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I don't read dead-tree newspapers. It's not within my financial means to pay for a subscription, and furthermore...the Internet doth exist. [sorry, nytimes.com...can't pay you guys either].

But today, I find in my abode a copy of the Daily Pilot, Newport Beach's daily newspaper. [Newport is a rich, Republican-filled enclave here in Orange County, CA] The paper was probably brought home by a roommate or something, who knows. I've read a copy a couple of times in the past; headlines were about people giving their poodles plastic surgery or government takeover of healthcare. Or some other crazy shit.

Today's headlines? Well, ye Puritans, read no further...because this is the land of altered consciousness, a Brave New world. Drugs are everyday reality...caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, Zoloft, Prozac, meth, coke, cough syrup, etc etc etc etc etc.

The Front Page of the Daily Pilot today proclaims:

"Police: Home full of coke"

The story describes a man down at Newport Dunes Waterfront having 92 kilograms of cocaine. Funny that..a man in Newport with drugs. Guess all those Ronald Reagan shrines down here have lost their sin-dispelling powers. Just another example of how drugs pervade the lives of not only the rich and famous, but the rich and conservative as well, in GOP strongholds like Newport. If you are poor in America, without the cash to retain an attorney, post thousand$ in bail, and fight the case for weeks while on bail, then you are guilty until proven innocent. [At least that's what the LA County sheriff's deputy told me while I was being transported in the back of a car on way to my court hearing for marijuana charges.]

If you are a rich OC douchebag like this guy, then the same buddy/federal judge will drop BOTH of your cases- securities fraud AND major narcotics charges for hard drugs...because we don't want Henry Nicholas the Third's "reputation" to be "tarnished" more than it has. Must be pretty sweet to be a rich white man in America...I wouldn't know anything about that, though. Just observing.

On page two of The Daily Pilot, something else caught my eye. In the land of coke-snorting, pill-popping, meth-smoking Orange County hypocrisy, a bit of COMMON SENSE stood out. Page Two is the "Mailbag", or, Letters to the Editor. The headline? "Pot should be available like tea". Both letters to the editor called for an expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as re-legalization. Common sense arguments were made in each letter. This is, after all, an issue that cuts across the political spectrum, but is ignored by the pundits and 'experts' who only care about Beltway gossip and dithering. Those fools know, and care, nothing about the average American. Folks like me, or you, or any of the innocents locked up on cannabis charges. In most places, the jails are full of non-white inmates on drug charges, which probably because they are considered by our judicial system to be only 3/5th of a citizen.

I would have been a bit surprised at the "Mailbag", if it weren't for a piece of Truth that (relatively) few of us know: marijuana is more popular than most Democrats have bothered to acknowledge. Richard Lee's ballot initiative to regulate and tax cannabis is virtually guaranteed . Purtians will argue that we're better off not taxing cannabis, and should instead keep cutting programs for higher education, disabled services, and victims of domestic violence. I guess the message is: don't smoke pot or go to college, just drink and beat your wife. Then you'll be as cool as our Governator, ol' Ahnold.

I'm optimistic, anyway, given that9 out of 10 progressive cannabis ballot intiatives SUCCEEDED in our last national election. A large percentage of Californians consider re-legalization to be a 'very important' issue.

Originally posted to theytookmyblogalready on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 01:16 PM PST.

Poll

'Experts" give cannabis a 50% chance of passing in CA's 2010 election. Do you think it will pass?

75%72 votes
8%8 votes
15%15 votes

| 95 votes | Vote | Results

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