DJ Ishe's thoughts on legalizing marijuana

From his involvement with the Whomp Truck to his efforts in helping the dubstep movement progress in Denver, DJ Ishe is a household name in this city. He's also an marijuana advocate who knows firsthand what the plant can do to help others, even though he himself hasn't smoked in over a decade and has made a concerted effort since to maintain sobriety. In advance of 4/20 this weekend, we caught up with Ishe, who works at a dispensary, to get his thoughts on the legalization of marijuana as a non-imbiber.

See also: - DJ Ishe wants you to unplug from society - The 4/20 party list: Where to get your, ahem, green on in Denver this weekend - Slightly Stoopid's Miles Doughty on playing Red Rocks on 4/20 and couch-lock ganja

Westword: How does/did ganja affect you creatively?

I smoked a ton in my youth -- I think it helped me to listen to music differently, and to understand it on a deeper level.

How long had you been smoking -- or why do you not anymore?

I smoked regularly for about five years. Following a bad acid trip in Portland, Oregon, marijuana stopped working for me -- the standard anxiety/panic attack bit. It happens. Now that I am a sober person, I don't drink or use any recreational substances.

What are your thoughts on legalizing marijuana?

Marijuana prohibition is a shining example of how a political system that allows corporations to control legislation is ineffective at acting in the public interest. When I think of the millions of people today who are addicted to painkillers, or who are dealing with chronic pain, or who can't eat because of the treatments they are receiving for their illnesses -- all of that suffering could have been relieved by giving them legal access to marijuana.

Then when I think about how many people have had those issues for the last 75 years, it makes me sick to my stomach. It's just a plant, for God's sake. Marijuana only causes harm in our society because we made it illegal. Our drug policy created the cartels that are ravaging Mexico and Central America right now.

Our idiotic War on Drugs has created an unbelievable amount of violence and bloodshed here on American soil. The blood is on our hands as a country, and I believe that we are morally obligated, as citizens, to stop the absolutely ridiculous practice of marijuana prohibition.

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