Once again, Discovery Channel Weed Wars star and Harborside CEO Steven DeAngelo was interviewed on a cable news channel. This time it’s not MSNBC or FOX where DeAngelo is dismissing recreational marijuana smokers, it’s CNN.
DeANGELO: As for recreation, I don’t believe that very many people really, truly use cannabis for recreation — or anybody, really. What is recreation? Recreation is not something you can smoke or something you can swallow or something you can rub on your skin. It’s not a commodity. It’s an experience.
I see. So when I’m loading this bowl, bringing it to my lips, lighting it and inhaling the smoke, and experiencing the high that follows… that’s a commodity?
Bill Clinton just called. He wants his dictionary back. By these definitions of “recreation”, people selling “recreational vehicles” are really just selling “vehicles” (a commodity) that don’t become “RVs” until someone drives them and experiences the “recreation” of camping. What a bunch of malarkey! So, Steve, this bud in my hand is just a commodity that you sold $20,000,000 worth last year and when I smoke it just for the hell of it, I’m not using it recreationally (an experience), I’m using it medically (an experience). When I toke because I’m struggling to write another way to impugn this stupid “there is no recreational use” mantra, I’m using it medically, just like my friend with Crohn’s who will waste away and die without it. The college kid at the Cypress Hill concert who has a recommendation for insomnia puffing away in the daytime in the “medication area”, I guess he’s using it medically so he can get a good nap in the mosh pit.
This dismissal of recreational use is just a continuation of DeAngelo’s “All Use is Wellness” campaign that seeks to fool the federal government into dismissing IRS 280-E claims against his business. The only hope he has is that the public perception of Harborside is one of a completely legit medical cannabis distributor only providing medicine to sick people. If anyone suspects that a reasonably healthy person might be accessing Harborside meds just to enjoy themselves – in other words, recreationally – then selling the “why is Uncle Sam using drug dealer laws against medicine suppliers?” argument is a harder sell.
And pardon me for saying so, but we lose credibility points for both medical marijuana and legalization every time the skeptical, judgmental public sees the guy in pony tails and his hirsute tie-dyed dress-wearing male business partner on TV claiming the obvious recreational pot smoking running in the segment’s introduction is “wellness”. There is medical use of marijuana; the cases are too numerous and obvious for the public to ignore. But there is recreational use of marijuana, also with numerous and obvious examples for the public. The more you try to tell the public to disbelieve their own two eyes and call recreational use “medical”, the more they think the “medical” thing is a ruse just to bring about recreational use.
In other words, you’re not bringing people closer to legalization by conflating recreational with medical use; you’re driving them further away from acceptance of medical use! (See: South Dakota 2006 & 2010, Oregon 2004 & 2010, no home grow medmj laws in NJ, DC, DE, AZ, and the 2011 CBS News Poll where 52% believe medical marijuana is being used “for other purposes”.)
Let’s just be honest. We smoke pot and we like it a lot. It is none of the government’s business or concern, no matter why we choose to use. We deserve as much respect as beer drinkers and cigarette smokers. ”All Use is Nunya”.