America’s gone to pot

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve always been more a states’ rights guy and a freedom lover, so I may not grow pot myself, but the idea of pot is growing on me.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
I have been told I have an old soul on more than one occasion. I’d like to think that’s because I am wise beyond my years and not because I smell funny and like to watch Matlock. Either way, I am at a loss for what happened in America this election.

First off, physician-assisted suicide passed in Massachusetts. Back in my day, and on more than one episode of “Law & Order,” that seemed to be frowned upon. I think we can all agree that death is one of the hardest things to deal with, whether it be the loss of a loved one, dealing with a terminal diagnoses for oneself or just the thought of dealing with one’s own mortality.

My problems stem from issues of consistency. From the party OK with terminating the life of a fetus and ending one’s own life, why is the death penalty so insidious? I am much closer to saying no to legalized death than having so many varying degrees of which type of death is allowed.

Next up is gay marriage. I have a gay brother and a gay uncle. Needless to say, this has been a difficult topic to discuss at Thanksgiving dinner. I feel that the government should stay out of it altogether and let us live our lives. That being said, I don’t think the government should be allowed to force religions to perform those ceremonies if the religions feel it goes against their beliefs.

While legalizing gay marriage is not necessarily forcing religions to participate, it’s not far off to say that could happen, especially if it’s not done right the first time. Maine, Maryland and Washington state legalized it outright while Minnesota voted down a ban on same sex marriage, but it is still illegal.

My amazing opinions editor Cameron likes to stop me dead in my tracks and throw the slippery slope argument at me when I say things like this. But sometimes the slope isn’t slippery — it’s just one small step at a time.

Now for the college kid’s dream: legalized pot. Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of wacky weed while four other states legalized it for medicinal use. I’m really torn on this one. I have never smoked pot and I don’t plan to at any point, but I don’t see it being any worse than alcohol.

I’ve never drank, either, but I don’t pretend that I know what’s best for everyone else and I don’t believe you are going to hell if you have a glass of wine at dinner. Prohibition didn’t seem to go all that well, and the war on drugs is killing more people than the drugs themselves, so I’m having a hard time saying that abstinence is the only policy.

Not to mention the tax revenue that could be used to help provide a bigger shovel for states to dig themselves out of the financial hole we all find ourselves in. I’ve always been more a states’ rights guy and a freedom lover, so I may not grow pot myself, but the idea of pot is growing on me.

Everything I thought would never happen seems to be happening whether I’m on board or not. All of a sudden, I know what it’s like to be my grandpa talking about railroads and television. Believe it or not, there were some that said this whole Internet thing was a fad and there was no way to make money using it.

I have been totally immersed in politics and have been convinced that Americans were a conservative people at heart. Now it appears we want to abort life before it begins, get stoned while we are alive and then pull the plug when we can’t take it anymore.

As long as Uncle Sam puts a little something in your outstretched hand, I guess having just enough to exist seems to be enough for most people. I think our country has reached a tipping point. There are now more people who would rather take what’s given to them than to go out and make a name of their own.

I may be old fashioned, but I still feel that hard work will pay off in the end, and effort — not attendance — should be rewarded. But when you really break it down, old people and pot-heads aren’t that different. One smells like Icy Hot, sucks on hard candies and watches a lot of daytime TV, while the other smells like Doritos, sucks on a joint and watches a lot of daytime TV.

Maybe it’s just time for this old fuddy-duddy to get with the times. I hear there is this new fangled thing called … hang on one second, it’ll come to me. Twit or tweet something-or-other.

Jonathan Boldt is the Editor-in-Chief of the UVU Review at Utah Valley University, and can be reached at jonbol[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jboldt24.

12 thoughts on “America’s gone to pot

  1. Your opinions editor is right. There is a massive divide between state governments recognizing gay couples as married and the government forcing religions to marry same-sex couples. The slope is not slippery here; you’ve fallen off of a cliff. The wonderful principle of separation and church and state, an absolutely vital part of our nation, would never allow for such a thing as the government forcing a Southern Baptist preacher to marry two men.
    We must admit that many who oppose gay marriage believe that it is morally wrong because of their religious beliefs. However, the U.S. is not a religion, it is a nation. Proponents of gay marriage see it as a recognition of the legal – NOT religious – equality of gay and straight couples. How many gay people do you know who’d like to be married by a religion that condemns them for their sexuality, anyway?

  2. It is a completely pragmatic economic measure to have physician-assisted suicide and abortion, and also to ban the death penalty.
    The cost the government has to bear of millions in legal fees for appeals to the death penalty far exceed the cost of keeping a prisoner locked up for life.
    The cost of end-of-life care in the last year and month of life is extreme compared to other years. 5% of Medicare patients dying per year account for 30% of the expenditures, with 78% of those costs in the last month of life. Personally I’m perfectly happy with pulling the plug on myself to not have an expensive and pointless month of excruciating pain in a hospital as my last moments. I don’t understand how religious people urge so greatly to artificially prolong the worst moments of life and why it is so urgent if they are going to heaven in any case.

  3. Regarding abortion, the fetus has not achieved the cognitive status of personhood and to be consistent you would also have to ban killing animals for any purpose, since their cognitive state and capacity to feel pain is greater than that of fetuses. You cannot reduce the number of people wanting abortions just by banning it, you’ll just send the behavior underground as in Islamic states, and these non-professional attempts or suicides due to the cultural shaming (due to religion) costs thousands of lives (real lives of people our society has paid more than 1/5 million to raise to the age of 18, not mere potential lives). Crime rates have decreased in the United States since the 1990s due to legalized abortion. If you still believe in banning it, I applaud you for your moral uprightness so kids to be raised in broken homes, live such meaningful lives in slums and poverty,

  4. and become criminals and drug lords. Thanks, religious opinions. Those little spirits in the pre-existence really would have wanted that life. Hmm life of criminal goes to telestial kingdom, aborted fetus goes to celestial. You should be jumping for joy over abortions if you want to be theologically consistent.
    You say you’re closer to banning all death, but apparently you prefer inconsistency regarding the death penalty since you’re Mormon. It is a view supported by scripture, that the blood of the criminal atones for himself since the crime of shedding innocent blood is so heinous that Christ cannot atone for him. You believe blood is some sort of magic justice potion, just as ridiculous Jehovah’s Witnesses ban on transfusions. Let me utter some magic words that require a similar penalty of eternal torment according to your belief: “I deny the Holy Spirit.”

  5. I almost laughed out loud when I read that first comment. Really? Cause the Review is a joke this year. It’s like a bad compilation of English 1010 essays.

  6. I couldn’t find any English dictionary which has the plural as ‘feti’. Are you using Cambridge Latin Course or Ecce Romani?

  7. I am soooo disappointed by this article. First, it’s pretty negligent to address so many issues in so few words. There’s little relevance between marijuana and euthanasia and abortion and to address them at the same time is actually pretty offensive because they aren’t issues that are connected in any real way. I am so sad about this paper and these kinds of letters that John feels are okay to make public. Having a gay brother and a gay uncle is something that you use as a kind of disclaimer and it’s not only offensive and really really over done but you’re not getting away with what you’re actually saying… And if you’ve never smoked pot, why do you have an opinion about it? It’s not even an educated guess. And I don’t understand how you believe it’s appropriate to juxtopose the marijuana issue with abortion and gay rights issue.

  8. I’m so glad that I’m out of Provo and Orem. Because a lot people don’t know how to think there. And what sucks is that they still write so much. It’s all very sad actually.

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