Marijuana legalization: The elites versus the masses

So, like children out of wedlock, this becomes another example of how something that works well for elites can simultaneously become a disaster for the underclass. Middle/lower-class employees in America need the energy and drive to show up at miserable jobs and work long hours for meager wages. That’s something you get from caffeine or nicotine, not from THC. If they mellow themselves out, they become the proverbial pot-smoking ex-roommate on the couch who never holds the same job for more than a couple months, due to apathy and disinterest. So successful members of the working-class are disproportionately not pot-users, and perceive unsuccessful pot-smoking members of their circle of friends and family leeching off them. This is a totally different set of immediate social references than those urban elites ever get to experience.

Successful poor people in America self-medicate with coffee and tobacco, because it gets them out the door in the morning. Successful rich people in America self-medicate with marijuana, because it buffers them from stress-related mental illnesses that involve working 80 hours a week. But each class, if put on the other’s drug, would only self-destruct that much more rapidly.

Opponents of marijuana among the elites are those who have maintained enough contact with Middle America — David “Bobos in Paradise” Brooks has this all over his resume! — to realize that the experiences of elite urban Americans can’t be extended to all America without catalyzing a crisis of stoner lethargy.