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    Posted December 28, 2013 by
    Boston, Massachusetts
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Does marijuana help you?

    Ivory Tower in the (Smoke) Clouds


    I have always found it interesting to see what the experts in any given field do. For example, do ophthalmologists get lasik or do ENTs remove the tonsils of their children? I personally feel that their actions speak louder than their own recommendations. Along a similar line of thought, I have noticed an interesting trend in the actions and conspicuously rarely voiced opinions of some of our brightest minds when it comes to smoking pot.


    After attending college at a school that has been called a party school - where excessive drinking, drugs and all around poor behavior were not uncommon - I was surprised to find it was not the place I would encounter pot most frequently in my life. When I accepted my offer for a doctoral program in a top tier academic institution, I thought for sure I would see a different crowd in my classes. I expected to see students who spent all of their time studying and working long hours.


    Instead, I found myself right smack in the middle of a group of work hard party hard intellectuals. And guess who was smoking pot? Most of them. Plenty of postdocs and a few faculty would even admit to a preference for the green stuff. What kind of alternate universe had I found where the quality of the pot was far superior of any that I had seen before and coming from people who could well make life altering medical or scientific discoveries during their careers? Apparently, a common but secretive one. Visits to friends at other top tier schools showed me that the phenomenon was not unique.


    So most people who never come into contact with pot only know of it what they get from the media and the few wary trailblazers who did not fear ruining their reputation by proclaiming their love for this plant. Would this have changed faster if more people who pursue the highest degrees and go on to lead careers in highly complex and technical fields had spoken out about their experiences? Perhaps, but who among them would have had the guts to stand alone? Very few, it would seem.


    As for the original question - would I buy retail pot? Personally no (I am partial to a glass or four of wine). But do I think it should be legal? Absolutely. What exactly is it that people are so afraid of? That children won't have to come into contact with a shady dealer (in possession of far worse drugs) just to get high? That no one can have a successful career if they indulge in a little herbal relaxation? Right, because that totally makes sense. It probably has nothing to do with all the groups who profit from its illegal status. Our governing policies have never been so blatantly influenced by the rich minority, why would that possibly be the case now?

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