Cannabis Pros and Cons, “If By Whiskey” Style — Link to Copyrighted Version

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

Here are excerpts:

“If when you say cannabis you mean the Devil’s weed, the gateway to the nightmare of hard-drug addiction, the tempter of teenagers that terrifies parents, the cause of Willie Nelson’s feeling that the flesh was falling off his bones, the impairer of judgment, the cause of fatal automobile crashes, the shrinker of brains, the origin of pointless mental excursions to the artificial nowhere of a fool’s paradise, the psychologically addictive near-narcotic that stupefies the user and saps motivation, perseverance, and determination; the converter of our precious and capable young people into idle, self-indulgent, unhelpful stoners; if you mean the powerful not-your-father’s marijuana, the slow train to nowhere, . . , then certainly I am against it.

“But, if when you say cannabis you mean the symbol of hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind, the miracle drug that treats dozens of diseases, the balm to humanity for millennia, the natural healer that tames the nausea of the cancer-stricken chemotherapy patient and restores appetite to the withering invalid, the safer-than-physically-addictive-opiates reliever of intractable pain, the botanical genus containing cancer-killing compounds and hundreds of chemical components we have barely begun to study and exploit, . . . then certainly I am for it.”

For a link to the whole thing:  My long effort to summarize the marijuana legalization debate has been professionally edited, updated, and improved, and now appears only here or at  It used to appear here in this post from 2013, but no more.

It uses the form of a speech by Mississippi Legislator Noah Sweat. In 1952, with Alcohol Prohibition still the law in Mississippi, Sweat gave a notorious speech about whiskey.   Writer John Grisham delivers here, at about 5:27, the text of Noah Sweat’s original speech, printed here:


My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time.  However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.


Here’s a modern spoof of the cannabis issue:,34791/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default — or click here.


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