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August 16, 2013

'Pot Parties' for Politicos

Harry M. Covert

Is the next big social upheaval and battle ground slinking its way into the Free State? How soon will the money-raising events for politicos at all ranks simply become "pot parties?" Or, smoking for the poor and needy?


This is not meant as a cheap witticism or joke on the populations of Frederick and throughout the state from the Eastern Shore to the beautiful countrysides in Alleghany County near the "wild and wonderful" borders of West Virginia.


News caught me off guard that Rob Krupicka, a Virginia progressive, was recently strategizing about making pot, the funny stuff, legal in the Commonwealth.


I could only think of one word, piffle.


It's great to come up with new ideas, especially those for the betterment of communities all over the Mid-Atlantic States. Frankly, I was going to use this space to reprimand the Californian-come Virginian. He has parlayed membership on Alexandria's City Council to the Richmond House of Delegates from the 45th Delegate District – parts of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County.


It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude, just plain guts, and chutzpah, for an elected official to jump into what many would call an abnormal conversation in the Old Dominion. Other young public office aspirants, even older ones, could well follow the lead and stir the souls of voters in what has been called the "Land of Pleasant Living."


No doubt about it, lots of citizens throughout Maryland, West Virginia and Northern Virginia, have given up smoking traditional cigarettes, especially those legally and taxably manufactured in the state.


Remember the slogans LSMFT (Lucky Strike means fine tobacco," "I'd Walk a mile for a Camel," "Call for Philip Morris." "Chesterfield, they satisfy." Let's face it; it's practically a criminal act for anyone to light up anywhere these days or even admitting they ever enjoyed a smoke and coffee. I won't go any further here of other pleasures.


Just think of the tobacco farmers who have suffered, who lost their farms and have had to turn to other venues.


Delegate Krupicka forced me to do some serious research on the marijuana matter. Lots of people, again throughout high and low estates, and elsewhere, feel as though the illegal use of marijuana is reminiscent to the days of Prohibition. No booze, no taxable drinking, except in such patriotic private facilities reserved for military veterans, politicians and civilian watering holes up and down local avenues and country roads.


Creative citizens did learn once how to develop fancy clubs like literary societies, those watering holes named for animals, obviously all for charitable purposes.


The Honorable Mr. Krupicka told a chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, known as NORML, it was probably easier for him as a politician to kick open the door to lessening criminal penalties for pot than other "lawmakers" around the state. He's probably right on this.


I don't hear any such talk by the gubernatorial candidates in either Maryland or Virginia, who are knocking each other around like bowling pins. It'll be coming in other elections. Be prepared.


The wedge is there. Lots of educators, politicians, judicial leaders and medical doctors and nurses privately hold the idea that the time is approaching to stop drug dealers from cashing in on such drug sales. They've taxed the tobacco business to death. The same may be coming for pot purveyors.


Even on the national front, they're promoting the idea that too many young people are jailed in federal and state prisons for simply buying, selling and smoking the weed. They say jails are for seriously bad criminals and not those who need the evanescent clouds.


Several states and an adjoining federal city now allow "grass" for medicinal purposes. The trend is moving.


So, the idea now may come for law enforcers to ticket violators similar to speeders. That will certainly lower the jail populations, cut the costs of jail services and maybe reduce the need for more courts, judges and lawyers.


Who knows what other positives there may be. Mr. Krupicka also counseled his large audience to "soften...up" their neighbors and politicians. He volunteered to reserve a room in the Virginia State Capitol for a NORML reception and legislative day. Now that will be something to cover. What a day that will be.


Will there be any squawking from the regular people?


There's no doubt as to the kingpins of bootlegging from the Roaring 20s. It's still a popular business in various mountainous counties of Virginia. Who are the high-powered drug dealers locally? Most avoid the spotlight but many enjoy those little rooms in area jails.


Maybe marijuana will go the way of tobacco, taxed to death and, just like the lotteries and casinos, be used for education and "smoking rooms" in public schools.




Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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