Just a brief note that this is not about medicinal use of marijuana. I am speaking only to recreational use.

Just Say No.

It was on a banner hanging over the stairs down to my lunchroom in elementary school. It was green with white lettering. From the earliest days of being able to read, this is what I saw. Every day.

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We were lectured on the various drugs we should avoid. Nancy Reagan seemingly went to war with any and all drugs. There was most definitely targeting of certain demographics over others, but at the time I was far too young to understand that.

Every year presented a new orator. A doctor, a former convicted felon, an athlete. Everyone one of them with the same message. Drugs are bad. All drugs. Don't take them or you die. Jenny took drugs. Jenny is dead. Billy Took drugs. Billy is dead. The messaging was clear.

After one such presentation, my third grade class was asked to raise their hand if they would never try drugs or alcohol. Everyone in my class raised their hands like good indoctrinated kids. Everyone but one. Me. I was then put on the spot as to why I didn't raise my hand. I said something about seeing adults around me have the occasional beer and I really didn't see anything wrong with it nor did I feel like swearing this experience off as a 10 year old. The presenter said I would have to learn the hard way.

Fast forward so many years later now. The 80s are gone as is Nancy Reagan. I have to believe that everyone who put their hand in the air that day has probably smoked a little something.

And the guy who didn't raise his hand?

He hasn't. Yep, this long haired rocker guy has never had a "toke" of anything. I mean, even by putting "toke" in quotes, my inexperience toward it is showing.

As I continued to see marijuana legalized in more states in my travels, I have never been tempted. There is still a stigma in my brain to the recreational use of such things. I have turned down weed from 2 different singers for Skid Row, so apparently peer pressure didn't work on me.

I am still a bit shocked when I see parents smoking (not around their kids) because, aren't they supposed to be the responsible ones? And is my perception that smoking is irresponsible completely obsolete? I have no doubt it is. I have no doubt that my ideas toward my own use are dated at best. I do not believe weed kills as the presenters in my school years would have liked me to believe. Nor is this a debate on the moral side of this.

Now this is not about me telling anyone else how to live their life. I just wonder if the taboo wasn't alluring to me, and now with the taboo having been removed I am still not interested, am I indeed the last holdout? I would be curious to know from others why they haven't tried it.

Nancy Reagan, what have you done to me?

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