Up in Smoke

From Ben Stein:

I’m 61, and have many friends who are roughly the same age. In fact, most of my friends range in age from 50 to around 65. Some of them are far happier and more self-confident than others. Some of them have plans to go places, play golf, take photos of exotic lands. That’s some of them. The others are in fear, afraid to leave their houses, afraid to think of growing old — just plain afraid. I can think of two major differences between the ones who are successful and the ones who are not. The first difference is that the confident group did not disable themselves by drug use or excessive alcohol use. It’s an amazing thing, but it’s true: The men and women I know who have spent a lot of time smoking pot have, by and large, thrown their lives away in the pursuit of feeling no pain. There are exceptions, but typically they can barely get out of bed, let alone pursue a career aggressively or save in a disciplined way. Basic, long-term sobriety seems to me a precondition for a successful life, and certainly a precondition — in most cases — for a life of prudence as far as money is concerned. The man or woman lost in marijuana-induced bliss cannot and will not be able to evaluate investment options and pick the best ones — it’s that simple. One of the many blessings of sobriety is to be able to invest sensibly.