Had wondered why so many within my cohort lost so much ambition in the 1970s. Started floating along, and floating away.
Came across 2001 article by Filip Palda, “Toke up, and dumb down“, from the National Post, August 23,2001, p. A14. Article currently found on a marijuana discussion site, “Grasscity Forums” (“Log in or Sign up now and be part of the biggest online stoners community with more than 550.000 members.”). Some of what he said:
Marijuana is not legal because for most users it is a drug with one function: Marijuana stupefies its user so that the man who once shone in conversation becomes under its influence a dullard who unsettles family and friends with inanities and disconnected thoughts. Put differently, marijuana is a uniphasic drug whose effect is to scramble the mind.
Alcohol and tobacco are deadlier drugs than marijuana, but they belong to the biphasic class of drugs. Tobacco can stupefy, and also uplift. Alcohol in moderate doses gives its user energy and allows him to talk and act with verve…
… unease about a drug whose central function is to increase chaos in the mind. This distaste for stupefying drugs goes back to Homer who wrote the cautionary tale of Odysseus rescuing his men from the eternal rave party of the lotus eaters.
University of Chicago psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi has devoted his career to studying mental chaos and the activities that enhance or diminish it. …he found that people felt a special lift when they were tackling a challenging problem which could be broken down into manageable steps, each of which, once climbed, gave the individual a sense of pride and pleasure.
Whether studying top executives and artists, or factory workers and goatherds, Csikszentmihalyi found that all felt time was standing still and that depression and listlessness, which are signs of mental chaos, were absent…
…Csikszentmihalyi called the feeling such people experience “flow” and theorized that flow banishes the state of entropy into which unoccupied spirits tend to fall.
Marijuana inhibits flow by robbing its users of the ability and desire to concentrate. Nothing productive or uplifting comes from its recreational use. Marijuana is neither a demon drug nor a major threat to society, but it remains shady among those who value productive individuals with whom it is a joy to work and live.
What’s your name, Bob?