Marijuana Is Like Wine–Except For Difference
What’s the difference between drinking wine and smoking marijuana?
There’s no punchline here. It’s a legitimate question being asked by folks in Oregon who will go to thee polls in November and vote for whether to allow marijuana to be sold and regulated like wine. In fact, the voter initiative, Measure 80, has the official tag-line of “Regulate Cannabis Like Liquor”.
Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, a supporter of Measure 80, answers the question this way:
“Liquor has no medical benefit, but we allow it through a state-regulated monopoly,” Bradbury says. “There are a number of people who like to smoke pot, and they enjoy it, just like people who enjoy liquor. I don’t see the difference.”
If Secretary Bradbury doesn’t see the difference, it’s entirely possible that he’s gotten a head start on his enjoyment of dope.
I’m no prude. I’m no marijuana prohibitionist. And I care little about what people drink or smoke. Have at it. But the difference between smoking smoking marijuana and having a glass of wine or drink of bourbon is pretty wide because of one significant fact.
Nobody lights up a joint or sparks up a bowl of marijuana with the purpose of enjoying its taste or the way it enhances food the way so many folks enjoy alcohol. Rather, there is one reason and one reason alone that marijuana is consumed: To get high.
People also use alcohol to get high. That’s clear. But the fact that you can use alcohol without the goal of getting high is all Secretary Bradbury need to know about the difference between alcohol and Marijuana. To suggest anything different is either a nod to ignorance or deception.
The trend to push for reform of marijuana laws by using the good name of wine and alcohol is a strong one (as well as a politically and rhetorically smart one). We see the trend in Washington State and Colorado as well as Oregon. All three states have initiatives on the ballot that legalize marijuana use and sales and they are all promoted by making direct comparisons to alcohol use and regulation.
In all three states the case is being made that smoking dope is safer than drinking. Maybe it is. I don’t know. But I do know this: Consumption of alcohol can be accomplished without getting high and it is done without the intent of getting high. On the other hand, I’ve never met anyone who smoked or consumed marijuana without the intent of getting high. And this, in my mind, is the downside of the linkage between marijuana and alcohol. It delivers the message that we drink wine, beer or bourbon merely in order to get high.
Interestingly, the Oregon initiative is currently behind in the polls far enough that it appears that it will lose. However, the initiatives in Colorado and Washington State to regulate marijuana like alcohol are both ahead and possess more than 50% support in recent polls.
I think it will become legal but before it is rushed, I would like them to rectify a few concerns first. Also, yes, you are correct in the difference of wine and pot and I agree with the fact intent is a cause for abuse.
1. Colorado says it is earmarked revenue for improving schools. Will they do as they did with lottery funding and pull funding away from schools because of the new alternate funding?
2. Marijuana stays in your system for a longer period of time. How does that work if you work for a company that will do drug testing. Especially, if it is Federal or the company is based in a state where marijuana is illegal. Having it in your system does not render you “high” or incapacitated. 2a-testing for smoking & driving still not resolved either.
3. Marijuana because it is not Federally regulated or legal, is not allowed to use our banking system. Meaning it is a cash business. How scary is that and how do you enforce taxes if it is cash based. Current medicinal marijuana places evidently have to open personal accounts.
With those 3 things rectified, I am in support of it but at the moment, I do not think we are ready to implement a tax revenue stream that I think we all would benefit from in this economy.
You’re totally wrong. It’s okay. We’re all wrong from time to time.
1. As fine wine is an acquired taste, so too is good marijuana. Perhaps you remember the lousy stuff from decades ago, but the innovations in marijuana cultivation have led to vast differences in the taste and effects between the many different varieties. You sound like one of those kids who say that all wine tastes the same.
2. Seriously, you actually think it doesn’t enhance the taste of food in a meal? Maybe you’ve never really smoked pot… That’s the best effect! You should try it.
3. Have you ever considered the idea of pairing different wines with different varieties of marijuana? Since you don’t, apparently, have a pallete well trained enough to notice the subtle differences, I recommend you start with a nice, fresh batch of whatever your neighbor has and a chilled bottle of a good sparkling wine. The only thing you have to fear is the realization that you’ve been spouting poorly-formed opinions on the internet. You’ll make new friends, and when you decide to cook dinner for them, will combine ingredients in new ways that will astound you. (In every restaurant in America, all the fine dining ones to your local McDonalds, your chefs, waiters, and dishwashers are probably high).
I’m a wine professional in Oregon. I also enjoy smoking marijuana. I pay my taxes, don’t break any other laws, and would appreciate the government treating me as an adult instead of a child. I can decide what I consume on my own, thanks.
Would you judge a wine without trying it first?