According to most recent polls, California voters favor a ballot measure that could legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Certainly, the fact that so many Americans have smoked pot, and that so many leading politicians have admitted to having tried it, has made people more comfortable with the possibility. Nationwide, according to polls, 42% of Americans admit to having smoked marijuana at least once – and that’s twice the second-highest figure (for the Netherlands) among surveyed nations. In California the number is slightly higher: 47%. In addition, around three quarters of Californians now support the medical marijuana initiative of 1996, despite extensive publicity suggesting that its provisions have been used precisely in the way critics suggested they would be: As a way for any adult if sufficiently motivated to gain access to high quality marijuana in a legal setting.
The most recent of the aforementioned recent polls on Prop 19 showed the initiative slipping, but that particular poll looks like a possible outlier – stay tuned. I’m still going on my personal poll of cousins at a family get-together: All were rather enthusiastically in favor, though none were current pot smokers. The view I expressed at the time was, “Marijuana destroyed my life, and I feel others should have the same opportunity I did.” What I really meant is that, if California as a whole wants to lead the way into self-medicating against reduced possibilities, against structural unemployment, against competition from overseas that can’t really be defeated without aggressive (no fun) effort, against the general collapse of a a possibly no longer very attractive or functional interpretation of the American idea, so what? I’m okay with it. If more people adjusted to living an underemployed, sleepily euphoric lifestyle – well, I’m OK with it. Maybe I shouldn’t be. I just am. If you can’t deal with it, that’s your problem. What were we talking about?
Of course, that’s just the stoner inside me talking. But the polls (except for that possible outlier) seem to suggest that the stoner inside me is also outside of me and all around me.
The anti-19 campaign hasn’t really gotten into gear yet, and some people may be moved. Yet prior to argument and discipline, anyway, Californians were about ready to send a message about not worrying about things that they’re not absolutely sure are worth being worried about. They want to get on the other side of worrying about things that are not worth being worried about. Maybe people will come to like a state where people don’t worry about things not worth being worried about. Maybe that’s the future. Maybe it’s okay. Maybe it’s not. Maybe dogs have spiritual experiences. Whatever.
In that sense, it’s like a majority may already be a little high, maybe coming down, maybe thinking about getting higher, and doesn’t want to get bummed with a paranoid trip or too much reality, same difference.