"And the millions of people who use this plant medicinally are just trying to get "whacked out"?"
We're not talking medicinally. And plenty of medicines are harmful if taken recreationally which is why they're controlled and not bought from some scabby dealer out of a car window.
"This plant has been around for many more years than you have, and it will be here for many years after you are gone."
So have opium poppies. And?
"Point is, people crave an escape from reality. "
Most people escape as you say via books, films etc. Losers require something stronger such as drugs whether its cannabis, booze or whatever.
At the end of the day the law is what it is, not what you want it to be. Don't like it? Tough, most people are happy with it and believe it or not you're in a minority. If enough people - and I mean everyone , not just students and aging ex-hippies - wanted the law changed it would have been changed by now. So suck it up pal and stop whining like a baby.