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Honesty Check: Okay, Who Here Has Inhaled?

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A question about marijuana.

With legalization of the Evil Weed spreading across parts of the country like The Munchies at a college pot party and even the president addressing its merits openly and without equivocation, perhaps it’s time to ask: have you smoked marijuana? C’mon, raise your hand.

As a Child of California it should be said that like presidents Clinton and Obama and a truckload of judges, police officers, CEOs and teachers we happen to know – the Wacky Tabbacky found its way to our lips in our past and, yep, we inhaled. Unlike liquor, marijuana left us with a pleasant, mellow buzz, no hangover, and no urge to swing on the resident High School wrestling champ. Frankly, given the choice between a pinch of Mendocino’s Finest and a beer, we’d go for the leaf. But that’s just us.

Today, despite Nancy Reagan’s iciest “Just Say No” staredown and maybe a gabillion dollars and untold people incarcerated, parts of the country are moving toward legalizing the Evil Leaf, taxing its sale, and decriminalizing its use. Hybrid strains are being used for medical purposes, doctors have come out from behind the curtain of fear and paranoia to admit the beneficial aspects of the plant should be explored and, with the whiff of another gabillion dollars in the air, entrepreneurs are laying the groundwork for budding pot empires. Legal ones.

That is not to say we wholeheartedly embrace all drugs, having seen the debilitating, spirit-killing effects so many of them have, but neither do we believe marijuana to be the vaunted “gateway” drug leading to lifelong addiction or a life of crime.

Instead, we see a place in the country for this relatively benign weed, and some experimentation to see if it can be put to good use helping people like so many other natural resources which people have come to rely on over the ages and which have made their way into the medical world after thoughtful experimentation and testing. Given the state’s laid-back ethos and reputation for “leading the way” we can’t help but wonder why California is not taking a more aggressive posture toward legalizing and benefiting from taxing its established underground pot industry.

We know this may be an unpopular position to take. Not everyone feels as we do and marijuana and the budding industry that surrounds it is not without its detractors – many of them our friends in law enforcement. As usual, we’d be interested in hearing what you have to say on the matter, as it our position that many supporters remain closeted because of government persistence in labeling cannabis a narcotic and, by extension, something meriting prosecution for those who use, grow or traffic in it.

So, Californians, let’s hear from you. Don’t bogart those opinions…