Adult Justin Bieber Smokes Marijuana, SurvivesJanuary 11th, 2013
TMZ recently published a few pictures depicting Justin Bieber at a January 2nd party. In them, he can be seen holding a re-rolled cigar, presumably filled with marijuana. Justin Bieber is an 18-year old, and the party was located in California, where marijuana is de-facto legal for anyone with a headache or anxiety (see also: everyone).
Once the news hit the airwaves, an odd form of hysteria broke loose. Confused people across the globe flew into a state of outrage, despite the fact that marijuana use is considered safer than alcohol and fairly mainstream. A 4Chan hoax called “Cutting for Bieber” commenced, causing people to believe that a worldwide epidemic of self-mutilation was underway as a consequence of Bieber’s decision to light up. With marijuana understood to be one of the safest possible intoxicants, so much so that the plant was recently approved by voters as legal in Colorado and Washington, it’s safe to say that our nation is undergoing a bit of cognitive dissonance on this issue. Let’s take this opportunity to have an adult conversation on the recreational use of marijuana by responsible adults.
A Significant Percentage of Adults Use Intoxicating Vices, Marijuana Being the Safest
Marijuana consumption has never been associated with serious health risks or fatalities of any kind. On the other hand, over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and Aspirin contain health warnings and sometimes cause serious side effects. It’s fairly uncommon for there to be a consumable substance that doesn’t at least cause an occasional fatality due to an allergy, but marijuana appears to have that distinction.
Mainstream society accepts that some people like to have a couple beers and unwind on the weekend. In the real world, mainstream society also accepts that some people like to smoke marijuana on off days from work. Between the two, marijuana is far safer. Alcohol causes violence, car accidents, and fatalities from poisoning. Marijuana causes people to feel lethargic and eat a little more than normal.
Cognitive Dissonance or Living a Lie?
The cognitive dissonance surrounding marijuana essentially causes the mainstream of society to both accept and reject its use as a safer alternative to alcohol. Large numbers of people in states like Alabama and North Carolina hide their marijuana use like a dirty secret, whereas folks in Colorado and Washington will soon be lighting up publicly in marijuana clubs. Should Americans be lying to one another, all around the country, about marijuana use? Should our school systems continue to lie to kids by fabricating risks associated with marijuana use and thus pushing them towards the more-dangerous-yet-legal alcohol? When future teens try marijuana and find out that the negative effects were overstated in school, will this cause them to believe that truly harmful drugs like crystal meth, heroin, and LSD are also not as bad as stated? Lies have consequences.
It’s important to note that marijuana is not totally safe, as its abuse can cause someone to become lethargic or to gain unhealthy amounts of weight. Intoxicants themselves are easily abused in general, and many abstain from them for that reason. However, it’s time to put aside the disingenuous outrage when someone like Justin Bieber makes the decision to smoke marijuana. Mainstream Americans smoke marijuana all the time. States should consider legalizing recreational use. Let’s stop living a lie. It’s the 21st century now. Reefer Madness was a science fiction film, and marijuana prohibition laws are outdated and based on early 20th century junk science.
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