Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #025: Times Are Always A-Changin’, by Mike Gold

It appears that those of us living in the bucolic, yet myopic state of Connecticut will be able to buy weed on the way to a gay wedding – both sanctioned by law.

As Mr. Zimmerman said, the times they are a-changin’. They’re always a-changin’, back and forth, three steps forward and two steps back. But these days they’re changing at a much faster pace. 60 years ago, Lenny Bruce said “Marijuana will be legal someday, because the many law students who now smoke pot will one day be Congressmen and they will legalize it to protect themselves.” Well, he was mistaken about the timing – President Clinton said he smoked weed when he was in school but he didn’t inhale. I am one of the few who believe him: Bill was such a wimp that he probably didn’t inhale. Besides, he already had the munchies.

A decade later President Obama said he did inhale, but his admission did not change his position on tossing kids in prison and destroying their lives for something as comparatively innocuous as marijuana.

Today, weed is legal for recreational use, with restrictions, in ten states. Now that it’s legal in Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, that sucking sound you hear coming from Atlantic Northeast is of tax dollars flying from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire to these greener pastures. As of this writing, the governors of New Jersey and New York State are vying quite aggressively to be the next to legalize the stuff.

Of course, they’re chasing those flying tax dollars. They are trying to cut their budgets as well, and no longer paying for the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of weed smokers will save them some serious green.

All of this was noted by the brand-new über-liberal governor of Connecticut, the state you drive though on your way from New York City to get to those new pot shops in Massachusetts. His predecessor was completely disinterested in legalization, a decision that might have cost him reelection had he been able to save all that money and engorge the tax rolls.

Earlier this week, the Hearst papers said, in effect, the real growth industry in the state capital in Hartford right now is in hotels and restaurants that cater to the massive army of pro-weed lobbyists. These folks are not a bunch of old hippies in Brioni suits. Nope. They’re a bunch of extraordinarily well-paid professional lobbyists who are contracted to Big Weed: the companies that farm the stuff, process it, make the vape goo and the edibles, and make the implements needed for personal consumption. To bring us back to Lenny Bruce: Mr. Zig Zag… this committee comes to the conclusion that the people are using your Zig Zag cigarette papers to roll marijuana tobacco in it.” “Aww, shit, that’s right. Lots of it. Rolling it and smoking it!” Mr. Zig Zag has a lot of competition these days.

It’s ironic that Hearst broke the Hartford story. The founder of the chain, William Randolph Hearst (the son of that guy on Deadwood) was a major force in making marijuana illegal back in the mid-1930s. Seeing the rising popularity of hemp and realizing how increased hemp production would compete with his textile mills – a major source of his income during the Great Depression – he had his newspapers near the Mexican border run stories about how Mexicans were illegally crossing the border to rape men’s wives and daughters and take their jobs after getting hopped up on weed. Then, his wire service would pick up these stories and syndicate them to newspapers across the nation and the globe. Anti-Mexican paranoia grew massively, and our immigration policies were changed, and marijuana became illegal and children went to prison.

Hmmm. Wacky Mexican immigration paranoia weed-whacks weed. Go know.

What goes around, comes around. Got a light?

 

Thoughts?