A reader writes:
These reader emails really hit a chord with me. I too am a member of the closet. My husband and I often muse, while smoking pot, that the only thing we are doing wrong is breaking the law. If that is the only wrong you are committing it seems clear that it's not your behavior that needs to be re-evaluated, but the law itself. I have been slowly coming out of the pot closet over the past few years and it has been a nice surprise to see how many people give that knowing little smile and say, "me too".
I'm 41 years old and a contract manager with a government agency. Treasurer for the PTA. Father of two active boys. The funny thing is, I am only in the closet professionally and where the parenting thing makes it an issue. Most of my friends, who are also professionals, are in the same position as me. We work hard, handle our business, and see no logical reason why this particular drug should be not just illegal, but as heavily stigmatized as it currently is.
I’m a middle-aged woman, college educated and married over 20 years to a public servant (who doesn’t indulge) and we have two teenage kids. I volunteer for a host of community organizations, attend lots of local youth athletic events, and by all accounts I’m an engaged community member.
By day I run a local non-profit, but on the occasional Friday night after a long and tiresome work week, and only when the kids aren’t home, I go in the bathroom, open the window a crack, and mom lights up a little pink, sparkly pipe and smokes the ganj, falling into the most blissful, relaxed state ever.
I'm 68.4 years old, and I'm in the MaryJane closet too. If I got busted, I'd lose a lot. Michigan has medical marijuana now, and I have some minor medical things that might qualify: migraines, for instance. But I don't just need it, I LIKE it, and it seems harmless enough. It even revs up my libido.
All of your recent postings on marijuana have inspired me to write a research paper for my college English class on why marijuana should be legalized. BTW - I'm 33, I've never used drugs, and I don't drink either. (Aside from only had two sips of beer in high school.) I have been high though many times when I was a kid; a very weird side affect of asthma medication.
I am a 25 year old married man, college graduate, eventual grad school student. Got a good/stable job working with my father, active in my Church and all around nice guy. I also enjoy marijuana in moderation. It does not make me lazy. I do not have to have it. I only do it on one or two nights a week. But I enjoy it. It makes the nights I do it all the more enjoyable. It adds zest to life. I am a lover of film and music and it makes my viewing/listening all the more life affirming.
At first I kept it on the hush. But I am becoming more outspoken about my use of it. I have the luxury of not being drug tested so I figure I might as well do my part in chipping away at the stereotypes cast upon marijuana users.
I fear it's a losing battle. Millions of responsible adults (parents and professionals) smoke, but we can't admit it even to one another. We play the game of telling our kids that "drugs are bad," meanwhile we've got a stash out in the garage that we move around to a different hiding place every week or so.
And Obama plays the same game. "Weed is bad. I did it before, but I was young and stupid and without direction. Now I'm smart and enlightened and have realized the error of my ways." Far as we know, he's down in the White House basement at night, getting high with Reggie Love and playing video games. White House cocktail parties; no problem. Just don't say you like to get high. On this issue, unfortunately, Obama shows no spine.
The problem Obama, or any politician, has with this issue is trying to decipher the mixed messages they get from us. The crowd behind Obama at his town hall meeting laughed and smiled at his nod/wink opening comments about legalization. But that same crowd applauded enthusiastically when he said that he was not going to even consider it.
I agree that pot heads need to "come out of the closet" if real marijuana law reform is ever going to happen. As it is, I live in Massachusetts where we just passed a law decriminalizing up to one ounce of pot. Now, not only can I smoke pot without fear of incarceration -- it has also allowed me to "come out" publicly as a smoker. When I go out for drink with co-workers and they comment on my lack of drinks, I simply say that I prefer marijuana because it's less debilitating (at least for me). This still takes people aback a bit, but they'll get used to it. It's been incredibly liberating.
(Photo: from CNBC's marijuana gallery here.)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.