With the late summer breezes cooling us south of 100 and this being an election year, it's time for you to adjust your blindfold and prepare to pin the tail on the animal of your choice. I usually prefer a donkey, but you can pick an elephant or a Teabilly fuckstick if you want.
Medical marijuana isn't going to be a key issue in this campaign, despite the sad musings of at least one blogger (Steph Sherer of The Huffington Post, who laughingly seems to think MMJ can swing the election). But Mr. Smith thinks it's worth turning the grow lights on our presidential contenders to examine where they stand on the topic. I doubt many voters will decide based solely on MMJ, but surely some will. So let's take a look:
President Obama: The Internet erupted with Barack Obama marijuana stories in recent days when two things happened: A Washington Post editor released book excerpts detailing the president's stoner days in high school, and the Stoner in Chief suddenly appeared in an Internet Q&A where he didn't address several marijuana questions despite thousands of viewer votes for him to take a rip.
About the latter: The Reddit.com "Ask Me Anything" session was a guerrilla campaign tactic seemingly aimed at getting a younger demographic into the fray in the final months of the campaign. The format allows Internet participants to vote for questions, pushing them higher on a list of potential topics. Obama ignored a prod to justify the feds closing dozens of dispensaries after he vowed not to interfere with patients who get meds legally under state laws. That question got more than 2,000 votes, more than any other that he didn't answer.
About the former: Washington Post associate editor David Maraniss released excerpts from his forthcoming book, Barack Obama: The Story. The president was quite the stoner in high school, according to classmates interviewed for the book. He was a member in good standing of the Choom Gang, a pot-smoking brotherhood in which he was known not just for inhaling, but also for bogarting. He was a fan of sucking the lingering smoke out of the air in enclosed cars.
In the end, I guess we will wait to see exactly what Obama really believes about marijuana, but he has come down squarely for it—to some degree. I suspect in his heart of hearts, he would like to see us have our choice. But politics is a complicated world, and money talks. I doubt he is showing his true colors.
Mitt Romney: Mitt the Twit (can you tell what I think of Mr. Romney?) is easier to pin down. At one point, he bristled at the audacity of a Colorado television reporter who dared to waste his time asking about medical marijuana.
"Aren't there issues of significance that you want to talk about?" said Romney back in May, through a disgustingly fake smile. He then launched into a brief, condescending tirade about the economy and jobs.
Hellllloooo, Mitt Romney: Medical marijuana is a HUGE untapped economic resource. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry just waiting to explode onto the financial world in every way—sales and production jobs, banks, advertising, real estate, hardware and software sales, Internet commerce, etc. The sky is the limit, and it is certain that people like Mitt Romney—rich people—would make millions from a healthy MMJ economy.
But Romney steadfastly clings to the largely debunked theory that marijuana is a gateway to "other drug offenses." Sorry, Mitt; alcohol is the gateway drug. Where's the crusade against that? So it's clear what Romney thinks: He is adamantly against medical marijuana. Boo, Mitt.
Ultimately, I will follow the lead of the United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce, a shadowy and likely insignificant organization that endorsed Obama on Aug. 27: The Choomer in Chief gets my vote. I am putting my money on the donkey. Elephants are too slow for my tastes, and I ain't getting near any Teabilly fucksticks.