Puff Puff Puff
Ted Rall's cartoon and column in the Los Angeles Times really caused me to laugh loudly, which is pretty damned hard for me to do these days. Here's a taste:
In musings that might surprise those who remember his "Moonbeam" period (but not those who have noticed there's no squarer square than an old hippie), Gov. Jerry Brown took to Sunday morning TV to worry aloud that emulating Colorado could leave the state defenseless against (a) foreign business competition and (b) terrorism.
"How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?" Brown mused. "The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together." ...
I'm always interested in policy appeals motivated by fear. Politicians have unleashed an awful lot of threats -- a few real but mostly imagined -- during the last decade and a half. And they haven't exactly made us a better, stronger or more economically successful nation. Brown's thoughts are nowhere close to the depraved paranoia of Dick Cheney; the idea that California will be morally and economically weakened, its security undermined, because a tiny minority of the state's residents regularly indulge in the evil weed seems about as serious and substantial as a puff of smoke. [Emphasis added]
Now that's some masterful snark. but I would expect no less from Mr. Rall.
Will California pass a recreational marijuana law if it makes the ballot in November? Probably not. It took a while to get a medical marijuana law passed, and after it did, state and local governments fussed around so long trying to set up regulations that a lot of potential dispensary owners lost interest. I suspect the general public, even in "liberal" California won't be thrilled with another experiment in better living through chemistry, especially since the pharmaceutical companies can be expected to fight long and hard alongside the liquor industry again to defeat the proposition.
And that's a shame. The state could make some easy cash on taxing the weed. And it just might make a dent in the illicit drug trade being run by the Mexican cartels and their gangster sales reps.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.