A Sweet, Bloody Kiss

I completed my mail-in California ballot tonight, happily filling in little boxes next to names and propositions, doing my best to chart my state's uncertain future.

As per usual, the choices for candidates left me unexcited.  California has its typical status quo flunkies all proclaiming they aren't status quo, and the outsider fringe nut cases whose chances of winning are even less than the proverbial snowball's chance of surviving Hell.  And then there are the propositions.

Prop. 19 (decriminalization of pot) is the one that has the news media abuzz.  This is not some local CA hype, either.  The coverage is worldwide.  We are still fucking around in Iraq and Afghanistan, our state's budget is another smoke and mirrors magic show that stunned citizens last year, the country's economy is less-than-stellar, and all the news wants to report about is the Tea Party and people being able to get stoned legally in California. 

This proposition came up again at the post office when I ran into a woman I know kind of casually.  She's got this great devil woman tattoo on her back that was done in Las Vegas.  She wanted to know if I was happy it was finally on the ballot (I've been writing about the decriminalization of pot for years, and she's read my stuff).

"I'm happy about it," I said, "but kind of disappointed that this seems to be the only talking point."

"I'm sick of it already," she said.  "There's got to be something else to focus on."

And that hit it on the head.  There are plenty of other issues to focus on, but if you got people talking about Prop. 19 you can avoid discussion on these other unpleasant things.  (Besides having great tattoos and being intelligent, she also knows what Re/Search is, which gives her a huge plus in my book.)  Distract the public with pot, and they can think that's the most important issue facing their neighbors.  Forget the economy.  Forget the war.  Forget the fact that California (and the rest of the country) is up for not only redistricting, but how it is to be redistricted.  Forget all that.  Let's talk about legally being able to possess Trainwreck.

I told Devil Girl that I was happy it got on the ballot and had a good chance of passing, but was also disappointed that at the end of the day the more important stories were taking a back seat to Kush and company.  She agreed (told you she was smart), but said that this was at least a positive step in the right direction.

Agreed ... but I really wish the media would focus on some other stories like the voter intimidation that is threatening to disrupt polling places, or even the overcrowded prisons.  There are other issues out there.  Not all of us are too stoned to notice.

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