“The Times They Are a Changing”

 

pot-e1463438661632Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call                               Don’t stand in the doorway, Don’t block up the hall                             For he that gets hurt, Will be he who has stalled                           There’s a battle outside ragin’                                                                   It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls                          For the times they are a-changin’…                                                    Bob Dylan

 

“The high times they are a-changing once again!” Can you believe it’s been more than 5 years since the Governator signed into law a bill that reduced possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil infraction no more serious than a speeding ticket. Until then possession of less than an ounce was punishable by arrest, a possible court appearance and/or jail time, a $100 fine and a criminal record. Well, as 60’s pop duo Chad & Jeremy used to sing, “that was yesterday and yesterday’s gone.” As of January 1, 2011  most of that changed, oh there is still a $100 fine, but no arrest, jail time or criminal record, bringing California another step closer to full legalization or so proponents believed. It’s been five years and though the use of medical marijuana has been widely accepted, legal recreational use has remained but a pipe dream.

Fast forward five years and California is again is on the verge of legalizing the recreational use of the marijuana. Once again a marijuana initiative will be on the ballot in November. This time around it really looks like passage is a slam dunk. Of course that’s what was said back in 2010, when the bill was defeated by a 7% margin. With the recent legalization of the recreation use of marijuana in Oregon and Colorado, California is poised to join them. Recreational use is also legal in Alaska, Washington state, and Washington DC.  And California isn’t alone, at least 9 other states will have marijuana initiatives on their ballots in November.

Can it be? Is the country really going to pot? Right now there are 24 states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana and several more are in the process of doing so. Yeah California this could be the year. But come September you best be prepared for the onslaught of negativity from opponents of the initiative, They’ll flood the media with their message of doom and gloom in an effort to sway the undecided. Seems to have worked for them the last time around. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

You’d think there’d be plenty of former, pot smoking, baby boomers out there who would vote yes. If  the new proposition is approved, it would legalize a number of marijuana-related activities in California and give local government the authority to regulate these activities. This would allow for the collection of marijuana-related taxes and fees, and allow them to impose criminal and civil penalties as well. The new law will generate much needed tax revenue and free law enforcement agencies to pursue more serious criminals. All I can say is “It’s about time.”

I can see it already, across California aging, baby boomers donning their pasley and tie-dye, rummaging through their attics, garages and rental storage units, looking for their long forgotten bongs, pipes, roach clips and other assorted paraphernalia. Granddads and grandmas kicking back in their recliners sharing a bowl, turning up their hearing aids, and listening to some good old classic rock!  Right On!                                                                           As a former pot smoking, baby boomer myself, I have mixed feeling. I enjoyed catching a buzz back in the day and I suppose I still would, but it’s been years since I’ve had a pot buzz . Now my drug of choice is alcohol. I catch a beer buzz, wine buzz, margarita buzz or mai tai buzz. Honestly I’m not sure which is worse, pot or alcohol.  A little pot goes a long way, while it takes much more alcohol to get a booze buzz.  I really don’t know if I want to smoke even a little pot. The whole sucking smoke into my lungs part of it bothers me. I don’t know.  Of course I did always enjoy those ‘special’ brownies though,  Hmm, maybe I could take up baking!  I’ll have to think about that one…

Have a potsperous  and don’t forget to vote!

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