"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 19 January 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Vox Potuli


[color me obvious, i just wanna be happy half the time, and blue only when i have the time ]

So many inspired and inspiring

cranks run for office in America

that you have to wonder why the

ones who get elected always seem

to fall so flat. Last week, with

little or no fanfare, Dennis

Peron, a self-described Vietnam

veteran, restaurateur, gay man

who lost his lover to AIDS, and

political activist, announced

his bid for California's

Republican gubernatorial



To Californians, though, and to

all people who love liberty,

Peron is most famous as the

founder of the Cannabis Buyers

Club and the motivating force

behind 1996's Proposition 215,

which decriminalized the use of

marijuana for medical purposes.

Specifically, Peron's campaign

for governor is a puff of

fragrant smoke in the face of

California Attorney General Dan

Lungren, who has his clear,

bloodshot-free eye on the state

house next year.


It's an honorable campaign in

every sense of the word. Lungren

is the grown-up version of the

kid who used to yell "Get off my

property now!" at you, and, in

the past 14 months, he's done

his utmost (with support from

local governments and the Feds)

to view the passage of Prop 215

as the legislative equivalent of

an oregano joint - you can pass

it all you want, but it'll never

do anything for you. With the

passion of a true pot square, he

fulminates that somebody isn't

playing fair - that voters

didn't know 215 (and an even

more permissive bill in the

state of Arizona) was intended

as a Trojan Horse, carrying


decriminalization in its


belly. The culprits, of course,

are those (apparently clever)

potheads who played on the

compassion of voters.


[sixteen years of anger, seven more of pain, leave that all behind you in the falling rain]

Compassion? Tell it to the

Iraqis. The idea that a nation

that seriously debates whether

Ted Kaczynski is sane enough to

fry can be snookered by its

compassion is laughable. It's

even funnier when you're high. A

far more likely scenario is

suggested in a CNN poll on the

medical marijuana issue. When

poll takers were asked, "Do you

think that some states' decision

to allow marijuana to be used

for medical purposes will lead

to the drug's full

legalization?" 80 percent

answered "yes." When asked, "Do

you support the use of marijuana

for medical purposes?" 96

percent also answered "yes."


Troy must be full of Greeks, and

they must have some killer bud.

We can't count out the

possibility that the polls have

been stocked with zealots of the

sort who have made Mustafa Kemal

Ataturk the odds-on favorite to be

Time magazine's man of the

century (but shit, Getting Your

People to get out the vote is

what America's all about). But

the numbers here indicate what

we all knew already: Everybody

knew we were voting to legalize

weed, and we voted for it

anyway. Now will somebody please

explain why the bowl hasn't come

my way in a good 10 minutes?


[Saw her sitting at the bar, you know how some girls are always making eyes well she wasnt making eyes so i sideled up beside her settled down and said hi there my name s steward ransom miller and im a serial lady killershe said im already dead thats exactly what she said ]

The whole reason states

introduce referenda like 215 is

to get the direct pulse of the

people. And in this case, the

people would seem to have just

said "yes." But the story

doesn't end there. It's not hard

to find signs that the public

is, in fact, confused on this

issue - confused enough to give

aid and comfort to Dan Lungren's

campaign to subvert the public

will. This was most evident in

the behavior of ABC-TV during

1997. We all recall the TV Is

Good ad campaign - but what of

the March Against Drugs, the

network's monthlong tie-in with

the Partnership for a Drug-Free

America. Talk about conflicting

ideas of fun! Does Nielsen

really tell the networks so

little of our viewing habits?

Does ABC really expect that -

its delightfully perky star

aside - anybody can get through

an episode of Sabrina, the

Teenage Witch without multiple

bong pulls?


But the network may not be far

wide of the mark. At the same

time that we're all getting used

to the notion of decriminalized

pot, California itself has taken

concrete steps toward the

effective criminalization of

tobacco - a movement seemingly

at the opposite end of the

spectrum from NORMLization of

the War on Drugs. It's possible

that the ability to function

while entertaining two opposed

notions is the sign of a

fine-minded electorate. It could

also be the brownies.


In any event, the odds are that

the great American tradition of

the simple solution will win

out, and we'll just decide to

ban everything. After all,

prohibition worked the first

time around, better than is

generally acknowledged. In New

York City, the pitiless Mayor

Giuliani is moving in that

direction, with plans to shut

down the various tacitly

approved weed clubs around town.

(There may be less here than

meets the eye; while we're fond

of Caribbean service and

hospitality, it may make for a

more efficient market if the

cops of Manhattan's 9th Precinct

cut out the middleman and just

start selling the shit

themselves - perhaps in dummy

stores decorated with police

paraphernalia instead of Jimmy

Cliff albums). So what we have

is the strange spectacle of a

public enamored in principle of

the idea of pot, but in

practice, enslaved to the art of

the bogart.


[ah.  headphones are way better than those silly drugs. ]

A conflicted electorate allows

the worst, filled as always with

passionate intensity, to impose

their will on the nation. As the

Justice Department sets out to

close California's weed buyers

clubs, attorneys attack the new

line of "Classic Hemp" trading

cards, and Dan Lungren gears up

to become the Golden State's

next chief, Dennis Peron's

muddled campaign seems more

vital than ever. While the

candidate's style of

in-your-face zealotry has made

him some enemies, we recognize a

truly inspired campaign when we

see it. It's not our way to

offer political endorsements,

but this is one victory party we

plan to attend. And to get high

as monkeys while we're at it.

courtesy of the BarTel d'Arcy