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Austin I don’t take pot. When people invite me to, I appreciate their caring, but I get impatient with them if they insist. I have as much right to my preference for my ordinary lucidity as they to theirs for their highness. In due time, when my 12 The Texas Observer work is different, and when the law is different or I am elsewhere, I shall likely find out the other whereness, but I am not hot to do so. The world outside a man in a pot is still the world. Besides, when I want or need to escape, I drink booze, and this is about the same thingbooze and pot are both just about as disabling and wasteful of the hours. HOUSTON Despite the climate, Queen Commerce thrived. GALVESTON Many hoped, and some believed, it would one day rival New York. AUSTIN The location was “absurd,” but it survived to become the governmental and educational heart of Texas. SAN ANTONIO Isolated, ignored, and maltreated after Independence, it might have died but grew instead. THESE FOUR prevailed over their rivals and were the focal points around which Texas flourished. TO WEAR A CITY’S CROWN is their biography a detailed study of the who and what and why of urbanization on the Old South’s last frontier. Fascinating for Texans, essential for urban historians. TO WEAR A CITY’S CROWN The Beginnings of Urban Growth in Texas 1836-1865 by KENNETH W. WHEELER Illustrated, $6.95 HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 Observations .AiAJ IAA. Marijuana Law Needs Changing These are not things to be proud or ashamed of; here we are, that’s all, each of us finding or losing his balance between lucidity and escape from it. When they find the chemical that actually fills in the abyss between morality and reality, I. shall take that, for sure. Meanwhile, don’t put me on. LSD is a different matter. The evidence gathers that this stuff breaks chromosomes and causes deformed babies. If, some morning, I find myself waking to the sunset in a valley in Yucatan, and I am so old I have given up on loving, I may, in the sinking saps of my hope, make then some final lunge into the universe, there to descry its frozen blending flow, but now I need or want no depth charge in my mind nor blow-up in my genes. The tomb is depth and charge enough, and even youth in sunlight broods in random loss. The case against marijuana is no stronger and is substantially similar to the case against alcoholic beverages. The widespread smoking of marijuana now in spite of criminal prosecution is analogous fo the widespread boozing during prohibition. The damaging social effects of the situation now are punishment of the innocent, contempt for authority and law, anti-police paranoia, erosion of animosity toward addictive narcotics and truly dangerous drugs because of this contempt, and the use of selective prosecution to punish nonconformist personal and political appearance, belief, and behavior. All this is well known. Marijuana is not an addictive narcotic. “No physical dependence or tolerance has been demonstrated. Neither has it been demonstrated that cannabis causes any lasting mental or physical changes,” according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.’ As translated, even in the Reader’s Digest, this means that “To date, there is no evidence that pot is physically addicting … [P]ot smoking per se is not dangerous physically.” 2 Marijuana is not a narcotic within the terms of the severely punitive Narcotic Drug Act of Texas under which it is illegalized. Dr. Joseph Schoolar of the Baylor University College of Medicine says that, pharmacologically speaking, marijuana is not a narcotic. There is no tendency to increase dosage, no physi c al addiction with attendant withdrawal symptoms, and no intense psychological effect or chronic dementia, he said. 3 What is called “psychological dependence” on the stuff, according to the previously cited article in the AMA Journal, “may reasaonably be presumed to be less than to narcotic drugs.” According to Texas Alcohol Nar