The latest absurdity to come out of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is an anti-pot PR campaign with the motto, “Hey, not trying to be your mom, but there aren’t many jobs out there for potheads.”
The first three ads suggest that drug users can look forward to a career as a “burrito taster,” a “couch security guard,” or “remote control operator.”
It’s an incredibly lame campaign, and reeks of stodgy wonks making a desperate attempt to look hip.
By the way, jobs held by people who’ve acknowledged smoking marijuana include governor of California (Arnold Schwarzenegger), astronomer (Carl Sagan), mayor of New York (Michael Bloomberg), billionaire rock star/songwriter (Paul McCartney), and — well, you get the point.
Here’s my challenge to Agitator readers, bloggers, and others: In this comments thread, let’s compile a master list of admitted pot smokers—current or former—who not only haven’t ended up as heroin junkies or burnouts, but have gone on to lead successful lives. If the person is famous, include a link. But feel free to add yourselves and what you do now, too, if you fit the criteria. School teacher? Cop? Stay at home mom? Grad student? Count yourself in. You can leave out your name if you like. Or include it. Either way.
I’ll get it started:
Barack Obama, president-elect. Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the U.S. John Kerry, U.S. Senator and 2004 Democratic nominee for president. John Edwards, multi-millionaire, former U.S. Senator, and 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president. Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, 2008 Republican nominee for vice president. British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, and and Chancellor Alistair Darling. Josh Howard, NBA all-star. New York Governor David Paterson. Former Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Oscar winner Al Gore. Former Sen. Bill Bradley, who smoked while playing professional basketball. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former New York Governor George Pataki. Billionaire and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
That’s the result of a five-minute Google search. The presence of so many high-ranking politicians so early in the search results puts the lie to the ONDCP’s ridiculous ad campaign, and shows that to the extent that marijuana is harmful, the harm lies mostly in what the government will do to you to you if it catches you. It’s not only possible to smoke pot and go on to live a productive life, that’s by far and away what most people who smoke the drug actually do. The fact that all of the politicians listed above still support drug prohibition and the continued funding of farcical government organizations like ONDCP is the real shame, here. They’re more than happy to ruin the lives of young people who did the same thing they did in their youth. The lesson isn’t that you shouldn’t smoke pot. It’s that if you do, don’t incur the misfortune of getting caught.
So let’s see how long we can make this list. Give this post some love on Digg, and on Reddit. Poke around on the Interwebs and add more entries in the comments. If you qualify, add your own name—or at least what you do. I only ask that you not add the names of people other than yourself without documentation.
Have at it.