November 16, 2018 10:55:53 AM
Damn, I miss illegal marijuana!
Weed used to be so cool. If you smoked it, you were hip, an outlaw, maybe even a little bit dangerous.
Now you turn on your television and state Rep. Marylou Creamcheese is droning on about "the revenue opportunities presented by legalization of cannabis."
State Rep. Creamcheese has two kids. She has a labradoodle. She drives a damn Buick.
Jeez, how hip ISN'T that?
Snoop Dogg used to be the official spokesman for the chronic, all droopy eyelids and soapy grin. Now the spokesman is some blue-suited dorkmeister from the Chamber of Commerce in your town.
What do you got to do to be cool these days? Shoot heroin?
The answer to that is a chuckled "Yes!" You still have to go to crappy neighborhoods to buy really good heroin, and you still have to buy it from either a dying addict with abscessed needle tracks on her arms or a member of a despised minority group who has killed several people.
Hell, THAT'S cool!
So is meth, which is either muled into the country by foreigners or cooked in a trailer house by hillbillies.
To tell the truth, dorkiness always nibbled at the edge of weed culture. People baked brownies with it, fahgawdsakes! Brownies! You don't bake brownies with meth. It's like the difference between beer and tequila. You make bread with beer. You drink tequila out of the bottle until you marry the waitress, who, by the way, is already married to some guy they call "Red Hog." He'll probably get jacked up on meth and kill both of you. Hell, that's cool.
The government ruined gambling, too. There used to be illegal craps games and a Mafia-run numbers racket. Now convenience stores sell lottery tickets, and you shoot dice at a casino run by a tribe of quarter-blood damn-near-Indians. The casino almost invariably has a cheesy name like Living Tree Resort. Oh, sure, you can still ruin your life there, but you don't get to feel dangerous on the way down. It's like losing your rent money in the lobby of a Holiday Inn outside Beloit, Wisconsin.
New York City got it right for a while with off-track betting parlors run by insultingly indifferent civil servants and filled with bums and twitchy-eyed compulsive gamblers. The OTB parlors were filthy, littered with cigarette butts and dangerous, the true trifecta of hipness.
The government turns everything it touches into the Department of Motor Vehicles, a place that is about as hip as scrapbooking and a nice pinot.
It's getting more and more dangerous to be dangerous. It used to be that a couple of joints and a leather jacket would do it for you. Now you gotta join a gang and kill somebody to be dangerous.
Wait until the government legalizes prostitution. My guess is that a trip to the legalized brothel will cause a sudden deflation of desire in even the hardiest of men.
"All right, so you have your intercourse request form, and I see you've filled out your sexual preferences form," the clerk will say.
"Proceed to window No. 3 for a tall blonde in a Nazi uniform," the clerk will continue, "and have a nice day." You will shuffle off to sin with the lustful attitude of a man buying lawn fertilizer in a strip mall.
If you're rich, nothing has ever really been forbidden. If you're not rich, nothing is forbidden anymore, but sin has gotten a lot less exciting.
Marc Dion, a nationally syndicated columnist, is a reporter and columnist for The Herald News, the daily newspaper of his hometown, Fall River, Massachusetts. For more on Dion, go to go to www.creators.com.