That's what I've been telling myself, since I saw the front page of the paper the other day, in hopes that I won't go completely apeshit crazy and just move off to a cave in Montana somewhere. You see, believe it or not, I actually like this town in general...regardless of my little hangups and the numerous things I dislike about it.
I didn't much care for the AISD school system when I was enrolled in it so many years ago, and from what I hear, I don't really care too much for it now either. That is, of course, not to say that there aren't many wonderful and caring professional educators working in it. It's just that as a whole, I'd have been better off just staying at home and reading a book. I mean, it's not like most of the people I came in contact with at school taught me anything of value anyway, other than a whole host of reasons to distrust and generally not like those in positions of authority.
And then, there's our wonderful city government. Our current mayor, Patrick Henry, was to the best of my knowledge actually an educator at Angleton High School when I attended there, but I never had the pleasure of being one of his students. His wife, on the other hand, was my English teacher. I can say, without a doubt, that Mrs. Henry was one of the most psychotic women I'd ever met...but that's beside the point.
We have our city council and mayor, responsible for the numerous goings-on of our city government. Namely, their chief responsibilities in these positions appear to be sitting around and tasking other city employees with the job of being busy-bodies on behalf of the City of Angleton. Keep in mind, these are the same people who threatened to steal my car, fine me for having it parked in the private driveway of my own residence, and ALSO charge me the cost of having them steal it! Why, you might ask? Not because my car was a "junker"...there was air in all four tires, it was not rusted, the windows were still intact, et cetera. It was declared a "junker", simply because it did not have a current registration sticker on it.
On top of that, when the city sent someone to photograph it, the asshats (in case you're wondering, that's a slang term for someone with his head up his ass, i.e. "wearing one's ass as a hat") sent someone to photograph my car while I was at work. My elderly grandmother went outside to ask if there was something she could help with, and they wouldn't even acknowledge her presence. Needless to say, I'm not much a fan on people who don't mind their own business.
Regardless of what someone may think about what his neighbors are doing, you didn't buy your neighbor's home when you bought your own. It's none of your damned business, stay in your own yard when you leave the public street!
Ahh, but I digress. What I was getting at, with regard to city government, is the fact that this past week the City of Angleton has passed a city ordinance outlawing the sale, use, and/or possession of "synthetic marijuana". Violating this ordinance subjects the offender to a fine of up to $2,000. Yes, you read that correctly, two thousand dollars.
Before I go further, I would like to stipulate on the record that I do not, in fact, advocate or recommend the smoking of ANY drug...be it marijuana, meth, or Marlboros. Regardless, let's be real about it. If your government can tell you that it has the right to regulate what you may or may not ingest into your own body on the mere basis of what that substance happens to be, is that not saying that you don't actually own yourself? If someone else owns you, what is that called? Oh, yeah...SLAVERY.
Now, everything I've read about this synthetic marijuana essentially breaks down to this. It's supposedly "every bit as dangerous as real marijuana". Wow. Now we have a reason to be frightened, considering how many people have died from marijuana usage! Oh, wait. Nevermind. I almost forgot. Never, in the entire recorded history of mankind, has anyone actually been confirmed to have died from an overdose of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.
Yes, I'm certain that people have been known to crash their cars while driving under its influence, accidentally shoot themselves because they were playing with guns while stoned, et cetera...but I'm certain that's never happened with alcohol, right? Yeah. Right. Interestingly enough, as I type this, I'm drinking a cold beer. It's my second of the evening, purchased at the very same neighborhood corner store that sells this "incense" doused with synthetic cannabinoids that has everyone up in a buzz. I also frequently purchase my Marlboro cigarettes there, too! Take that, you City of Angleton goodie-goodies! Haha!
In researching tonight's post, I did my best to find some sort of actual definitive danger regarding this so-called "fake pot". The closest I came to was a doctor claiming that there had been over 200 instances of people calling poison control centers nationwide, since eighteen months ago...claiming an accelerated heart beat, hallucinations, and feelings of paranoia. Yeah, that sounds like it's every bit as dangerous as the real deal! I bet they giggled a lot, too! But seriously, the population of the United States is over 300 million, not counting illegal Mexicans and the president's aunt.
Let's examine that number very closely. Let's say that only one in a THOUSAND Americans has actually tried this "fake pot". Better yet, let's give 'em the benefit of the doubt, and say it's one in TEN THOUSAND. The population of Angleton, TX is less than 20k, but let's use that as a nice round figure. That's twenty thousand people, and one in ten thousand has purchased this "fake pot"...or, roughly, two people in Angleton. If this ratio were true of the entire United States, that would put the number of people who have actually used this "fake pot" at roughly 30,000 people. Less than 200 people, across the country since this "epidemic" began, have called for assistance from authorities...out of the grossly-underestimated figure of 30,000 people. That's one in every hundred and fifty. You're more likely to find someone deathly allergic to peanuts!
This, of course, assumes that only one in every ten thousand people in America have used this "fake pot". Obviously, the number is much higher...because I doubt that the City of Angleton would consider wasting such time and effort on outlawing something, if only two local idiots were using it. However, when the number of people using this substance goes up, it drastically alters the ratio of people who have used it v. the people who have reported a problem with it.
Now, I must admit, the people calling poison control centers nationwide wasn't the only anecdotal evidence I found while searching for the alleged dangers of "fake pot". Apparently, it also makes you kill yourself. According to the parents of Iowa resident David Rozga, a particular brand of "fake pot" known by the trade name of "K2" was responsible for the young man's suicide, based upon the circumstantial evidence that he shot himself after having smoked it. Interestingly enough, none of his other friends who had been smoking this K2 with him went home and blew their brains out. Oh yeah, they also said that suicide was "out of character" for their son.
When I was that age, three of my classmates had killed themselves. Two by a noose, and one with his daddy's pistol. I know personally that two of them smoked marijuana, but I won't say which ones. I also know only one of them on a more-than-acquaintance level, and I can guarantee you that he had other significant issues in his life. On top of that, I DID attend a public high school...and it felt weird to me, knowing that I was one of the few who received a high school diploma without ever having taken a toke, which should give you an idea of how many of my classmates smoked dope.
So, let's look at the numbers...assuming that the ratio of 1 in 10,000 Americans has used this "fake pot" (which would put the number of citizens of the city of Angleton, TX who have used it at TWO), that gives us a number of thirty thousand. Of those thirty thousand, we have one suicide and less than two hundred distress calls to the authorities. At this number of assumed users, that's (respectively) 1 in 150 with an adverse reaction and 1 in 30,000 that resulted in death.
Yes, by all means, let's go run out and ban it right now! Think of the children!
Well, one thing I can be thankful for with this idiotic nonsense...if THESE DAMNED IDIOTS ON THE ANGLETON CITY COUNCIL are going to ban a plant that could have otherwise been purchased at a gas station and generated tax revenue, on the off chance that someone might kill themselves, maybe they'll leave my pistols and my Judas Priest albums alone!
Then again, maybe that's why they banned it. At a sales tax rate of 8.25 percent, that equates to a dollar and 65 cents for every $20 package sold...which means the city would have to see one thousand two hundred and twelve packages sold before it could generate as much revenue as a fine issued after a single arrest!
After you've read this, simmer on it. As for me, I'm going to go indulge in some more of my "drugs of choice", which happen to be a cold light domestic beer and a couple of Marlboros. Maybe I'll get drunk and forget about the whole thing, if I'm lucky...or maybe I'll just run for city council, and get DRUNK ON POWER OVER THE LIVES OF OTHERS!