California's Proposition 19; Not Such A Dopey Idea
The midterm elections are going to yield some bizarre and frightening results. We're about to elect some people who are opposed to things like public education, federal income taxes, Medicare, unemployment benefits, the Department of Agriculture, sex education, and most importantly, masturbation. (Rule of thumb: If there wasn't a problem, they wouldn't make a law.)
The undercurrent of sexual repression in the whole Tea Party/conservative movement is enough to give pause to a Victorian lady. Gay marriage, abortion, embryonic stem cell research? Fugetaboutit! The economic positions are equally ominous. They'll lower taxes while eliminating the deficit, which defies mathematical reasoning unless you also curtail services…minor little things like Medicare and Social Security.
But I digress. There are also some hopeful signs in November, progressive initiatives on the ballot here and there. First among them is California's Proposition 19, which will decriminalize marijuana.
It's an idea whose time has come. The drug war, in full swing throughout most of the twentieth century, including that brief unfortunate experiment in prohibition, has been an utter failure.
Life is hard, and most human beings, at one time or another, need a little chemical help to make it through. Such has it been throughout recorded history, dating back to whenever the first fellow noticed the vat of grape juice in the basement going sour. It was probably around the same time that someone tried to burn all those bushes out back blocking the view of the goat herd and discovered that the drought and the pox and the invaders at the border didn't seem nearly as worrisome as they had before…and that goat jerky was just about the most delicious thing in the world.
There will be real benefits from the decriminalization of marijuana. Police can redouble their efforts to apprehend real criminals, murderers, rapists, child and spousal abusers, and the guys robbing us of our savings and pensions. No further need to spend another minute or another dollar on harmless slackers. (And please spare me the rare examples of some heinous crime being committed while the offender was incidentally stoned. I'll show you whole volumes of crimes committed while the criminal, and quite often the victim, were drunk.) At the same time, little kids wouldn't have to turn their parents in any more because they found a couple of joints in mommy's underwear drawer.Continued on the next page