More Drugs! Just What America Needs
In rural upstate New York, where I grew up, pot-smoking was disproportionately a sport of farmers’ kids. That’s because inequitable ownership of land meant that some people could grow weed more discreetly than others. Among those with acres to till, private oases of marijuana were easily created by their offspring out of sight — especially, I recall, in between tall rows of feed corn. And with easier access to the drug, the sons and daughters of farmers also seemed to smoke more of it than the kids who were forced to rely on retail.
This brings us to a paradox that, while not exactly one of Zeno’s, amounted to my earliest intuition of a chicken-and-egg problem. Overall, those same kids were concentrated on the bottom of the academic ladder — as witnessed on a daily basis at our large centralized public high school and as joshed about by the students themselves. This consistent conjunction led my adolescent mind to wonder: were the farm kids bad at school because they smoked pot? Or did they smoke pot as a consolation, because they were bad at school?