Let's be realistic here; it's all about the tact

By Nick Borroz

In the last two editions of The Mac Weekly there has been a hilarious argument going between the smelly “weeders” and the “boring bitches.” I don’t want to sound condescending (superficial disclaimer), but these articles are pathetic! Their combined intellectual content is virtually zero and eating them would be more thought-provoking than reading them.

Let me summarize: Weeders—We should be able to smoke pot wherever we want! Bitches—Oh yeah? Well smoking and smokers are evil!

Alright, alright… I’m not giving the discourse justice. The latter party uses a lot of name-calling while the former makes some impractical demands, but the essence is there.

The reason I feel compelled to respond is because I think an intermediate perspective has been left out. I admit this is a leap of faith, but I assume most of us recognize that weed can potentially be a pleasant experience or a destructive habit. Keeping that in mind, all I want to do is talk about things realistically, something the previous two articles neglected.

First article up for examination: “Students find fault with Res. Life’s drug policies.” In this gem, some claim that Macalester’s drug policy is driving students off campus. The basic argument is that RAs and Res. Life are busting people for smoking and underage drinking even though everyone knows such activities are going to happen no matter what. RAs may be overstepping their bounds in some cases and perhaps their role as enforcers may be straining communal ties. I sort of understand where the criticism is coming from, but try to remember that we live in a lenient environment. If you don’t believe me, count the number of explicitly drunk or high people you see on any given weekend night.

Here’s where I hope to construct a common sense solution from two parts: (1) RAs will bust you if you’re being blatant or if you’re being an asshole or if they feel like realizing their job description; (2) We all know that illegal activities occur regularly on this campus and a vast majority of the perpetrators don’t get caught. Combine these clues for the hidden message: be somewhat tactful and you won’t get written up.

Second contender: “Put down the bowl and get over yourself,” by Rosa Signy Gisladottir and Claire Deason. This one is really bad. The fundamental flaw is the lack of any clear, solid argument. I admit I share Socrates’ obsession with logos, but do any of these assertions have evidence behind them? The authors rely on ad hominem attacks instead of rational argumentation while bolstering their own excellent moral character. There are no facts to back up the claims.

I’ve met many nameless people who on occasion touch the reefer (they even inhale at times!). As far as I can tell, they’re well-liked by their peers, as physically fit as the next person, and generally all-around successful human beings. It may come as a shock, but a “weeder” isn’t some red-eyed, mouth-foaming maniac trying to steal money for his or her next fix. “Reefer Madness” is now widely recognized as inaccurate.

If “weeders” are disrespectful, smelly, unhealthy, or destructive, it’s immature to place blame solely on their habit instead of their person. I’m sure we all know enough sober assholes and polite potheads to prove that point. If not, get out of your dorm more often. The realistic response to these accusations is: “weeders” are actually human beings just like everyone else! Naively labeling people into black-and-white categories is not only misinformed, but it’s not intellectual (and we’re college students, remember?).

What I’ve briefly pointed out should be repetitive to the semi-intelligent and enlighten the ignorant. Hopefully, most of you fall in the former category. If not, higher education is in trouble. To recap for those with bad memory (weed-induced or not): laws don’t work for everyone and stereotypes are asinine. Take more courses here if you still don’t understand why these statements are true.

Contact Nick Borroz ’08 at [email protected]