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Marijuana Doesn’t Ruin Your Life, But Marijuana Prohibition Can

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marijuana prohibitionWe have all heard marijuana prohibitionists state quite emphatically that ‘marijuana will ruin your life!’ They say it with such disgust and contempt, as if because they themselves believe it to be undeniably true, then it clearly must be true. However, it’s obviously not true because there are countless people that have smoked marijuana and have gone on to do some amazing and admirable things. The plant itself is harmless, while the person using it may or may not be.

I always point out to marijuana prohibitionists that marijuana has never ruined my life or the life of anyone that I know. That’s because we use marijuana responsibly and are responsible people. What I also point out to marijuana prohibitionists is the ramifications on my life and people that I know as a result of being caught with marijuana in the wrong place at the wrong time by law enforcement. The unjust laws that go along with marijuana prohibition have wreaked havoc on many lives that I have personally witnessed, despite the fact that the plant itself is harmless.

Many of my friends have served jail time for marijuana only offenses. I have met many people over the years while running this blog that have served state and/or federal prison time for marijuana only offenses. Days/months/years have been taken from these people; days that they can never get back. And for what? For being caught with marijuana? A plant that is harmless? The thought of taking someone’s freedom for marijuana makes me sadder than I can express in words.

I know a lot of people that have the ‘marijuana scarlet letter’ attached to their names due to marijuana prohibition. The ‘marijuana scarlet letter’ is what I call having a marijuana offense on your record that potential employers, landlords, etc can see when they pull up a background check. I know way too many people that only have a single marijuana offense on their record and can’t get a decent job as a result. Not having a decent job can ruin someone’s life very quickly, and all it takes is one marijuana offense on one’s record and that painful reality can become sadly real.

Having a marijuana offense on one’s record can also make it almost impossible to go to college since you can’t file for grants and other financial assistance. From the federal government’s FASFA website, “if you are convicted of a drug-related felony or misdemeanor that took place while you were receiving Federal student aid, you will become ineligible to receive further aid for a specified period of time upon conviction.” If you are able to get through college without financial assistance, congratulations. But if you are like the average college student, and whether or not you get financial aid largely determines whether or not you go to college, getting a marijuana conviction can ruin your college hopes in a hurry.

One of the saddest things that I hear about and have witnessed is when the government takes children away from their parents, solely and only because of marijuana. I know a lot of responsible parents that prefer to have a toke at the end of the day rather than a glass of wine. If a K-9 cop came bursting through the door and found a parent with a bottle in their hand in front of their kids it’s OK, but if the same K-9 cop finds one joint tucked away inside of a drawer of a dresser out of the reach of children he can decide to rip the children out of their home and charge the parent with multiple felonies. I simply can’t believe that anyone thinks that scenario is acceptable, yet it happens regularly. Disgusting.

I’ve heard some prohibitionists try to soften their stance while still keeping marijuana prohibition in place. They say something like, ‘marijuana is decriminalized in your state, so you have nothing to worry about, it’s not like you are going to jail.’ I can speak from first hand experience that getting a marijuana ticket is not as bad as going to jail, but it’s harsher than marijuana prohibitionists lead on. My best friend was riding in my car when we got pulled over for no reason. He had a pipe in his pocket, and I had about 14 grams in my pocket. After an extensive search by the cops and a successful field sobriety test on my part, all the officers found was the pipe and a personal amount of marijuana that we both accepted.

We were given a ticket ($500 each), which according to marijuana prohibitionists we just needed to pay and be on our merry way, right? Wrong. My buddy and I got our licenses suspended for 6 months. This wasn’t a problem for me but it was a huge problem for my friend. Because he lost his license he lost his job. Because he lost his job he lost his home and his car. His life is back on track after a long detour, but he wouldn’t have had to go through all of that in the first place had it not been for marijuana prohibition. For a long time marijuana prohibition, even a decriminalized version of prohibition in Oregon, ruined his life.

I have used marijuana for a long time (20+ years), and the plant alone has not ruined my life. I know I’m not alone. Have you consumed marijuana your whole life and are successful? Are you on the crap end of the scale where marijuana prohibition has unfairly ruined your life due to scapegoating, incarceration, asset forfeiture, etc? Share your story in the comments below. Stories are powerful. You never know who could be reading, and it just might change their mind or provide them encouragement to keep fighting! END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION NOW!!!!

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Johnny Green

28 Comments

  1. I also served my country in the first Gulf war, raised a family, put two of my children through college busting my ass working construction for over 20 years. Jan 8th 2014 while working at Fort Carson Colorado I was subject to a random vehicle search where the MPs found an “EMPTY” marijuana package that was clearly labeled “Blue Dream” that had found its way between the seats of my vehicle I was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana a schedule I controlled substance., two weeks later I received a letter banning me from any and all military installations costing me my job ruining my reputation with my employer of ten years. I am 45 years old and have never even had a parking ticket on my record before this. I started smoking marijuana to help with a back injury I received while serving my country, talk about a kick in the nuts!

  2. Served my country in Afghan, had PTSD depression and anxiety. All the counselling in the world couldn’t help, didn’t want to take ssri’s because my brothers friend killed herself whilst on them. Started smoking weed and now my depression and anxiety are gone. I look at weed as my therapist, I used to like it because of the high now it’s much deeper then that. I think this plant is capable of changing this world. From a dark ultra violent place my head was, to a life loving caring person who is going back to the military this time as a medic, I think marijuana should be legalised decriminalised and planted in every house hold, and enjoyed responsibly.

  3. Been smoking since I was 18..while still 18 I contracted a peripheral nerve disease that almost took my life. I use daily to be able to function and sleep pain free, keeps my inflammation at bay, and help with my GBS related PTSD…my medication has to be gotten in shady place in unknown conditions and that makes me mad. I have no choice on quality, potency, or variety. Living with my limitations and issues has cost me the ability to do many of the things I would like, but in the same breath, I’m happy to be alive and a productive member of society. I’ve never had any criminal implications and the majority of people I meet/know would be surprised to know that I’m a “pothead”. Keep fighting the good fight! Peace Love and End Prohibition.

  4. I’ve never been arrested or caught by LE with marijuana but I do face prejudice for my enjoyment of the plant. When people find out you smoke they start to treat you differently. They often have little quips they’ll pull out and say, thinking it a harmless joke, but in reality it’s hurtful. Not to mention the fact that as a responsible and successful college student it’s absolutely ridiculous the hoops I have to jump through in order to access our plant on the black market. Meeting shady people in shady areas. I should be able to drive to my local marijuana shop and purchase the strain and amount I want, just like purchasing tobacco and alcohol (hopefully without the vampiric taxes). It’s time to end marijuana prohibition.

  5. Many Americans’ lives have been ruined with these draconian laws by either being sent to prison or by having a blemish on their permanent record. With a criminal record for possession of marijuana they were unable to be employed by many areas of the private sector and were black balled entirely from ever working in the public sector. Today in 2013, this is clearly an injustice. History will vindicate these victims of a brutal legal system and be very harsh towards the latter.

  6. I think if you obtained a public defender and took your case to a jury of your peers, the outcome may be better than taking another plea. The laws are unfair, I know, but maybe you could use your experience to become an activist. Be your own advocate, stand up for your rights, educate the prosecutor about your medicine and why you chose it, and live to fight another day, man.

  7. unrecognized patient on

    I was just arrested for 2 oz of pot and i want to die. I can’t go through this again. I just got my last felony for 2 oz of pot dismissed a month and a half ago. and it’s all my medicine as a California citizen. the courts didn’t let me claim a medical defense last time so i accepted the felony plea. i’m in for another one but this time i’m losing my will to live. I will never be able to obtain substantial employment. I wish euthanasia was legalized because i would choose it right away. I no longer want to live because of the harsh penalties for having over an oz.

  8. Poor kids go to rape cages because they have no job, no hope . the marijuana they sell is so low with THC that its a joke . God love the poor very much .

  9. I’m glad to see all that reefer-smoking didn’t damage your sense of humor! Seriously, I think pot should be off-limits for healthy people under 21, as tempting as it might be, at least until we really understand what the consequences are. Modern weed is powerful stuff, much stronger than the crap we had when I was a kid, and it would be tragic to permanently mess up a promising young mind for no good reason. Of course, I’d prefer young people to be smoking rather than drinking alcohol, if they absolutely have to alter their consciousness.

  10. Pat, last year Dr Gupta also said that cannabis had no medical value and it should remain illegal. Glad he learned the truth. Whos to say that future studies wont find it does NOT cause any damage? He may be a brain surgeon but that does not mean he knows everything.
    I agree with Matao that most users start in their early teens and if it does cause drain bamage we would have alot of really ignorant people in the world. Damn I just shot myself in the foot didn’t I? Sorry I had to be a little silly.

  11. Good ole Vancouver,WA and Clark County Courts I was arrested for cultivation 11 plants, possession over 41 grams and doing this within 1000 feet of a school bus stop. My Judge wouldn’t allow Medical Marijuana as a defense because He said “There was no such thing as medical marijuana and any Doctor who reccommended it was a quack” Thanks for the Felony A–hole. People with Marijuana felonies also can’t leave the country, get food stamps, gov. grants, bonded or insured, work in any MMJ job, own a gun and I’m sure theirs more I haven’t learned about yet. It’s BS to follow state laws if the courts don’t have to. Got the hell out of Clark County and I srtill grow MMJ. Keep up the fight Johnny Green I”m with you.

  12. I’m just repeating what Dr. Gupta said. Since he’s a brain surgeon, I figured he might know something about the subject, and he said “permanent damage” can be caused by smoking if your brain isn’t fully formed. Of course, alcohol and other substances cause damage too.

  13. The brain will not be permanently damaged. Just a little shook up. If it was permanent like you said then most adult stoners wouldnt be that smart because most start around the age 14-18 ._.

  14. You might want to ask her to watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special too. He talks quite a bit about how young people’s brains (those under about 25) can be damaged permanently by smoking weed. He is a neurosurgeon, and has become pretty strongly pro-marijuana, but cautions young people that they would be smart to avoid it until they’re adults, just like alcohol.

  15. I had to give my kid the “weed talk,” and told her: “Marijuana is not dangerous, but, even though it is readily available anywhere, it is still illegal. You can be arrested for having it. Being arrested for having weed is very dangerous, so conduct yourself with that foremost in your mind.”
    So far, so good…knock wood.

  16. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor on

    I have lost everything including my wolf to these laws and should they continue I will support ANY actions against the government necessary to change things. I will offer my life to get it done. Are you assholes listening? I HAVE HAD FUCKING ENOUGH! While these assholes ruin my world with their greedy decisions like Fukashima nuclear weapons endless war and torment my friends I have been building up resentment as has everyone else and now is the time yo get off our asses and help to save what is left of our world.

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  18. Nice & true read! I was taken by a cop in Norway with 0.5 g of marihuana. For that reason only, the US embassy in Norway wont let me go to US for 6 years.

  19. Until we file a suit against the prohibitionists this may just continue. IMHO people who kidnap (incarcerate) people for handling the worlds oldest medicine and crop are the true criminals and should be held accountable for all of the ruined lives and careers. I think they owe you your $500 back as well as your friends and any gains they’ve received for building prisons, filing suits, selling harmful carcinogenic pharmaceuticals should be on their record as the serious offenses they are. You say it makes you sad, it makes me angry! I hope it’s only a matter of time until the pro legalization crowd goes on the offensive for this crime against humanity perpetuated by the government. The best defense would be a strong offense! I think the only reason the pro-legal crowd hasn’t gotten more forceful on this is that the herb of choice is that it makes people very accepting of others and their flaws and trespasses. Enough is enough!

  20. CurlieMichelle on

    Looking for a link to a FLORIDA Medical M. petition I heard was going around to get it on the 2014 ballot down here… I’ve had a serious chronic illness for 30 years that was deemed terminal last year… Juicing marijuana leaves literally SAVED MY LIFE, & got me off 16-20 perscriptions I took everyday for 20+ years… Think my story could help change minds…. Please lmk if anyone knows where to find this petition!! Thanks, curliem

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