Dope Of The Day: Op-Ed Writer Says Pot ‘Saps Initiative And Ambition’

Here’s what pot does to you. Just ask Jill Wellock!

​Freelance writer Jill Wellock has a problem.

She really, really dislikes marijuana and, apparently, those who use it.
Wellock generously shares this extreme distaste with us in a guest op-ed piece in today’s edition of The Olympian, the newspaper of Olympia, Washington, the state’s capitol.
Jill gets right down to business with a real winner of a headline:
‘Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility’
Headline aside, we know right off the bat we’re in for a bumpy ride when Jill starts off by confiding in us that she attended a “rough junior high.” Apparently not really one for nostalgia, Wellock recalls “the stoner girls” carving “Joe Elliot” [sic]“into their forearms with wood screws to prove Def Leppard allegiance.”
Oh, Jill. First of all, if they carved “Joe Elliot,” they aren’t done carving, because the rock star’s name is spelled “Elliott.” Maybe you should give those “stoner girls” a call and tell them they need to get back out the wood screws.
Secondly, if these had been real “stoner girls” during the time period mentioned, they wouldn’t have been carving freakin’ Def Leppard tributes on their arms; it would have been Marilyn Manson. Or maybe Jerry Garcia.

Pitcher Smokes Pot, Misses Practice, Gains Weight, Gets Greasy Hair And Makes Bad Grades

Photo: The Olympian
Jill Wellock thought we’d be too lazy and unmotivated to write this.

​Jill then mournfully remembers her promising, athletic friend who was the school’s star softball pitcher. This poor girl started hanging out with the stoners, and before you knew it she was missing practice, “which didn’t matter once her grades failed and she couldn’t play softball.”
“My friend and I attended different high schools, but I saw her at the end of freshman year at the mall, about 20 pounds heavier, with greasy hair and dirty clothes,” Wellock recalls. “I asked a guy from her school what had happened, and he just said, ‘Burn out.'”

Artwork: Bryan Perryman
In a parallel universe, there exists a hip Jill Wellock… but it’s far, far away.

​Whoa. So in one year’s time, from eighth grade to freshman year, she smoked some pot and went from a promising softball star to an overweight, greasy haired, dirty burnout.
I’ve been smoking pot 32 years, and observing others who smoke it, and the stuff we smoke doesn’t do any of that shit. Could you maybe, like, hook us up with your friend’s dealer?
All kidding aside, if your friend had weight, hygiene, and dependability issues, then she had something going on besides smoking a little weed. You’re not going to scare anyone with ridiculous-ass stories like that — at least not anyone who’s ever smoked weed, or even known anyone who has.
‘Gateway Drug’?

​Jill apparently built up a pretty good head of steam thinking about her unfortunate, unwashed, overweight pothead buddy who coulda been a contender, because five paragraphs in, she’s foaming at the mouth.
“Gateway drug marijuana is now legal, used medicinally in Washington and 12 other states, with 15 states pending legislation for its medicinal use,” she tells us.
Gateway drug? Please. If you are going to try to do a scare piece on marijuana, you think you could at least show us the respect of citing some research that hasn’t been disproved?
“In the United States, the claim that marijuana acts as a gateway to the use of other drugs serves mainly as a rhetorical tool for frightening Americans into believing that winning the war against heroin and cocaine requires waging a battle against the casual use of marijuana,” wrote John P. Morgan, M.D., and Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., two of the foremost researchers in the field, who call the gateway claim “intellectually indefensible.”
A 2002 Canadian Senate Committee report states that the gateway theory “has not been validated by empirical research and is considered outdated.”
Jill, next time, I’d suggest maybe you get your facts straight before making a public spectacle of yourself.
Meet Our Old Friend, The ‘Amotivational Syndrome’

​Not only does cannabis make you carve rock stars’ names on your arms, wear dirty clothes, have greasy hair, and gain weight (OK, maybe I can believe that last one, especially since trying Snow Cap), but it also steals your ambition, folks!
Or, at least, that’s what Jill would have us believe. How does she know? Well, apparently she used to live next door to a woman of whose housekeeping Jill disapproved, and the lady smoked pot. So there you have it! Proof! Or not…
But since Wellock says, flat-out: “Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility from its smokers,” that demands some sort of response, at least if you’re into responding to idiotic statements.
For well more than quarter-century, government-funded and private researchers have searched and searched for a pot-induced amotivational syndrome — and they’ve failed to find it. But it’s certainly not for lack of trying!
Laboratory studies, in fact, have shown that subjects given high doses of potent marijuana for several days — or even several weeks — exhibit no decrease in work motivation or productivity.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Jill. I know you must have enjoyed looking down on those “lazy potheads” and feel
ing such a delicious shiver of superiority to them — but it just ain’t so.
Among working adults, marijuana users tend to earn higher wages than non-users! College students who use marijuana have the same grades as non-users.
The biggest study ever done on marijuana use and its effect on worker productivity was performed by Dr. Vera Rubin back in the 1970s, in Jamaica. The results were published with co-author Lambros Comitas in 1975 as Ganja In Jamaica: A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use.

And what did those results show? The marijuana smokers studied by Dr. Rubin had no differences in work records, adjustment, or productivity than non-users.
In fact, Dr. Rubin found: “Ganja, in the cultural setting of rural Jamaica, rather than hindering, permits its users to face, start and carry through the most difficult and distasteful manual labor.”
Impaired Drivers?
Hey, watch where you’re going!

​Jill also claims that we should all be frightened to death of the specter of stoned drivers hurtling around the highways high as hell.
There is in fact “no compelling evidence that marijuana contributes substantially to traffic accidents and fatalities.”
Now, I’m not recommending you take a few bong rips and then hit the freeway. In fact, it’d probably be best for everyone if you’d stay your stoned ass home on the couch. There’s a reason God invented pizza delivery. 
But you can bet that if marijuana really did cause automobile accidents like, say alcohol, that it would be obvious as hell. With estimates of current marijuana users in the United States varying between 40 and 100 million, you can bet that if weed really caused wrecks, it’d be a national tragedy on the level of drunk driving. It’s not. It doesn’t.
“The overall rate of highway accidents appears not be significantly affected by marijuana’s widespread use in society,” according to the Drug Policy Foundation.
According to the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), “THC is not a profoundly impairing drug… It apparently affects controlled information processing in a variety of laboratory tests, but not to the extent which is beyond the individual’s ability to control when he is motivated and permitted to do so in driving.” That’s from the report “Marijuana and Actual Performance,” DOT-HS-808-078.
In layman’s terms, when you know you’re high and you have to drive, you compensate by driving like a little old lady. You know it’s true. 
In fact, two lawyers in California are arguing that the state’s DUI laws shouldn’t even apply at all to marijuana.
By Damn, She’s An Award Winner!
For her stellar accomplishment into packing an incredible amount of misinformation, ugly prejudice, and outright ignorance into her woefully misguided op-ed piece, Toke of the Town enthusiastically awards Jill Wellock of Olympia, Washington, our coveted Dope of the Day Award.

Hey, Jill, you’re on notice: When you tell lies and repeat myths about marijuana, there are some of us weed-addled reprobates out here who have somehow miraculously retained enough initiative to call you out on your bullshit.

Carve that in your arm with a wood screw, you.
Editor’s note: Those interested in congratulating Jill on her “high honor” may email her at [email protected]