Sunday, February 1, 2009

private and public spheres

Marijuana smoking is a very important part of my life. That isn't to say that I abuse marijuana--maybe I do, maybe I don't--but I would rather be forever flirting with abusive behavior than forever barred from access to this magical herb.

There is nothing like a marijuana high. It's persistent but never pushy. Alcohol, which will eventually force the user into submission, is just a poor substitute. There is no comedown associated with the high, unless you count a smooth transition into drowsiness, which can be countered with simple a cup of coffee. On the other hand, other drugs have an associated comedown which is equally as crappy as the high was pleasurable.

Smoking at or around home is rude to cohabitant nonsmokers, whom you may be putting at risk on account of a lax restrictions on guilty-by-association-minded police forces and prosecutors. Outside of the home, two main options exist: the public and the private spheres. The private sphere may contain smoking safe-houses; examples include friends' homes and businesses run by sympathetic parties. Otherwise, the private sphere is just as unsafe as the public sphere, if not more unsafe, in terms of one's likelihood of being caught by the police. In the private sphere, your activity might be linked to you; someone who recognizes you can provide the authorities with your name. In the public sphere, on the other hand, one is less at risk to a police encounter based on the phonings-in of your activities from other civilians. That is because the public sphere is basically the outdoors, and when you're outdoors you're likely to be walking or otherwise just moving. Assuming that there is a negligible probability of actually being recognized by anyone who sees you in the public sphere, the chances of being caught are much lower in the public shere than in the private one.

Whereas in the private sphere, danger of being caught is probably very low (as in, when you're at home) or very high (as in, at work, which is likely to be crowded with unsympathetic parties who will recognize you), in the public sphere this danger ranges from high to low and depends on your overall perceptibility. Your overall perceptibility is based on how perceptually salient your activities are to other human beings. How densely populated are your surroundings, and to what extent do your surroundings mask your activities? The lowest and best perceptibility is thus achieved by smoking in a sparsely populated location with dense vegetation that will block your sight and smell from reaching the eyes and noses of anyone who happens to come nearby. Any smoker who is lucky enough to have access to the outdoors can attest to the overall high degree of protection it provides.

No comments:

Post a Comment