"For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana," writes David Brooks, the pop sociology professor of choice for Republicans hip enough to drive Audis. "It was fun." Was it, David? Was it really?

Do you think that all of David Brooks' friends, sitting in their rooms in some hellafied suburb with the door locked, had a lot of fun smoking herb with young David, back in the late 70s? Or might it be more accurate to describe young David Brooks as the sort of friend who you smoked with reluctantly, just to be polite, because he might tend to kill your high? Might this question have weighed on the lifted, paranoid minds of David Brooks' youthful friends, all those years ago: "Will this dude grow up and write a New York Times column about this shit one day?"

Dude. Yes. You think you know Dave, he seems like a fun kid, and then you wake up 30 years later and open the paper and see his byline next to a column about smoking weed with you. "I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships," he writes.

That's fucking weird, Dave. Chill.

I think we gave it up, first, because we each had had a few embarrassing incidents. Stoned people do stupid things (that's basically the point). I smoked one day during lunch and then had to give a presentation in English class. I stumbled through it, incapable of putting together simple phrases, feeling like a total loser.

Ha, I remember that. That was awesome. That was the pinnacle of your popularity, Dave.

We gave it up, second, I think, because one member of our clique became a full-on stoner. He may have been the smartest of us, but something sad happened to him as he sunk deeper into pothead life.

That's a fucked up thing to say about Krugman.

Third, most of us developed higher pleasures. Smoking was fun, for a bit, but it was kind of repetitive. Most of us figured out early on that smoking weed doesn't really make you funnier or more creative (academic studies more or less confirm this).

David Brooks is the sort of kid who would look up academic studies about whether or not smoking weed actually makes you funnier. Dave, dude, you were nice and all, but we all hated getting high with you. Nothing would make you funnier.

Brooks, a weenie, does not quite have the stones to use his powerful personal story of a descent into depravity to argue that weed should not be legalized; he simply says that legal weed makes it "a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be." (Brooks still lives in fear of his stoner friend showing up at his house uninvited.) The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, on the other hand, makes the following argument, the logic of which could only be followed by someone who is blazed like a motherfucker: 1) She smoked weed, and she'll probably smoke legal weed when she's next in Colorado; 2) Weed is bad for developing young brains; 3) Kids these days are already smoking a ton of weed; 4) Laws against young people smoking weed will inevitably be ignored; but 5) She is, nevertheless, strongly against the legalization of marijuana, for adults.

What these two affluent Caucasians are trying to communicate is: I do not care how many young minorities must have their lives ruined by being arrested for weed. I demand we keep in place a law that I acknowledge is purely for show and that I know will be widely ignored, in order to assuage my conscience about the upbringing of white teenagers.

The weed sucked when they were young anyhow.

[Photo: AP]