The “Happiest Place on Earth” pulled an Evil Stepmother move last month when it updated its rules and regulations to ban medical marijuana from all of its theme parks and resorts. Of course they did it just as both California and Florida passed recreational and medical use bills, respectively, as an obvious warning to their visitors that the will of the people will not apply on Disney turf.
Nevermind the fact that every ride, from “It’s a Small World” after a quick toke to “Space Mountain” after a space cookie is a hell of a lot more fun, or that Walt Disney himself was known to dabble in everything from cocaine to mescaline (the psychedelic influence in movies like Dumbo and Fantasia is quite obvious). All things considered marijuana should actually be encouraged not prohibited in these giant open air amusement parks when Americans of all walks of life rub shoulders under the hot sun. It keeps the friction down.
In fact, America’s favorite fun zones have often become scenes of violence and madness that mama marijuana would have nipped in the bud, literally. For example, a 50 year old man was filmed going berserk in Disneyland to the point where he had to be pepper sprayed and held down. More recently, video of a young buck going killer Jedi and taking out the whole cast and crew of the Star Wars show. CBD drops anyone? (Only joking!)
Even former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera flew off the handle and lost it after Mickey Mouse himself tried to take a break when it was her turn for a selfie with him. Poor Mickey had to be escorted to safety by security just to get away from the riled up Diva, showing that sometime a “Genie in Bottle” is really a lot of bottled up rage.
“Do you know who I am?”
she shouted, after calling Mickey an asshole in front of families and children.
Want more? There have even been stabbings in the parking lot of Disneyland that drew bigger audiences than the shows happening inside. And no, these were not staged sword fights between the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. In fact, there have been so many fights at the Disney theme parks that there are now fight compilation tapes circulating around the Internet that showcase the best brawls, although this three woman smack down at the Epcot Center has got to be the best of the bunch.
So what’s really happening here folks? Why are so many people wiling out when they are supposed to be chilling and enjoying themselves on vacation at Disney Theme Parks? How did the epicenter of family fun and the most popular vacation destinations in the country become such obvious examples of the worst of human behavior?
Crowding affects behavior
The answer is simple and is to be found in the effects of crowding on the behavior of not just humans but other animals as well. Studies on monkeys have shown that aggressive behavior is directly linked to crowded conditions, and can sometimes even result in behavior that would be considered psychotic in other situations. Psychologists know that while crowded events, like dance parties and concerts, are actually where humans experience the most joy and social connection, things can quickly take a negative turn if stressful situations arise or if co-operative conditions are replaced by competitive ones. Think of the lines for the rides at Disney World on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon and you see the perfect recipe for things to get out of hand.
People simply get more edgy when they are packed together in one place. The more contact with each other they have the more likely that both positive and negative interactions will happen. When it comes to mega-amusement parks like Disneyland, the possibilities are both highly rewarding and potentially terrifying, which is where nature’s most powerful herbal medicine comes into play with the potential to save the day and round off the edges. Quite simply, marijuana is a powerful social lubricant with the ability to lower aggression and violent behavior drastically, and should be considered as crowd control technique without equal in the world.
A July 2016 study conducted in Holland, for example, exposed three groups of people to tests explicitly designed to irritate, annoy and elicit aggressive behavior among the participants. The first group had been given enough alcohol to be intoxicated, the second group had smoked marijuana and the third was a control group that was perfectly sober.
Remarkably, the researchers found that while alcohol increased aggressive behavior compared to the control group, cannabis actually lowered it. This meaning that those who consumed cannabis were not only more relaxed than the boozers but that they were actually even more tranquilo than the non-smokers as well.
Other studies have shown that marijuana even lowers domestic violence rates among couples, meaning those furious family vacation fights would be toned down with a little cannabis thrown in the mix as well. In fact, we have known for decades that marijuana lowers aggression and violent behavior in a dose dependant manner, meaning that if after hitting the bong there is still some agro behavior going on simply hitting it again and again will eventually do the trick and put even a raging elephant down into couch lock.
So, when it comes to Disney’s new rules regarding marijuana use in its parks, especially since now it is legal in the states where both Disneyland and Disneyworld are located, it would be wise for them to rethink their position. Since both the visitors will have more fun and the staff will have less grief due to aggressive behavior, allowing cannabis use on a Disney vacation would be a win-win situation for everyone.