Let's take a look at Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana.
Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you how I feel about it — I know you don't care — and I'm not going to tell you how you should feel about it.
Everybody, their dealer and their politician has an opinion on the issue and we're all tired of hearing them.
Instead, I figured we'd check out some of the ridiculous puns and one-liners put out there by the news media as elections creep closer. I thought they would have shot a little straighter, but I guess weed is just one of those topics where you can't really help yourself.
You'll be surprised by some of the respected outlets throwing out cheese on the issue — I know I was.
Here we go:
- San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan, on his blog: "State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is so high (pun just in fun) on the chances of Proposition 19 passing in next month's general election … that he's already trying to get the state ready for oversight."
- AOL News contributor Dave Thier: "Blood-shot eyes are on California as it prepares to vote on Proposition 19 …" The headline for his article read "Calif. Marijuana Vote Could Lead to Haze of Complications"
- Headline from the blog of Wall Street Journal reporter Ashby Jones (yes, even the Wall Street Journal is getting in on it): "A Stony Response: Feds Not Amused by Proposition 19"
- Headline for the Salinas Californian's editorial: "Proposition 19 blows smoke; vote no"
- OK, so this one isn't really from a respected news source, but it's funny nonetheless. It's a story on the website for VH1 program "Best Week Ever TV." It's a satire story about Men's Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer, an avid supporter of Proposition 19. "Men's Wearhouse CEO Likes Pot: We Guarantee It" reads the headline. The article features a picture of Zimmer in one of his elegant suits with a giant pot leaf on his lapel. The leaf looks like it was Photoshopped in.
- This one didn't come from a reporter, but from a source in a CBS news story. The quote was so contrived, I figured it made the cut. Dale Gieringer, president of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was commenting on a report that pot prices would plummet if the drug were legalized: "Overall, this report casts more smoke than light on the issue …"
- And last, this one comes from the Los Angeles Times. The story isn't directly about Proposition 19, but it's no doubt done to feed the demand for marijuana stories as elections approach. The headline reads "In Humboldt County, deputies' jobs can get hazy." Get it? No, the story is not about cops smoking weed, but that's what it sounds like, right? It's a story exploring Humboldt County's not just tolerance of, but dependence on, the local marijuana industry.
Pretty funny how childish even the big news outlets can get with an issue like marijuana, eh?
Anyhow, I just thought this would be a good side road to take on the whole Proposition 19 thing, a good way to veer away from the opinions and campaigning that have plagued us for months.
Now that I think about it, I guess I do have an opinion on the matter. How serious an issue could legalizing marijuana be if the Wall Street Journal is posting one-liners about it?
I'll steer away from the one liners, though. I'll take the high road.