A reader writes:
I wanted to correct a minor but persistent notion about cannabis, one perpetuated by your reader who says it "induces passivity." Many think that there's just one type of psychoactive cannabis. In reality there are two - Sativa and Indica - and hundreds if not thousands of hybrids between the two.
Indica-dominants increase appetite, create a pleasant body buzz, induce sleep/couch-lock, ease pain, etc. Sativa-dominants produce few or none of these effects - instead, they are stimulating, neither increase nor decrease appetite, and produce a creative head high. Most "weed" in the United States is Indica-dominant and it'll probably stay that way (if for no other reason than that Indicas grow faster).
However, what's easier to sell to a politician: a substance that makes people eat a lot and sleep on the couch or one that induces them to do a lot of creative (if odd) intellectual, productive work? Sell them on the 30 year old Scotch of the cannabis world (good Sativas) while what they stereotype is malt liquor (low quality Indicas) and what remains most common is beer (good Indicas). It's not that beer is inferior to Scotch - it's just a matter of taste - but I bet there are Senators who drink Scotch by the bottle but would never touch a Budweiser. Sell them on the Scotch, but in the process make it all legal.