Reefer Madness: CA Cop Worries Legalizing Pot Will Make Window Washers Fall From High-Rises -- And Kill Passersby

 Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department’s Robert McMahon has been drinking the Kool-Aid, and he is very worried about how decriminalized pot may affect California's future. His vision is straight ouf of a 1930s pot propaganda film. 

“What will happen to our kids if this stuff is legal? Think about 20 years from now what L.A. will look like?” he asks  

McMahon is of the following opinion:

“We’re talking about loss of work and collisions, work-related industrial injuries. Somebody comes to work stoned, and they are working some heavy equipment or up on a high-rise — a window washer that’s stoned — not only could he [or she] injure himself, but some of his or her negligence could cause someone else to be injured.” (emphasis added)

Of course, marijuana is not nearly as impairing or dangerous as alcohol. And legalizing marijuana does not necessarily mean more people will smoke it, or that more window washers will smoke it, or that more window washers wil smoke it before work and then fall from a giant high-rise only to land on a mother pushing her infant in a stroller. Okay, so I added that last part. 

But when I imagine a California where marijuana is legal, I don't see any of this at all. Instead, I imagine 1,401 fewer people in California jails.  I imagine a more racially just society because California’s African-American population faces 10 times greater odds of being imprisoned for marijuana than other racial/ethnic groups. If marijuana were legal nationally, I would go so far as to imagine a Mexico with less inter-cartel violence and fewer drug-related deaths. I  imagine adults smoking marijuana in the comfort of their own homes, or on the street, without facing ramifications that may ruin their lives in ways that pot alone never could have. I imagine kids with futures not defined by the fact that they were caught smoking weed, locked-up, and trapped by  criminal records that hammer away at educational and employment opportunities. I imagine more possibilities, more justice -- not the marijuana-induced mayhem that McMahon and fellow prohibitionists can only dream of, because weed is not the demon they believe it to be.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at November 22, 2011, 9:12am

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