John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Fast Times

Posted on December 24, 2012

I just heard that they are opening up a Medical Marijuana “clinic” down the street from our house on Capitol Hill.

I don’t smoke pot and I don’t plan on starting anytime soon.  Never have touched the stuff.

When I was high school, pretty much everybody smoked pot, except for me and a couple of friends.   You could say that we put the “high” in high school.

All of the burn-outs (do they still call them burn-outs these days?) would gather around the biology pond and light up some doobies, along with some cigarettes and who knows what else, in between classes.

None of the burn-outs made it in the top ten percent of the class, so I am guessing that smoking pot between classes is not the greatest way to succeed in school.  But it certainly had a mellowing effect on burn-outs and that wasn’t so bad.

But smoking pot was not just confined to harder-edged kids.  A lot of the jocks toked up too.  I went to school in the late 70’s and early eighties, and attitudes on the drug war were starting the change rapidly.  Keep in mind that the movies back then were cult classics like “Fast Times and Ridgemont High”.    Those movies didn’t just condone pot smoking by teen-agers.  It applauded guys like Jeff Spiccoli, who memorably one said, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.”

I resisted the temptation to smoke pot or cigarettes for that matter.  My folks split up in 7th grade, and I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t go down the drug path, if for any other reason than to be a good role model for my younger brothers.   I also figured that the last thing I needed to do to our family was to get hooked on drugs.

In any event, I don’t begrudge pot-smoking any more than I begrudge cigarette or cigar smoking.  That being said, I don’t particularly like it when my clothes smell like cigarettes or cigars or pot from somebody else’s second-hand smoke.

I used to be against government intrusion into the whole idea of smoking in restaurants.  But, to be honest with you, now I am all for it.  I used to hate to go into smoky bars.    The smoke on your clothes stayed with you for days.  Now, I can have a few drinks without worrying about the smoker right next to me.  Frankly, it is glorious.

I am old enough to remember when people could smoke on airplane flights.  I remember one time getting stuck on an international flight in the smoking section.  It was terrible.  Really terrible.  Yuck.

In any event, we are now entering into a different phase in America’s war on drugs.  We have been losing the battle for quite some time, and when it comes to the war on pot, the government is just about to call a truce.   In fact, if anything, the government is attacking cigarettes far more vigorously than it is grass.

I was having a drink the other night with a DC cop (he would have to go outside every once in a while to grab a smoke.  I didn’t have to do that, because, well, I don’t smoke), and he told me that drug crimes are way down in the District.  In fact, this year, we are on track to have only about 90 murders in the former murder Capitol of the World.  The DC Police Chief just announced that she was shutting down the task force that was founded to crack down on D.C. open air drug markets.  The cop I was talking to said that because of the Internet, drug users don’t really need to go to those open-markets any more because they can connect with the sellers much easier through the Net.

Same thing with hookers.  Why find a hooker walking down the street when you can hook up with one via Craig’s List?

Interesting times we live in.

Colorado and Washington State passed referendums legalizing pot and California’s medical marijuana law is so lax that it might as well be legal there.  In fact, the New York Times wrote about how pot is so prevalent in most neighborhoods on the Left Coast, that you are just as likely to offered a joint as you are to be offered a glass of wine.


In fact, in California, it is far more politically correct to smoke a doobie than it is to smoke a ciggie.  If I were a tobacco lobbyist, I would be pretty pissed off about that.


But I am not.  I think people should be able to smoke whatever they want, as long as it not in a restaurant or a bar or an airplane, or anywhere else where it might smell up my clothes.


We have a huge budget problem in America.  We should quick legalize pot everywhere and tax it at the same rate as cigarettes.  That might be a good way to deal with the fiscal cliff.