Source: The Independent


by Jerry Della Femina

December 12, 2012

It’s coming and no one – not even the federal government – can stop it.

In our lifetime, marijuana, aka grass, weed, pot, reefer, dope, ganja, Mary Jane, herb, whatever you call it, will be legalized.

Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana will be decriminalized. As of today, marijuana is legal in Colorado. Yes, you can smoke a joint in public in Colorado, which gives new meaning to the song “Rocky Mountain High.”

As of now, 18 states (including New Jersey) plus Washington D.C. have already enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana. And that’s good.

In the case of New Jersey this might pose a problem because if Jersey’s wonderful governor, the brilliant, tragically overweight Chris Christie, ever takes a toke of grass he will get the out-of-control “fat man munchies” and wind up eating Trenton.

Over the years pot has been the source of so much lying and denying.

For example, in a survey a few years ago, just one-third of adult Americans said they had smoked pot. This leads me to believe that all but a small number of the two-thirds who said they have never smoked pot in their lives were lying either to themselves or to us.

I say 98 percent of those of you reading this column right now have tried it at least once. Did I say 98 percent? I meant 99.5 percent.

New York Mayors Bloomberg and Koch admitted they smoked grass.

I will bet every one of the Supreme Court justices have smoked pot at one point in their lifetime. Although the thought of seeing Ruth Bader Ginsberg stoned makes me nauseous.

What’s more, our last three presidents smoked pot. President Clinton (he lied and said he didn’t inhale) smoked grass.

President George W. Bush (he wouldn’t talk about it but his drug use was legendary when he attended Yale).

President Barry Obama smoked grass and that didn’t hurt him, did it? (tee hee!)

The fact is, if you were alive in 1960s and ‘70s and ‘80s, you smoked. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t experiment with pot at least once. You couldn’t walk a single New York City street in the summer without getting a whiff of the sweet pungent smell of the cannabis weed.

Pot smokers in those days, for the most part, were a docile, giddy, rock ‘n roll-loving, happy-go-lucky lot who only posed a danger to the ingredients of their refrigerators when they were seized with an attack of the munchies.

It was a wonderful time. When I think of those days I think of the words of the song, “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end.”

Sadly, they ended. As the years went on, those long-haired pony-tailed kids with dilated pupils cut their hair, cleaned up their act, and became corporate leaders, Supreme Court justices, presidents, generals, doctors, priests, teachers, community leaders etc., etc. Perhaps smoking dope had indeed robbed them of their memory, as they had been warned would happen by those older generation folks who only got their kicks from booze – because no sooner had many of these confirmed pot smokers quit smoking than they joined the establishment and immediately denied ever taking a toke and set out to make life miserable for anyone caught with a joint.

One thing we must do once marijuana is legalized in this country is to expunge the records of all those who, in the past, were caught smoking a joint on the street and prosecuted.

They harmed no one.

Sadly, at one point, nearly a thousand people a week in the United States were being arrested, doing jail time, winding up with a record, losing out on college scholarships, and getting kicked out of schools for doing what those who were prosecuting them did when they were young.

When marijuana becomes legal it’s important that parents talk to their children about the drug. Talk to them the same way you should talk to them about liquor and cigarettes, which, in the long run, are far more dangerous than grass will ever be. Don’t wait to talk about it until your kids are 15 or 16 years old because the chances are, by that time, they have already experimented with grass and your input will be wasted.

There is one part of the marijuana controversy that still enrages me. It is clear that marijuana can be of great help to those poor souls suffering from cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. Cannabis helps them deal with the nausea and horrible sickness that is part of the treatment.

Withholding marijuana from these people for so many years is the real crime. Those holier-than-thou people who constantly refused to allow timid politicians to legalize marijuana for medical use should, frankly, burn in hell.

A few years ago my late friend Joel Siegel was stricken with colon cancer and took his first chemo treatment. He called me and told me he had never felt so sick in his entire life. He said he heard that marijuana could ease his suffering. Could I find some? I told him I would make some calls. A few hours later I showed up at his door with five joints. I rang the bell. He answered the door. I held out the five joints in my hands and said, “The first five are free but then when you become a wild-eyed drooling addict, I’m going to charge you big money.”

We both laughed. He later told me he took three puffs and he realized he would be able to bear the ordeal.

Marijuana will soon be legal for all. It’s about time.

If you wish to comment on “Jerry’s Ink” please send your message to