For the final 48 hours leading up to election night, I was as paranoid as a pothead. After foolishly failing to get an absentee ballot, I had to sit back and hope that California, a state notorious for economic imbalance, illegal alien ignorance and just g-d awful streets (and traffic) would add another notch to its tattered belt by legalizing marijuana.
My personal experiences with weed are several, albeit all in the past, but my professional encounters with marijuana are frequent. I tour colleges, I make pot jokes at every show, they never fail, and sometimes if I'm at a fraternity house, I'll walk into the wrong room at the wrong time or hit the smell once I enter. If you ask me, pot's already legal. Or at least it's legal enough to those who smoke.
Usually I let people do their thing, I let the college student take the bong hit outside with friends while I isolate myself elsewhere, but really? Legalize marijuana? Really?
It's always funny to notice how so many of those who supported Prop 19 or have sponsored the campaign, are people who have already drug records (Sean Parker) and just want to justify their own misdemeanor.
Now I've butted heads with plenty on election day. People who played the freedom of choice card, the tax revenue card, the it's the parents' responsibility to educate their kids card while I played the 2nd hand smoke card, the warped message this sends to kids card and the how long until every drug is legalized card.
Now if those points squared off in a 3-on-3 elimination tag team match, the pro-19 team would win. Freedom of choice is huge. It's why voting against gay marriage is fear-based and nauseously 'traditional.' You're saying you're against love and happiness? For tax revenue, money is king, anything that raises money for a failing economy is a plus. And you bet parents need to take their kids aside and have one of those 'talks.'
Each of those points, individually and specifically are perfect on an individual basis. Here is the problem: Prop 19 wasn't about the individual, it was about the society.
Laws are moral codes meant to raise the society when people's ethics are not up to par. It's why murder, stealing and vandalism are illegal. No, that's not the same as smoking up, but those are actions that need to be outlawed to safeguard the society. Prop 19 would've lowered the ethical level of the society.
You need to safeguard against the negligent parents, the over-abusers who could potentially get in a car after toking up in their private residence. And you need to safeguard the society against relying on an illicit drug for money rather than reworking its budget and reallocating its funds for the greatest good while not increasing their grip on the taxpayer. You really are willing sacrifice California's integrity for some extra cash? It's not the same as the cocaine dependency in Columbia or Panama, but it's consistent in theory.
I'm not trying to smack a smoker on the hand with a ruler. Freedom of choice is great for the individual, but when the individual has a tendency to get baked already, the society has to step in for the greater good, for the bigger picture.
If the meaning of life for you is having a good time, making as much money as possible and living 'me first,' and at night or at least on the weekends we can rage like Brian Wilson of the SF Giants - that's cool, that's fun, that even makes me wish I was invited. But what is the meaning of life to a group or a people? To raise that group to greater heights and improve upon itself in any way possible. Prop 19 would've made it hard for us to rise up to greater heights if we were going to be stuck on the couch watching Scooby Doo.
Yeah, a pot joke, but it always works :)
Here's to the 53%.