Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Stupid

Michael Levin
3 min readNov 1, 2021


A lot of things are legal today but they are so stupid that it makes my head spin.

Here are three of them: apps for delivery of alcohol; legalized marijuana; and easy access to online gambling.

I am not a killjoy, and if you want to drink, smoke, or bet, that’s your business.

The problem is that these days, it’s just too damned easy to do all of those things.

Let’s start with drinking.

It used to be that if you wanted to get drunk, you had to go out of your house to a liquor store, a bar, a restaurant, or somewhere, to accomplish the feat.

Today, if you can download an app, you can have all the alcohol you want arrive at your front door with barely lifting a finger.

Okay, now people who are already loaded don’t have to get in their cars to go buy more alcohol.

But if they didn’t have the app, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten so drunk in the first place.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid.

Which brings us to marijuana.

Lots of people will tell you that marijuana is not a gateway drug, but in reality, it is.

The marijuana that exists today is 10 times stronger than the Doobies that you and I might have encountered back in the 1970s.

The fact that you can see billboards touting the alleged safety and wholesomeness, and sustainability and earth-friendliness of marijuana, just tells kids, and adults, too, that there is no downside to getting high.

Not true.

Marijuana messes up your brain, especially if you start smoking at a relatively tender age.

Just look at me.

OK, that was gratuitous humor.

Just like President Clinton, I only smoked twice, and I never inhaled.

(In my case, that’s the truth; Clinton — who knows.)

The reality is that today’s marijuana is a serious drug, and the fact that cities and states benefit from tax revenues, which means that legal pot is here to stay, is a tragedy in the making.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid.

Which brings us to the third aspect of our triumvirate of bad behavior, sports gambling.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to get a bet down, you had to fly to Vegas, or you had to locate a neighborhood bookie who would let you put down a dime on the Packers.

Back then, sports legends like Paul Hornung and Joe Louis were punished and even demonized for their connections to gambling in casinos.

Sports teams avoided Vegas like the plague; now the NFL and NHL have teams there.

Today, you can get a bit down online at any time, even in the middle of a game.

Websites like ESPN and SportsIllustrated.com, and even CBSNews.com, are all about sports gambling, giving you odds, injury reports, and most dangerously, incredibly easy ways to bet.

Again, I’m not here to be a public scold or to dictate morality.

I am saying that when it becomes this easy to practice behaviors that, as my mother would have said, are likely to end in tears, it’s just not a good thing for society.

And it’s especially not a good thing for our young people, who are essentially being raised on the idea that there’s nothing wrong with bad behavior.

As the expression goes, we are defining deviancy down, and that’s a bet that no one can win.

So whether it’s Budweiser, the evil ganja, or a six-team parlay, let’s all say it together:

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid.



Michael Levin

New York Times bestselling author, Michael has written, planned or edited more than 700 business books, business fables, and memoirs over the past 25 years.