The anti-drug crowd has come up with some doozily stupid ideas over the decades. Prohibition, for one. DARE, for another. And let’s not forget a criminal justice system that abets some drug dealers in order to bust others.
Now the weed-is-evil set has a new idea, and as usual, it’s pretty dumb. The concept, at least in the abstract, is that a pair of “weed goggles” will recreate the experience of marijuana use without actual marijuana use. Drug warriors hope this approach will discourage people from toking.
Another futile attempt to oppose marijuana
Good luck with that. Pretty much everything marijuana opponents have tried to end the drug has failed. Most of these efforts have failed spectacularly. Indeed, the DEA, America’s “premier” anti-drug agency, is a corrupt, chaotic mess in such bad shape even conservatives in Congress have lost faith in its agents.
But none of this has stopped drug counselors, 12-steppers, and other abstinence-only groups from trying to convince young people that pot is the devil’s plant. The weed goggles, known as the Fatal Vision Marijuana Simulation Experience, come with green-tinted lenses designed to give users “the distorted processing of visual information, loss of motor coordination, and slowed decision-making and reaction time resulting from recreational marijuana use.”
Users, the creators promise, will “experience the impairing effects of THC for themselves.” THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
“We have had a lot of interest in our Marijuana Simulation Experience,” said Deb Kusmec, chief operating officer of Innocorp, the company behind the glasses. “Our customers include community coalitions, traffic safety advocacy groups, law enforcement, schools and universities.”
An Indiana student group and a California police department use the goggles, Kusmec said. But they don’t appear to have caught on elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether anyone will take them seriously.
Goggles fail to mimic side effects of cannabis
Users are expected to wear the goggles while solving a maze, catching a ball, reacting to a red light, and navigating a grid pattern on the floor, among other tasks. The idea is that participants will come away shocked at the terrible side effects of cannabis.
The goggles work by filtering out red light waves, recreating stoners’ supposed inability to distinguish red brake lights or stop signals. There is little scientific evidence that weed leads to color blindness, but the goggles’ makers said the experience will resemble the real thing.
Wearing the goggles may indeed make certain tasks more difficult. Marijuana often has the same effect. But nothing Inncorp has said or done suggests the glasses are likely to scare anyone away from pot. Even at their worst, side effects are decidedly mild, hardly enough to traumatize a newbie.
More importantly, there’s a key ingredient missing from the weed goggles: actually being high. If all you got from toking were the side effects, no one would toke. But you also get stoned, and that’s more than reason enough for the world’s potheads.