Roger L. Simon

Yes on Pot and Other Tales of Voting Early by Mail

I haven’t smoked more than a toke of grass in the last fifteen years. Reason? Back in the days I sucked down a joint a night, I noticed there was nothing left in the refrigerator the next morning and my waist went from a 32″ to a 37″ in no time flat. I’m back to 33″ now and keep far away from reefer. Also, at my age, I can do without endless discussions about the intensity of the green in a grasshopper’s antenna, assuming it has one.

But that didn’t stop me from voting “yes” on Prop 19 to legalize marijuana in California, when I sent in my (first ever) mail-in ballot today. It wasn’t just for old time’s sake. Or because I think libertarians are now the cool guys (they are) and I want to run with them. The war on drugs has been a fiasco. And given the way things are shaping up in Mexico these days, it’s way past time for a different approach. Besides, with unemployment in this state hitting the teens, I hate to put out of business the only new small enterprises employing anybody in my neighborhood — the marijuana shops.

On top of that, maybe I’m actually going to need some mary jane. As I noted in an earlier post (“Is California Insane?“), the citizens of this state seem the last, and perhaps only, people in the country unable to face up to the reality of their situation. I did my best in my ballot today — dutifully inking in the ovals for Meg and Carly — but something tells me my vote is not going to be enough in this state of 37 million persons, many of whom act as if the Airplane’s still boogieing at the Fillmore with Country Joe and the Fish when, even 60 Minutes now admits, the unemployment lines in the Silicon Valley are swelling with PhDs, their 401Ks gone as they stare down the barrel at the end of 99 weeks of unemployment compensation.

Will they turn Intel into a homeless kitchen?  How about Oracle? No wonder pot’s necessary. We’re all going to need anesthesia.

But the hopeful news for today is mail-in voting makes you a better voter. At least it did for me. You can sit at your computer and actually look things or people up as you vote. All those judges you never heard of — you can check them out now before committing yourself. Previously, I just did what the LA Weekly said. (Okay, shoot me. I was a liberal then.) Now, with not a whole lot of work, I can find a site that explains the deliberately confusing wording of the California Propositions.

Of course that doesn’t help the useful idiots voting against Prop 23, which reads pretty clearly anyway: “Suspends implementation of air pollution control law (AB32) requiring major sources of emission to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for full year.”

Anthropogenic global warming?  Still?  I thought Al Gore had gone into hiding at an undisclosed CIA safe house. And yet …  talk about your California insanity … this proposition is apparently  going down, even though the latest scientific discussion among the cognescenti is about potential global cooling, not global warming.  You’d think all those unemployed Silicon Valley PhDs would have plenty of spare time to keep up. But no. They’re as blind as everybody else, infected with the same fuddy-duddy liberalism, which has become a disease in this state.  Everyone has to think like it’s 1968 or they are asked to leave. (The smart ones have left of their own volition anyway.)

Meanwhile, at, you can register to vote, verify your registration status, request a by mail ballot, locate your polling place and — I kid you not — apply for a marriage license.  (Hey, it’s one-stop shopping.)

Who knows where this all ends? Is this the last chance for California? My ballot is in. I’m waiting to find out.