A news item on KCBS radio this week inspired the intern to apply to be appointed by the Governor of California as the Pot Czar. Immediately it became apparent that this quest would be more than a mission for Don Quixote with a joint. It seems likely that a tobacco company official with strong political ties will be the most likely candidate.
However, since the intern, Karla Gottschalk, is both a naturopath and lawyer it seems, to this columnist, that a viable alternative choice is available. An executive from the tobacco industry would bring an excess of capitalism and commercialism to the post. A candidate who has experience in scientific research and experience as a lawyer would be able to bring a "fair and balanced" approach to a highly emotional current topic.
Does pot smoking affect driving and if so is it an adverse effect? Perhaps one of the fine California Universities could be funded to do research on this question as well as their medical schools.
Would someone who has never indulged in marijuana nor become addicted to tobacco have some predetermined conclusions on the questions? Would they be too prejudiced to effectively serve as the chief of medical regulations for California?
If marijuana is, as expected, legalized in California next year, will prison inmates have a right to access it?
Wouldn't it be natural for the pharmaceutical industry to discourage such a quick and maybe easy treatment rather than permitting them to micromanage potential cures (?) for these conditions?
The night time talk show opening monologues will get plenty of mileage out of the topic of appointing a pot czar for the State of California and the need for a serious approach to the medico-legal aspects should be obvious. (Would you rather Cheech and Chong be appointed?)
When Karla's quest was revealed to CBCB dispensary in Berkeley they immediately and enthusiastically offered to start a petition to help Governor Brown make his choice.
(We are looking for someone to start an online petition to urge Governor Brown to name Karla Gottschalk as the official California Pot Czar. We encourage our readers to start their own online petitions and post a link in the comments section, if you wish).
Karla's qualifications include anti-war activity in the mid-sixties and a long roster of friends who were marijuana pioneers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This week's column may seem frivolous in light of this week's terrorism in Paris. However, an examination of the full spectrum of the effects that this nomination will have on the citizens of California should make it obvious it is a very serious choice the Governor faces.
The amalgamated conspiracy theory factory employee association scheduled a showing of the colorized version of Reefer Madness where marijuana cliche's and references abound. We hope to avoid such a frivolous approach while maintaining a serious political pundit attitude towards this contentious discussion.
While Reefer Madness and a 1968 Dragnet episode "The Big High" may have influenced this columnist's disdain for the "Assassin of Youth" substance, the citizens of California deserve better.