June 18th, 2009
02:26 PM ET

Legalize pot? Why not legalize being a loser?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/18/art.pot.drew.house.jpg caption="An unsuspecting house, from the outside, but inside it's home to 42 marijuana plants."]

Drew Griffin
CNN Special Investigations Unit

If you just drove by this house, you would never know what’s inside that walled off garage. But under a stifling Florida sun, the garage is a cool 70 degrees, a constant flow of cool, nutrient-rich water flowing throughout the floor, and illuminated by golden glowing lamps whose radiance bounces off reflective aluminum walls. It is all designed to provide maximum growing potential for the 42 mature marijuana plants evenly spaced in this factory of pot.

After seeing this, my initial reaction is that the fight to eradicate marijuana in this country is hopeless. But does that mean we should give up and legalize pot?

For two weeks, knowing I was assigned to this story, I have been asking that question to the many prosecutors, DEA agents and police I’ve encountered. The overwhelming answer is no. There is no doubt, in the minds of these people who come in contact with users, growers, smugglers and junkies, that marijuana use is terrible for the individuals who engage in it. It is not just a pathway to stronger drugs; it is, in and of itself, a recipe for losers. People who call themselves ‘casual users,’ in the minds of law enforcement, are deluding themselves into believing they are not affected by this drug. They compare it to the drunk who believes he can actually drive better with a few drinks inside.

The bigger question is how to stop marijuana use. The DEA agents who raided this home, could raid similar homes everyday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and still the marijuana would grow. Which is why there may need to be a huge strategic change in our so-called drug war. Anti-smoking campaigns work for tobacco. Why won’t they work for marijuana?

That should really be the focus of our efforts. We shouldn’t be laughing at the lame jokes from comedians talking about harmless weed; we shouldn’t allow rappers to glorify the wonders of living high. If nothing else, we should be telling our children that no matter what it is, putting smoke into your lungs is unhealthy, uncool and in the case of pot, a first step towards a life of a loser.

OK all you pot heads, let me hear it!

Filed under: 360° Radar • Drew Griffin
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Joe

    I don't think pot is for losers. The guys who introduced me to it in my prep school were all 4.0 GPA, on Varsity teams, and all went to college. Hmmm, maybe they're losers now.
    Has anyone ever died from an OD on pot? Has anyone ever assaulted a cop while stoned?
    I bet more people who drank milk and ate white bread went on to harder drugs.
    Besides, how romantic is beer anyway?

    June 19, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  2. Ty

    Is it really that hard for people to understand and realize that there ARE hard working, tax paying, responsible marijuana users that indulge in a puff or two in the privacy of their own home after a long day of work instead of an alcoholic beverage? The reason non-pot smokers think marijuana users are "losers" is because of their perception of the one's that are more apt to be open about their use. (i.e. hippies, punks, law breakers, criminals, etc.). Those people have much less to lose and are more rebellious to begin with. I bet all of you who are so against marijuana would be SHOCKED to find many people you know actually indulge in a puff or two every so often. You wouldn't know it because these people may even "pretend" to be against its use because they are successful "law abiding" citizens such as lawyers, bankers, teachers, IT personnel, judges, cops, etc. You can relate this to gays and lesbians about being "in" or "out" of the closet. Once marijuana becomes legalized you will undoubtedly see many professionals creep out of the wood work and "out" of the closet and declare their marijuana use once they have no fear of being prosecuted by the law and prosecuted socially by people like you who label them as "losers!!!"

    June 19, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  3. matthew

    It is about passing judgement and relegating your negativity onto another group. This is discrimination. God's gift to life is freedom. We should educate and work to find more healthy ways to live. But can we play gods and take control of others' lives in order to Order others as to the Right way to live. That is not democracy or justice. You utopian idiots think that there is only one way to righteousness. And yet you fail to find happiness because of OTHERS. That's right, it's all THEIR fault. How about working on being an advocate for truth. Allowing others to find for themselves, and being a responsible teacher and student of the world of LOVE!

    June 19, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  4. Jonathan

    You are focusing on the wrong aspect of the issue. The criminal side of the marijuana debate incorrectly skews the public's view of the cannabis community. Simple users are not violent menaces to society. I will concede that many cannabis users partake too often. However, millions of people use cannabis in a responsible manner. Unlike an alcoholic, a marijuana user can function while "high". In addition, it is utterly impossible to create an anti-marijuana campaign to eradicate usage. The citizens of this country are becoming educated on the marijuana issue. AnsIinger style propaganda is not effective anymore. Accept the fact that cannabis culture is a relevant and powerful demographic force in this country. Remember the words of Dylan."..the order is rapidly fadin' and the first one now will later be last for the times they are a-changin"

    June 19, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  5. kayla

    i hate when people call it a gate way drug.....prescription pills are the gateway drug they are the most abused drug out there..i work in a doctors office and ive seen people on theres knees begging the doctor for pain medication..those dope and opiod users are the losers...also how many times have u seen drunk idiots try fighting anyone for no reason...just becaues they are drunk...all the time....how many times have u seen that with pot smokers NEVER pot makes u relaxed and peaceful in the mind and to others...dont drop bombs smoke bongs....

    June 19, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  6. Paul

    Wow Cnn........ you allow straight name calling? Laughable.........

    Marijuana makes you no more of a loser than than going out to the bar.
    IMO in makes you less of a loser as i can't stand to be around drunks.
    Legalize It Tax It & Let us stoners live peacefully lives amongst you.

    June 19, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  7. JP

    Oof! Had to recheck my address bar and make sure this wasn't foxnews.com. Way to go Mr. O'Reilly,er, I mean Griffin.

    June 19, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  8. Cy Quick

    John is correct. Drinking, smoking, sodomy, abortions, pornography, prostitution... all these loser habits are made worse by blanket prohibition.

    I care zero about the health of adult losers who abuse their bodies with junk. Why should I?

    I DO care a bit about the destruction of Western Democracy as Prohibition enables great wealth acquisition for violent criminals.

    Our authorities are corrupted. Our housing estates are taken over by violent thugs. And our kids are recruited to addiction by intimidation at school and on the streets because prohibition has made it hyper-profitable.

    Before, we had a molehill. Since the rule of the fool gave us Prohibition, we have a mountain range.

    June 19, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  9. Mike S. - NJ

    Spend time and educate yourself. Not with the rhetoric that is being spewed by an anti-marijuana government, but by scientific facts. Marijuana is no more damaging to your health than tobacco. It is no more damaging to your senses than alcohol. So why is it illegal? The simple answer is, "because it always has been," eventhough that isn't true. I dont have 3 hours to sit here and type about the war on drugs and how it began. But please, everyone, please educate yourself. Search for your own answers. The beauty of our government is that we have the right to question it. It is our duty to question it. This country was built on the fact that people disagreed with a government and laid the grondwork for a nation of the people.

    June 19, 2009 at 9:26 am |
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