Lenny Bruce’s Mom once told me, “Life is never how you expect it to be, what got you there, can get you out.” Sally was referring to one of Lenny’s drug busts for dope (heroin.) It seemed that during the trial one of the jurors who was a drunk, snuck out of the sequestered motel where the jurors were being held, for a little pick me up, thus nullifying his trial. But we all know Lenny was being busted for what he said and the drugs were an excuse to shut him up. As the Great Sage wrote in his song, ‘Lenny Bruce’, “Never robbed any churches nor cut off any babies’ heads/He just took the folks in high places and shined a light in their beds.” (Happy belated B-Day Bob!)
So as I attended the hearing at the Planning Commission last Thursday night/Friday morning, I never thought as I was sitting there, that this panel, this commission was going to approve a dispensary going into a very definitive residential neighborhood. When I passed out Friday morning somewhere around 1:30 am, it would be another hour and half before they would APPROVE the dispensary. I went to bed that night thinking, “No way.” That was after watching local resident after another plead, cry, bemoan, weep, shed tears, whine, wail to the Commission that a Medical Marijuana store would wipe out their neighborhood as they knew it. Not to mention the dance studio and learning centers that were not technically schools in the strictest sense, but still had hundreds of kids attending during the day that I thought for sure would stop the pot shop from making roots on Taraval Street. Well, way. It passed. And it taught me how wrong I can be.
I still can’t believe it passed.
The reason this is so important to me is, two months ago I thought legalization was almost a done deal. As I am apt to say, “It’s all happening.” I still believe it, but not as strong as before. But as Lenny’s mom, Sally Marr said about what gets you there...Will it only be about money that makes the side of Legalization, the winner?
In the stoopid Chronicle today, the business columnist, Kathleen Pender did an interesting piece on how the local banks are dealing with the dispensaries and the challenge of what to do with all that illegal gotten dollars. Apparently Marijuana is actually illegal and by selling the WEED, we’re going against the federal laws. But by putting the bucks in financial institutions, it’s kind of hard NOT to justify what is going on.
So it gets back to that old Civil War question of state’s rights versus federal rights. As it would be legal for the United States government to come into one of our Bay Area Medical Marijuana shops, and shut it down. They’re illegal! They only reason they don’t do here like they do it elsewhere, is public opinion. For example, Orange County while still technically residing in California could care less about compassion or that dreaded Obama-word, empathy, for a patient or a person stricken with MS or some other disease that prevents you from experiencing life at its fullest for your condition. Location, location, location.
The reason I bring this all up is...In the grand scheme of having all our bongs in a row, making sure when it comes to the vote this November on the ballet for Legalization, are we ready? Have we thought what the anti-Legalization forces are going to come at us with?
After watching the beating of the collective chests of the Avenues last Friday morning, I see how much public opinion counts. Not as much as I thought. See, I believe we live in a real straight world where people act much hipper than they are. But when it comes down to it, we go to war when we’re scared. We act irrational when our backs are against the wall. I saw fathers and mothers cry in front of the Commission. I mean jeeze, I wasn’t going to let those pot-smoking freaks open the pot shop after hearing the neighbor’s testimony. What’s going to happen when it goes state wide?
Here’s the big point...
What happens if it is illegal to tax an illicit drug? What happens if taxes weren’t the answer? What happens if Legalization needs to pass like a big boy, on its own merits? Not because Ahnold the Guvanator took at stab as acting as a politician before driving the state into the ground with a, “Ah’ll neva be baaaack.” Every day we read on bad California is. How taxes are going to have to go up and still, agencies are still having to cut programs left and left. The once Golden State is being mocked on the East Coast for our spendy ways. Face it, they’ve always hated us on the other coast, now they have they’re chance to express their repressed, constrained, Puritanical minds. We are now being laughed at outright for our crazy social programs and our stoopid energy restrictions that everyone knew was going to run the state into the desert’s earth.
So the wagon trains aren’t coming west anymore for a better life. Jack and Moriarty aren’t going to hop into a just purchased used car and head for the sunset down that orange-scented road. No, Cali ain’t what it used to be...
Unless...unless WEED can save us. Maybe while all others are losing their heads, Heads are the answer. Potheads. Will it be up to us to save California? Is the reason that Legalization’s gonna pass is because like everything else, it is all about the Benjamin’s? Are we the answer?
I just need to ask my brothers and sisters of the Blue Smoke, one question? Why do we want it legal again? Is it to help others or to get high? As we advance with our cause is it a wink-wink thang? We come through the door carrying our compassion card and once in, roll ‘em up like there’s no tomorrow.
Sorry, I have another question. If the compassion part didn’t exist, would we be satisfied with saying, we want WEED sold like booze is in liquor stores or drugs are at Walgreens. We just want access to our stuff. Would that be too honest? Is there a chance that we could be that honest?
What happens if federally it couldn’t be taxed, just locally? I kind of think that is the way it is going to happen. Here’s a scary thought for a second, what happens if the money factor is removed and it was left up to us and our neighbors to debate? What would happen?
Is that why we need to have the taxes involve? To bring the Man and the rest of the country aboard so they can see the benefits of having WEED legal. Otherwise, who’d give a fuck?