Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weed for Votes in San Jose, but don't tell Maureen Dowd

On Tuesday in San Jose, California, local marijuana dispensaries gave away weed to anyone who voted in the primary and brought in their "I voted" sticker to prove it:
San Jose voters who brought their “I Voted” sticker – along with their medical marijuana ID card -- to about a dozen participating dispensaries received free or discounted weed on Tuesday, primary Election Day.

Amsterdam's Garden, a San Jose medicinal marijuana dispensary, was busier than most polling places on Tuesday. It’s not a voting precinct, but if you already voted and were a member, you got a reward: a free, pre-rolled marijuana cigarette.

[...]Juan Lopez got his, a little extra product to say “thanks for voting.”

"It's definitely a good idea to get people to vote,” Lopez said, sticking the joint behind his ear. “Offers like this don't happen all the time.”

No doubt Lopez is correct. But, if the so-called “weed for votes” plan works, expect to see it on future election days.

California Medical Marijuana Association Vice President Xak Puckett said says the incentive idea was part brainstorm, part social media campaign.

The San Jose City Council is considering a proposed ordinance to closely oversee medicinal marijuana collectives and cultivation in a city with 78 collectives operating illegally.

The unlawful pot businesses continue to exist since the repeal of a law governing them in 2012. The city did not have enough funds for enforcement to close them down, Mayor Chuck Reed's spokeswoman Michelle McGurk said.

The Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition posted a list of their recommendations for candidates in San Jose who they believe "will take a reasonable approach to regulating cannabis clubs," founder of the All American Cannabis Club and SVCC member Dave Hodges said in a statement.

A list of clubs participating in the "Weed for Votes" program was posted on
And here I am, in the most conservative county in the USA. (sigh)

If this "weed-for-votes" scheme was at all possible here in South Carolina, I know several people who would have been elected to the Senate by now.

Since that obviously isn't going to happen for awhile, please enjoy the story of Henry, a man who similarly tried to bring happiness to the people.


Instantly recognizable by the catchy refrain, rolling down the mountain going fast fast fast, this song has also been covered by the Grateful Dead and numerous other jam bands. (It was years before I learned the title was "Henry.")

Delightful steel guitar by Jerry Garcia.

Henry - New Riders of the Purple Sage


For you young folks who missed that wonderful movie classic REEFER MADNESS (1936) , you can get a modern update from the New York Times' Maureen Dowd, who ate PART (!) of a pot-candy-bar in Colorado and flipped out.

Yes, that's the story, and she's sticking to it.

At least one of my friends believes her column is alarmist, invented bullshit, but I've often heard tales of certain neurotic newbies who were "wound too tight" and their paranoid first-experience with marijuana. (This describes uptight, prim Maureen to a T.) However, her purple prose is amazing, which is why I thought of New Riders of the Purple Sage.

And then, the Guardian got in on the act and Paul Krugman linked it. Maureen is now the subject of much mirth on Twitter and beyond.

Rolling down the mountain going fast fast fast...