September 30, 2009 - 1:00am
What do you do to unwind at the end of the day? Read a book? Take a bath? Watch some TV? Well, maybe you should think about smoking some pot. At least that's the latest advice from NBC's “Today” show.
On Sept. 30 an entire segment was devoted to discussing the positive aspects of pot smoking and included a pitch for legalization. “Today's” Matt Lauer interviewed Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, about the magazine's recent article “Stiletto Stoners,” which highlighted “educated, career-minded, successful women” who are “casual, recreational” pot smokers.
Coles said that these “Stiletto Stoners” are “highly functioning women who – you know – these are not people who are lying on park benches – the typical picture of someone who's addicted to drugs. They're casual, recreational users who find it very effective.”
Coles blamed the economy as “a great source of stress for people and they wanted a way to unwind.” She went on to claim marijuana was replacing alcohol. “And they found more and more of them were doing this [smoking marijuana] and they found it had less impact on them when they were going to work the next morning. So, they didn't want to drink. It's cheap and they felt they could do it in the privacy of their own home and it was a very effective way to calm down,” said Coles.
Lauer asked psychiatrist Julie Holland, of the New York City School of Medicine, if the women in the article were ignoring a “darker side of this issue” by comparing marijuana to a relaxing glass of a wine. Holland not only reassured him and said marijuana's even better than wine:
Well, it is a drug like alcohol is a drug or like coffee, caffeine, cigarettes. So, it's just – it's very different than alcohol. It's more of a mind drug. I feel alcohol's sort of a deadening, numbing, maybe more like a body drug. So, people are unwinding and they're relaxing, but they're also able to think and maybe analyze or think clearly, pull back and see the macro, maybe make some changes in their lives. I think that cannabis [marijuana] is more of a psycho-therapeutic drug; it could actually be more helpful than alcohol – certainly in terms of insomnia or depression, anxiety. It could potentially be a treatment or a medicine.
Dr. Holland couldn't just stop there. She also advocated for the legalization of marijuana:
Well, the fact that it's illegal is a very big deal, you know. People have to hide and they feel like criminals and there's a lot of shame and guilt, and it ends up making – you know – it decreases self-esteem a little bit and it makes it more adrenalized. The fact that you add adrenaline into it and you have to hide and you have shame can make it more addictive and it can make it more dangerous … I think the behavior needs to be normalized.
And just in case you needed more convincing, Coles reminded us that “it's decriminalized in 13 states … And honestly, it's not very difficult to get … We talked to people who had dealers in their offices.”