When I was a kid we smoked corn stalks, drift wood, grapevines and other weird stuff.
Fortunately, none of it was addictive.
It was OK to smell like wood smoke but absolutely not tobacco.
Some years later, in college, I tried to convey the image of an engineer by going around with a slide rule hanging from my belt and sucking on a briar pipe.
My favorite was Cherry Blend, but I didn’t inhale.
My father was from Kentucky, so I learned all about tobacco plantations and barns for drying tobacco.
The working guys used to take a smoke break. Now we mostly do doughnuts.
Times have really changed.
For years now there has been a systematic attack on tobacco smoking.
Increasingly it has been banned from various places until it’s uncommon to see someone smoking tobacco in public.
I don’t remember the last time I saw someone in public with a cigar or pipe.
The government raised the tax on tobacco significantly, citing health costs.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is continually cited to be a terrible health hazard.
I sort of went along with all these concerns, except I never felt comfortable with increasing government intrusion into personal choices and freedom.
If you don’t like secondhand smoke, just get up and leave.
Today, however, it’s a new world that just defies logic.
The same entities that were fighting tobacco are promoting marijuana.
The medicinal value is highly promoted, and I guess the secondhand smoke is almost as good as firsthand smoke.
It seems I remember when cocaine was cited for its medicinal value.
A young lady I know went to the X Games in Aspen. She did the park and ride, and on the way back she was subjected to about a half dozen people on the bus smoking marijuana.
I guess if the driver had gotten high and wrecked the bus they would have all died happy.
Come to think of it, if they were smoking tobacco they would have been kicked off the bus.
Everyone is touting the positives.
People are flocking into the state to take the “marijuana tour” and injecting lots of money into our economy.
Government entities are citing the increased tax revenue.
The media is carrying stories about miraculous medical healings.
Here are some of the things they aren’t telling you.
Municipalities are spending thousands of dollars training police to deal with the anticipated problems such as how to analyze a drugged driver.
How does marijuana affect domestic relations, and how does secondhand smoke in the home affect children?
Well, that will at least give nonusers the advantage.
Another side effect is that crime will increase.
Theft and break-ins will go up because the unemployed will need money to buy the stuff.
Police forces will probably be about doubled to increase patrols and arrests.
Jails and prisons will experience increased demand.
Well, there goes the increased tax return, but think of all the jobs it creates.
Add all that to Obamacare, public land closures, increased debt, increased regulations of all kinds along with one-world government, and freedom will be a myth and a rumor.
Give us freefrom!
“Out On A Limb” appears on the first Tuesday of the month. Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.
Somewhere I read that long-term marijuana smoke permanently reduces the IQ by 9 percent. Well, that will at least give nonusers the advantage.