For months I refused to discuss anything related to politics with a friend of mine that dates back at least thirty-six years to my freshman year in college. Back then, marijuana was illegal but almost decriminalized, a testament being that the last three U.S. President's have publicly admitted to taking a toke a least once. So when our mutual college friend, (also a former roommate and fraternity brother) told both of us on a conference call his experience in seeing President Obama at Denver's City Park this past Wednesday the conversation turned to Colorado's Statewide Amendment to legalize recreational use of marijuana---something all three of us could agree upon. I provided an anecdote that all recent polls point to the measure carrying a majority to pass, PPP Poll of October 24, 2012
Q6 Amendment 64 is an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning marijuana, and, in connection there with, providing for the regulation of marijuana; permitting a person twenty-one years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana; [...] If the election was today, would you vote or against Amendment 64?Then we joke a bit how the last three US Presidents publicly have admitted to smoking pot and that possibly it should be a litmus test for anyone to be elected. There were chuckles as on the computer I looked up the following quotes on line.
For ......................... .53% Against................... .43% Undecided.............. . 5%
Q7 In general, do you think marijuana usage should be legal or illegal?
Legal ...................... .53% Illegal ..................... .42% Not sure ................. . 6%
Barack Obama---“I inhaled frequently. That was the point”
George W. Bush publicly refused to answer the marijuana question. He was later caught saying he refused to talk about it “I wouldn’t answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don’t want some little kid doing what I tried.”
Bill Clinton---"When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale and never tried it again."Then the chuckles ended for all of us when I read the following from the NY Times:
Three houses away from Mr. Romney is Mark Quint, a Democrat [...] Mr. Romney and his wife take regular walks around La Jolla, exchanging pleasantries with fellow strollers and occasionally enforcing the law. A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.I mean it is one thing to be unhappy with a joint, but in California, no different than Colorado smoking marijuana can be legal in that there are medical marijuana licenses. But then again this comes from a man who unlike the three previous presidents who socialized and experimented with pot this candidate did something very creepy and also illegal:
The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”
“He told us that he had gotten the uniform from his father,” George Romney, then the Governor of Michigan, whose security detail was staffed by uniformed troopers. “He told us that he was using it to pull over drivers on the road. He also had a red flashing light that he would attach to the top of his white Rambler.”It was there that my Right Wing friend went off. He started by calling Obama a Muslim. We both and said come on, we aren't discussing rumor politics about either candidate we were discussing marijuana legalization. Then my friendi Scotty who is less confrontational asked where is there any verified report that Obama is a Muslim.
In Madden’s recollection, confirmed by his wife Susan, who also attended Stanford during those years, “we thought it was all pretty weird. We all thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty creepy.’ And after that, we didn’t have much interaction with him,” although both Madden and Romney were prep school boys living in the same dorm, called Rinconada.
His reply was it is all over the Internet...Scotty could be that maybe he might have a Muslim name? Tom's reply was, YES! Then Scotty said well Bob here has a Serbian Orthodox name, is he a Serbo Orthodox? Tom's reply was I don't know?(Typical, he does know, I am Unitarian Universalist in that he teases me about being so liberal that even my religion is over the edge.) What about me, my name is English but am I Anglican, no I go to a nondenominational church.
Now Tom replies that Obama was not a real American (yeah so what). Then he went to a place that we later found quite perplexing and foreboding.
"You both think you are so smart and I can't believe how or why you support that socialist-gay-Muslim, but if he wins this thing it is because this democracy is broken, and good for nothing. The election is rigged as Romney has the lead now. But still if it is stolen by the Electoral College there will be a revolution, you know the stuff of the 2nd Amendment remedies. What gets me is that Obama is winning by putting all this together all the losers welfare lazy asses, women, Blacks, Mexicans, unions and then you old liberal pot heads.
Scotty then chimes in, wait a minute, you were on welfare, you got Medicaid, food stamps, even aid for your inpatient alcohol treatment. You don't work, (now living on his inheritance). His reply was hey, I needed that then. And Scotty goes on saying well other people may need their safety net. Tom then goes on, well we can't afford it now. Scotty says, so in 2010 we could afford it for you? YES, he exclaims. (Of course it makes no sense)
Then he says that secretly gay, (secretly gay married no less)! That the real unemployment is worse than when Obama was elected, that the most of the unemployment was because of Obama policies. (He couldn't stop.) Didn't you watch the debates, he exclaimed, Romney cleaned his clock! (Attention, Tom remember binders full of women, acts of terror, and bayonets and horses? Forget those polls or our own judgment.) Then of course what about Bengazi, Syria, Egypt, and then IRAN!
I cut in, Iran, Romney's ideas on Iran, Syria and Libya are a confirmation of Obama's.
Okay, okay but what about marijuana. He is clearly frothing at the mouth and yells that he already voted for legalizing it. Scotty then asks, but what about Romney rating out his neighbor for smoking?
We continue on our call and admits he has never really seen this irrational reality before. Where did this gay thing come from? I say I don't know, but like the birther's people can't come to terms that Obama is a legitimate President elected by the majority of Americans. He then says, what is this revolution all about....same thing. So Scotty then comes up with a revelation, no matter what is actually reality, there are people like Tom who come up with their own reality, their own world that is not real. Where are they getting this? FOX and radio, the same psychology that created and kept fascism and communism going to their bitter ends, forget what is actually happening on the ground...believe what is happening in one's mind as one wishes it to be.
Finally Scotty goes to how Tom discounts everyone else who needs social aide, but felt that he was entitled to his. I say this is not new. F Scott Fitzgerald wrote expertly about it in his novel F. Scott Fitzgerald "Rich Boy", (where I pulled the quote)
"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand."