Are you serious? Are you serious? California, are you goddamn serious?
Ever since I’ve been here, I have had to endure a constant assault of your smug self-satisfaction, your condescension toward the Midwest, your assumption that we’re what’s wrong with America, your fallacious celebration of California as just “being a little bit more progressive than the rest of the country” and your embarrassing lack of knowledge of American geography. And you know what? I could almost tolerate it if you guys would just be consistent and live your principles. But now that you’ve voted no on Prop. 19, I’m not listening to a word you say.
California always thinks that it has a trademark on the concept of chill. After all, California is the place for relaxing, good music, good times, beautiful nature, not always being in a rush and In-N-Out Burger. Do I really need to spell out the subtext here? For the love of God, the official tourism slogan is “Find Yourself Here.” No one has ever found him/her/perself trolling through wine country. It’s that other substance that promotes the chillness and introspection you guys shove down my throat.
The Riverside crew I can understand voting against it. I’ve been waiting for them to die for a while, but for anyone who voted no because it’s “a poorly written bill” or for economic reasons about the price of weed, your soul and any hope you had of not being an absolute square is dead. You just couldn’t stop your imaginary grown-up masturbatory parsing of language or big-picture arguments to actually think about the injustice that you know is taking place. Barbara Boxer, the Chronicle, Humboldt County industry heads and anyone who’s ever enjoyed smoking marijuana but voted against Prop. 19, you people are savage hypocrites. When faced with the chance to make history, you chose to preserve the rule of law instead.
And I probably don’t need to remind you that currently the law is institutionally racist and classist. I’ve seen this one firsthand, having been to the class they assign South Bay Area residents who get possession citations. There were four white people out of 40. A solid 25 percent were straight-up pulled over for driving while black/brown. I was by far the most bourgeois person there, and I went to an inner-city public high school. And for you medical chaps, the current club-card system just helps out the upper-middle class kids who can afford a questionable referral and dispensary prices.
Just as bad, I have had to suffer through years of ignorant, patronizing media coverage (like the attitude promoted by Tuesday columnist Jordan Carr) and inane weed- and smoke-related puns in every news article about this issue (editorial board, I’m talking to you), all with the subtext of “Hehe, I can’t believe we’re ACTUALLY TALKING about this.” Support for Prop. 19 was never going “up in smoke”, the issues aren’t “sticky,” and the voters did not “just say no.” Grow up, people.
Listen, there’s a reason that in every imperialist country the only readily available intoxicant was alcohol, which research has just shown to be the most harmful drug, by the way. Society’s been getting fucked up ever since it stopped hunting and gathering, but when your only choices are drunkenness or sobriety, you end up with historical periods like Puritanism, the Dark Ages and the 1950s instead of the Enlightenment, the Jazz Age and Classical Greece and Rome. It’s not a coincidence.
Maybe finally we could celebrate all our frequent-smoking heroes who aren’t Bob Marley the same way we celebrate Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill and their alcoholism. Maybe in this high-powered intellectual climate, we could publicly acknowledge that weed does not make you stupid. In fact, it’s partially responsible for the best paper I’ve ever written. Maybe we could celebrate a model of weed smoking that doesn’t involve Adult Swim and Taco Bell. After all, it’s 40 percent of the goddamn population.
But no, California, you can’t see past inflated arguments about workplace regulations that could easily be corrected, or exaggerated fears about introducing a drug into society that’s already been introduced into society.
You got rid of affirmative action with a “Civil Rights bill,” you passed Prop. 8, you created McDonald’s, and yet you still want to position yourself as the land of forward thinking.
I’ll take cold weather over this type of intellectual hypocrisy any day. By the way, it’s been decriminalized in Ohio since 1975. Guess we’re not as backwoods as you’d like us to be.
Any Californians who still want to try and defend their state? E-mail [email protected].