make you uncomfortable. Is marijuana actually dangerous? Will it make you mentally unstable? Can you lose your job if you use it? Can you lose your kids?
This time around, as we hide in our shelter from the storm, we're going to look at some of these more sensitive subjects surrounding cannabis. Instead of dodging the uncomfortable questions, we'll be facing them head on. (Don't worry. We have some fun stuff, too.)
If that makes you nervous, then turn away now, dear reader. This is no place for the weak of will or soft of character. As always, our goal is to shine a light on subjects that have remained hidden for too long in obscurity and give you a solid base of knowledge to work with. Let's all agree now to put aside our biases and face the facts—whatever they might be.
Go ahead. Be brave. Turn the page.