M or N?
No, you’re not high. There are two competing measures regarding marijuana regulation on LA’s March 7th ballot. Right off the bat, let’s separate the two measures. Measure M is sponsored by Mayor Garcetti and the LA City Council. Measure N is a citizen initiative. However, since Measure M was introduced, supporters of Measure N have abandoned their measure and have urged peeps to vote in favor of M. Got that? No one likes N. Not even the ones that used to like N, like N.
While essentially clerical in nature—legalizing recreational marijuana in California antiquated our old regulatory measures from 2013—Measure M represents a larger political argument. The nuts and bolts of M give the City regulatory powers over the sale and distribution of marijuana. It also decreases the tax on medical pot from 6% to 5%, while levying a 10% tax on recreational pot, and a 1-2% tax on the transportation, cultivation, and research-related areas of marijuana.
The larger question is whether or not you’re for government regulation. Voting No on M (I’m just gonna ignore N from here on out) means you’re for the deregulation of marijuana. Imagine a free-for-all wild-west situation where anything goes. Remember when you could vape anywhere? Pre-school playgrounds, movie theaters, restaurants, funeral homes? Voting No on Measure M wouldn’t give you that same freedom with weed, but you would be essentially saying, “fuck city government.” Which, hell yeah, fuck the man, right?
Not so fast. As a student of entropy and chaos, I used to be a flippant proponent of nihilism. That was until I witnessed nihilism in action. For your consideration, I present the presidency of one Donald J. Trump. His efforts to render language meaningless and fact subjective, his encouragement of the capitalistic greed of multi-national corporations via deregulation, plus his sheer unpredictability (anyone who can single-handedly annihilate the human race via nuclear Armageddon, I’d prefer to be a bit more predictable) should give anyone with half a fucking thought for their future the heebee-jeebies. Do I trust governments? Fuck no. They’re made up of people and people are irrational and selfish. However, there are cases where I have to choose between the devil I know, i.e. the Mayor and City Council, who have some sense of accountability and track record, and the devil I don’t, nihilism--by it’s very definition--and it’s effect if loosed on Los Angeles.
Perhaps I’m being hyperbolic. Measure M is just red tape through which we have to sort. There isn’t even an official argument registered against Measure M. Voting Yes should be a no-brainer. But stranger things have happened when people throw up their hands and say “fuck it, let’s watch it all burn.”