LAND OF FRUITS, NUTS…AND POTHEADS

It was an interesting election  few years back.  That’s when California voters went to the polls and voted “yes” on Proposition 215.  It was called “The Compassionate Use Act.”  It allowed people who were knocking on death’s door the legal right to smoke a little pot to ease their pain.  After all, taking morphine might cause them to become addicted during their final days on this planet.

Californians…being sympathetic to those in pain, overwhelmingly approved Proposition 215.  Of course there was no organized opposition to the ballot measure.  Who in their right mind would want to prevent someone with terminal cancer from leaving this world in pain.

But a strange thing happened following that election.  Californians revealed that we live in a very sick state.  There are more sick people in this state per capita than any other state in the union.  It also revealed a new source of income for doctors.  You see, in order to legally get high on pot, a person has to have a note from a doctor.

Today, anyone with an abscessed tooth, a bad back, athletes foot, a headache, a hangnail or hemorrhoids can get a note from a doctor granting the “patient” permission to legally get high (as long as the “patient” can cough up the hundred bucks or so to pay the doctor.)  When it comes to renewing the permission slip, that’s another fifty bucks.

In a college town like Chico, California, that permission slip and it’s annual renewal has generated mucho bucks (under the table?)for local doctors (who apparently aren’t paid enough for heart transplants to make their yacht payments.)

Proposition 215 also opened up other avenues to generate revenue.  Advertising.  In this college town, the Chico News and Review is a weekly newspaper which carries advertisements for the “medicine” being sought by so many “patients.”  The “medicine”…with such names as Super Lemon Haze, Pineapple Skunk, Headband, and Crack.

Daily specials are also advertised with special “sales” except the word “sales” is never used.  It’s still against the law to sell marijuana. The terms to avoid such breaches of the law are “transactions” or “donations”.  For example, one such advertisement states “Greatly reduced.  Suggested donation $135 per ounce.”  Another offers $8 off any ‘transaction over $25.  And still another offers a free gram with any transaction.  Still another advertises a delivery service only.  How cool is that!

Yes, Proposition 215 changed everything, proving once and for all that Caliornia is not just the land of fruits and nuts.  It has become the land of pot heads.  It’s illegal to light up a Camel in public in so many places, but it’s okay to light up a joint (as long as you’ve got your permission slip.)

 

 

SMOKE ‘EM IF YA’ GOT ‘EM

…and just remember, the more you smoke, the more money becomes available for children’s health care. A bill now signed into law provides for spending an additional $32.8 BILLION on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP.)

Where’s the money coming from to pay for it? Lawmakers generated the extra revenue by increasing the federal tobacco tax. The bill (now signed into law) boosts the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes to $1.01 a pack. That means an awful lot of smokers won‘t be able to afford the habit anymore and they’ll have to be replaced by new smokers.

 

In the original stimulus plan, on page 61, it included 75 MILLION dollars for smoking cessation programs. So, the one hand, we have the politicians introducing bills to try to get people to STOP smoking, while on the other hand, encouraging people to smoke MORE to pay for children’s health care, yet adding exorbitant taxes to make it more difficult.

On the one hand, we’re told “smoking and second hand smoke kills” while on the other, we’re encouraging people to smoke in order to pay the bills for children health care insurance. While smokers are encouraged to keep lighting up for the sake of the children, politicians write laws so lawyers can sue tobacco companies, making the price go up, which discourages people from smoking, and lessens the amount of revenue being generated.

 

For smokers that can still afford the habit, they find it increasingly difficult to find a place to light up. How do they expect people to run up all that lovely revenue if they can’t smoke?

So, for the time being, smoke ‘em if you can afford ‘em, and can find a safe AND legal place to light up. Just remember, the more you smoke, the more money will be generated FOR THE CHILDREN.