John Hardin / @ 6:48 a.m. / Op-Ed

HARDIN: Making Pun of Pot


I’m sick of news stories about marijuana where the whole story seems written around puns about getting high. Aren’t you? I thought legalization would put an end to that shit, but no. Just the other day I heard this on the radio:

“The recently passed initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana seems likely to spark up a controversy with law enforcement as the buzz created by Proposition 64 leaves county and state officials dazed and confused.”

Why do they do that? Why can’t they report a story about marijuana without somehow inserting their derogatory stereotype of stoner slang? What if they covered other news stories that way?

“The cops took a shot in the dark, and another unarmed African-American man died at the hands of police last night. Officers raced to the scene of a suspicious character complaint, where 27-year-old Leroy Jackson was gunned down on sight. The complexion of this case mirrors a string of recent police shootings which Chief Clinton Swinehart insists were ‘unfortunate but necessary.’”

Or how about:

“The Dow went poo today, losing over 200 points in an across-the-board sell-off.”

Or maybe:

“The president stood erect at the lectern and delivered the hard truth to the American people.”

Do we need that? Do we need a subtext of juvenile wordplay to distract us from the news? If they don’t do it on other stories, then why do it in stories about marijuana? Do writers and editors really think that stories about marijuana are so insignificant that it is OK to subvert them just to show off how clever they can be with words?

Just wait. When the Trump administration starts executing journalists, us pot smokers will have our revenge. “Well, we can write him off!” or “Hey, it looks like they strung-up another stringer,” we’ll say to each other with a chuckle, between tokes, huddled in our darkened basements, while we wait for the radiation to clear.

Close to a million people get arrested for marijuana every year in the US. Almost a million people are still in prison for for it right now. Even in California, it’s still legal to discriminate against pot smokers, and to drug test employees for cannabis. Workman’s Comp claims still require a drug test, at the time of the injury, and testing positive for marijuana will disqualify you, even though the test does not, in any way, indicate impairment.

The War on Drugs is serious shit. It’s no joke. It kills people and it destroys people’s live. How do they not see that? How do they not see the violence? How do they not see the racism? How do they not see the oppression, but never miss an opportunity to roll in some half-baked puns about stoners getting high. I think it’s about time those reporters opened their eyes and took a proper gander at what they’ve become, because it isn’t pretty.

###

John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.


SHARE →

  (WHAT?)
CHOOSE YOUR COMMENT EXPERIENCE

© 2017 Lost Coast Communications Contact: news@lostcoastoutpost.com.