CANNABISTOWN, PO--In Potlandia, marijuana is legal for recreational purposes and is commonly smoked by nearly all of the adult citizens of that country, while alcohol and nicotine are banned. But the alcohol and tobacco industries regard Potlandia's laws as discriminatory.
"We think it's absurd for nicotine cigarettes to be illegal in a place where marijuana cigarettes are legal," says the tobacco lobbyist, Deborah Lotsofgall. "I mean, what's the difference between the two? How can anyone respect the law when it's so glaringly inconsistent?"
But most citizens of Potlandia defend their laws. "The drugs aren't the same at all, man," says Sunny Moonwind, wearing a tie-died shirt, bandana around her forehead, and bare feet. "Like, marijuana gets you high, not low, you know what I mean? It's like, the blessed weed kicks your ego to the curb so your spirit can rejoice. But nicotine just makes you a more close-minded worker bee, man. It makes you a slave to the machine. And who wants to be a slave when you can be free?"
Matthew Wino, a lobbyist for the alcohol industry, practices civil disobedience in Cannabistown, the capital of Potlandia. He stands on the street corner offering free shots of Jagermeister and shouting, "Don't you people want to lose your inhibitions and have some harmless fun? You know, hook up with a stranger, forget your troubles, buy things you see on TV, and make your crazy country more economically competitive?"
Few Potlandians take up Mr. Wino's offer. Doctor Morris Pothead explains the difference between the drugs. "The thing is, nicotine and alcohol are capitalistic drugs, engineered to dehumanize the users, whereas cannabis is a natural entheogen, which means it's a drug that gives you religious experiences. Nicotine is a stimulant and a relaxant. When you smoke it, you become both relaxed and sharp, which makes you a more productive worker. That's why nicotine is legal in hyper-capitalistic countries: it's good for the economy-even if it's terrible for the people's spiritual well-being.
"And alcohol is a party drug that puts you in a fantasy world so you forget how capitalism exacerbates the ego, ultimately making the drinker more selfish, pleasure-seeking, and materialistic, because it clouds her judgment so she loses sight of the big picture. It distracts the users with parties and one-night stands and fake confidence which helps them outcompete each other, so they forget that we're all in this together."
Every Saturday, Potlandians have a concert reminiscent of Woodstock in which they smoke a lot of pot and celebrate visionary art, have lots of sex and explore the outer reaches of human consciousness.
But Ms. Lotsofgall isn't impressed. "Just look at these freaks!" she says, shrugging off a hippie who had offered her a joint. "They're flaky do-nothings. Don't they know they should be working non-stop with hardly any vacation time, like in the US? That's the meaning of life. You're supposed to work hard all day long for a very low wage that rarely increases, so your bosses can enrich themselves at your expense. That's how the real world works, the world of bogus economic models and Nazi-inspired social Darwinian prejudices and out-of-control egoism that makes people so cruel and angst-ridden, they either shoot little kids with machine guns or don't revolt against their society when something so evil happens in their midst."
Tom Travesty, an American Evangelical Christian, criticizes the spirituality of Potlandians. "We're supposed to be religious, not spiritual," he says. "Only perfect beings like Jesus and the angels are fit to be spiritual. We're fallen creatures, so we're supposed to be colossal hypocrites. That's why when I can be bothered to read a passage from the Bible, I make sure to do the exact opposite of what it says. The more I care only about my narrow-minded happiness on Earth and let everything else go to hell, the more likely God will look down at his Creation and say to himself, 'Well now, what I've wrought has been so thoroughly corrupted that I'd better get off my high horse, put all my spiritual perfection to work, and clean up that mess.'
"But no, these potheads think they can improve the world by themselves, just by not being so greedy, by caring more about original ideas than about owning lots of mass-produced things they don't need, and by trying to live in environmentally-friendly ways instead of burying their head in the sand. These hippies think their religion's better than ours just because they have actual religious experiences on a daily basis, while we American Christians are busy selling out Jesus, that hippie.
"My advice to these wacko Potlandians: outlaw marijuana, start smoking nicotine and drinking alcohol, and help the rest of us destroy the planet so God will be forced to intervene."