• There’s a Long List of Things I Think Should be Illegal

    by Debra DeAngelo

    So, I’m still grumbly about why it’s perfectly OK to choose one natural remedy (say, evening primrose oil for hot flashes and night sweats) but not another natural remedy (medical marijuana) to see if it alleviates my arthritis and insomnia.

    Yeah, yeah, there are ways to get medical marijuana under current state law, and yeah, yeah, the federal government isn’t enforcing laws against marijuana dispensaries at the moment, but that’s only true because there’s a Blue Guy in the White House. As soon as a Red Guy’s in charge (and sooner or later one will be because the pendulum always swings the other way eventually), police officers will come charging in and arrest everyone from the junkie sucking on a bong in the alley to the cancer patient smoking a joint to keep from barfing her guts out after chemotherapy. It’s a black and white world, my friend. Rules is rules.

    As I ponder the difficulty and possible ramifications of trying (currently) legal (well, in California, anyway) medical marijuana, it occurs to me that the laws regarding marijuana in general are, frankly, asinine. We already know for a fact that cigarettes are health hazards, yet they’re still quite legal. Ditto for Pepsi and chili-cheese fries and motorcycles and Celine Dion CDs.

    What really irks me are the folks who are vehemently opposed to using marijuana for any reason, even though it’s quite easy for them to avoid it if they want to. They decry the health risks associated with pot, and turn around and waltz in to a fast food joint and suck down a month’s worth of saturated fat and sugar.

    What do you suppose kills more people every year — obesity related disease or marijuana? Must I really subject myself to answering that question?

    Chicken McNuggets are an addictive, life-shortening drug, and easily accessible to children. In fact, parents give them to their kids willingly. The anti-marijuana crowd doesn’t even flinch about that.

    Beyond the mind-numbing illogic of it all, one of my pet peeves is people who are obsessed with imposing their will on others, particularly when they’re attempting to control behaviors or choices that aren’t hurting anyone else. (Hello? Gay marriage?) They’re just uncomfortable with what “those people over there” are doing, and are determined to stop them from doing it, just to ease their own discomfort.

    Following this logic, even though I don’t eat fast food, I’m uncomfortable with other people eating it, so it should be illegal.

    Boom. Ronald McDonald, consider yourself unemployed.

    But why stop at junk food? Let’s apply this standard to everything. Since I clearly have better judgment than most everyone on the planet, I’ll decide what’s illegal from now on, based on how uncomfortable I feel about others participating in things I don’t like but are easily avoided.

    We’ll start with the biggie: Fundamentalist religion. It’s the biggest source of the obsession to control the behavior of others and force them to submit, and those who resist risk everything from simple shunning to execution. Although (in this country, anyway) it’s fairly simple for me to refuse to become Catholic/Muslim/Jewish/Insert-Your-Favorite-Oppression, I’m still uncomfortable with anyone else participating.

    Snap. Fundamentalist religion — illegal.

    Which is totally cool, because I don’t have to imagine no religion anymore. I just made it happen.

    On to the second major source of the obsession to control others: politics. I’ve been politics-free since January, and you know what? I like it. The energy I used to spend arguing over things beyond my control has been redirected to reducing my own stress and volunteering in my own community. The whole Red/Blue shebang doesn’t merely make me uncomfortable, it makes me want to vomit. And although I have no intention of submerging myself in the spiritual cesspool of politics ever again, I’m nonetheless uncomfortable to know that others are still in the fray. So, politicians? Thanks for playing. You’re illegal.

    Wow. No junk food, no religion, no politics. Life is good.

    Let’s continue.

    By my decree, the following things that make me uncomfortable are banned:

    Miracle Whip. It’s just gross. I never use it, so it’s illegal.

    Quilting. Just thinking about all those little tiny movements makes me nervous, because my fine-motor skills are weak. So, quilting is hereby illegal.

    Texting during dinner at restaurants. That doesn’t merely make me uncomfortable, it makes me want to slap the cell phone right out of the other person’s hand. Even if they’re not at my table. It’s just rude, and now illegal too.

    Fat women in low-rise jeans that are two sizes too small. The clue should be that gelatinous amoebic bulge billowing out over their belts, but it isn’t, so making it illegal will clear things up.

    Sexually insecure, underequipped men who compensate by driving massive, roaring four-wheel drive monster trucks. You know, dudes, no one would realize you’re hung like hamsters if you didn’t announce it to the world.

    People who say “seen” instead of “saw” as in, “I just seen him yesterday.” Straight to jail.

    Justin Timberlake. I don’t get him, he looks like an alien and he just kinda creeps me out. I’ll never buy his CDs, but into the illegal pile he goes. I don’t want anyone else listening to that cutesy crap. And while we’re at it, let’s ban that little Bieber fellow too. I’ve never actually listened to his music, but I already know I’ll hate it. Singing Justins – all illegal.

    Shall I continue? Or a different approach would be better: Let’s make it illegal to impose your will on anyone other than yourself or the children you’re raising, and leave it up to each individual to decide who to marry and what to put into his/her mind, body and spirit.

      • Judy

      • June 26, 2011 at 9:25 am
      • Reply

      Ooh, this is juicy and provocative. I so want to jump in here with my list. But I’m just going to join you on the texting at dinner and add loud talking on cell phones on public conveyances. I so do not want to know that much about the details of strangers’ lives.

    • Feel free to add to the list, Judy!

    • Loved the list.

      • Jesse

      • June 26, 2011 at 10:49 am
      • Reply

      I’d like to ban students who come to class with limp arms, zipped backpacks on their backs, with nothing on their desks. They should be vacuum sucked out of the classroom like bankroll canisters or hairballs.

      • Kate

      • June 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm
      • Reply

      Excellent! And bonus points for the oblique Lennon reference, Debra.

      I’m taking you up on your offer to add to the list, even though my name isn’t Judy:
      ~Cigarettes (the carcinogenic death-stick legal kind) kill people from both ends–second-hand smoke is actually more dangerous than primary smoke because it’s produced by combustion at a much lower temperature–so I say they’re doubly illegal.
      ~Guns. They creep me out. Always have. Grew up around them, know how to use them, at one point knew how to clean them, and have always hated their innate brooding violence. Therefore, I’m changing the wording of the Second Amendment from “bear arms” to “bare arms” (unless the Supreme Court would like to consider “bear arms” to be citizens wearing costumes of a particular woodland creature on their upper extremities).
      ~I can’t stand it when people hold and gesture with sharp objects while speaking. Not necessarily talking about anything as dramatic as butcher knives or sabers; a recently-sharpened pencil waved in front of my face has me squinting and looking away and all but holding my hands over my eyes and sobbing “Just stop it! Put that thing down! I can’t take it anymooooore!”. So, I’m giving that the old heave-ho into the junk-pile of history, since by my decree it can no longer happen.
      ~The miasma of artificial fragrances that waft their nasty little way into all aspects of our life. Gone, gone, gone. Now THAT’S a breath of fresh air!
      ~The over-abundance of artificial audio-visual stimulation. I’m talking TVs and radios BOTH going in places like banks and waiting rooms. Remember when banks had a solemn, respectful hush? When you could wait in waiting rooms without being assaulted by a one-two punch of television and music? When you could go to a restaurant and have a meal and conversation rather than a meal and hearing damage? So I’m banning all that. There’s too much and it’s too loud. Well, it was–but I banned it so the problem is solved. Thank goodness, because now I won’t have to put in ear plugs all the time.
      ~But here’s a problem: Sometimes I really bug myself or have one of those slap-the-forehead, you’re-such-a-dolt situations. So, do I ban myself? Oh, dear.

    • You KNOW I’m with you, Debra…if only I was as quick! You are a queen of humor, as well as wielding the reins of power in an exceedingly despotic way. I like that about you.

      • Sivan

      • June 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm
      • Reply

      One word Deborah: Amen! Methinks this is my favorite column of yours to date.

      • Hecubus

      • June 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm
      • Reply

      LOVE LOVE LOVE this article! If you ran for office I’d vote for you 😛

    • Thanks all, and Kate – if you are Kate Laddish, you should submit that as a Letter to the Editor!

        • Kate

        • August 21, 2011 at 12:58 am
        • Reply

        Just saw your response, Debra. Yeah, it’s me, lurking behind my super-stealthy screen name.
        Thanks for the letter-to-the-editor encouragement. The moment may have passed (for now, at least….!)–but “thank you” just the same.

    • Geeze, this makes me want to kill myself!

    • Don’t worry Donald. I won’t make you illegal. Yet. 😉

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