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Native Writes: Cats and cannabis

Posted: Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The tune, “Kitten on the Keys,” was cute. I loved and still do, but a kitten on the computer keyboard is another story.

As I write this, “Zorro” is preening himself as he waits to see if the keyboard will do anything he can chase, play with or eat. Sorry, kitty, not today.

Last night, I decided to watch my old fave soap operas on Hulu, which is bringing back versions of “All My Children” and “One Life To Live.”

My mental jury is still out on them, but I will need to watch when kitty, kitty, Zorro isn’t in the room.

I read a recent pseudo news story about cats becoming sickened after eating pot-laced brownies. I already know that chocolate isn’t good for cats or dogs and I won’t ruin it with green, leafy substances. Anyway, I hide my chocolate. Zorro is safe.

However, something strange is afoot, now that the voters in Colorado have approved recreational marijuana. All of a sudden, the substance has become big scientific news.

I first experienced pot at a collegiate party, almost coughed my lungs out and decided it wasn’t for me. I think the decision to use or not to use should legally be left up to the individual, and I am equally sure many people, when using it legally, rather than as a clandestine thrill, will not really want to continue.

However, we need to remember that the voters have spoken. It’s legal, make it available and tax it. It will no longer be a forbidden luxury and the tide will turn, as it did when prohibition was overturned. The people most opposed to it are not interested in that concept.

When prohibition was in full force, every town had a couple of “speak easies” which would admit people if they could prove they weren’t Elliott Ness, and booze was big business. Bootleggers became filthy rich and Joe Kennedy, patriarch of the famed clan, discovered that the lower income folks were smoking “reefers” to get high instead of buying his bootleg gin.

His lobbying efforts worked and Congress declared marijuana and attached products illegal.

This affected hemp, which was an easy-to-grow, multi-purpose cousin of the marijuana plant and, as night followed day, it was made illegal. The people pushing for that action obviously never tried to smoke a segment of rope. There is a huge difference.

When we had to wear gunny sacks to school during the days when hazing was legal, no one mentioned smoking them, we wanted to throw them away.

Now, with Colorado and Oregon taking the vanguard of legalization in the pot arena, will growing hemp be included?

A nice, small gunnysack that would cover all but my kitten’s head would certainly be a blessing as Zorro paws at the computer screen, wondering why he can’t catch the moving cursor and type.

Soap operas are coming back because people have begged for them, and marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but the feds still have laws against it and local governments are insecure about it. Most of the states are sharing a dilemma as they ponder legalization, while others have taken a bold step forward to listen to the will of the people.

The will of the people, an interesting concept, but isn’t that what the United States is all about? Can we have at least some control of our own lives?

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