This Week’s Reefer Madness

Flickr user Salty Cracka

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This story is cross-posted at The Riff.

Boy, it’s only Wednesday and this week has already gone to pot. Marijuana hasn’t had this much going for it since, well, anybody who smokes a lot of it can remember. Proposition 19, the California ballot measure that would legalize recreational pot smoking, yesterday earned an endorsement from the Service Employees International Union, California’s largest and most powerful labor union. Doing the SEIU one better, the Teamsters announced this week that they’d unionized 40 actual pot farmers who work for Oakland’s Marjyn Investments, which contracts to grow buds for medical marijuana patients. “I didn’t have this planned out when I became a Teamster 34 years ago,” labor organizer Lou Marchetti told the Sacramento Bee. “This is a whole new ballgame.”

No kidding. Marijuana is big business, and not just for Humboldt County or that kid selling bags of Mexican schwag. On Sunday, six pot vendors assembled in Tacoma’s Conquering Lion, a music venue, for what was billed as Washington’s (and maybe America’s) first marijuana farmers market. On Tuesday, High Times reported that a pot dispensary in Oakland, Crema de la Cana, is now selling pot ice cream in flavors that include Straw-Mari Cheesecake and Bannabis Foster. If Proposition 19 passes, maybe we’ll see organic heirloom pot at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, or Cherry-Mari Garcia at Ben and Jerry’s.

That could be why California breweries, pot’s main competitors, are worried about waking up on November 3rd with a hangover. “This Bud’s Not For You: Beer Industry Battling California Pot Initiative,” the Huffington Post tweeted yesterday in response to the news that the California Beer and Beverage Distributors donated $10,000 towards defeating Prop 19. They’re not the only ones worried about Marchetti’s “new ballgame.” Yesterday, FireDogLake reported that a $10,000 donation to fight a proposed medical marijuana initiative in Arizona came from the Arizona Cardinals football team.

Does this remind anybody of high school? On one side you’ve got beer-swilling jocks, on the other, pot-toking stoners. The only difference is that the popularity contest will determine a lot more than who gets laid.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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