This will become more of an issue in coming years as Prohibition falls around the country: Why is it that people who would howl in protest if anyone lit a cigarette within half a mile of them think it’s just fine to smoke pot anytime and anywhere?
I support reform of drug laws. I’m pretty much in favor of decriminalization, legalization, or whatever is appropriate as long as the process recognizes two things: (1) that marijuana is an intoxicating substance that affects things like driving, work, parenting, etc.; and (2) that smoking marijuana is still smoking and should be just as unacceptable in public or other smoke-free spaces as smoking cigarettes would be.
For reference. those of us who don’t do either–while we very well may support drug law reform–would prefer not to be personally exposed to whichever burning substance you’re inhaling today. That’s pretty much the definition of a smoke-free environment. (And yes, at this point I acknowledge that I smoked cigarettes for years and was less than discriminating about where I did so, something for which I am now incredibly sorry.)
I think that’s one of the things that has irritated me so much over the years about marijuana advocates: the smug self-righteousness–especially common in Northern California, where this first became an issue for me and where smug self-righteousness is nearly ubiquitous–that suggests that just because marijuana has been unjustly penalized for years it should now be smoked by everyone, everywhere, whenever the spirit moves. Marijuana is not the “salvation of the world.” It’s just another recreational drug that may or may not have some health benefits for a small percentage of the population and should probably be legal. It’s also one that produces a foul-smelling and harmful cloud of smoke just like cigarettes do when ingested in certain ways.