I’m a conscientious California voter, and I take seriously my responsibility to vote on all the ballot initiatives and other measures that people far richer and more powerful than me say are really important.
The first step in fulfilling my civic duty is to know what the measures are, to study them. Everyone tells me that. And I really want to do that.
But I’m having trouble keeping them all straight. Can you help me?
There’s something on the ballot about the banning of plastic bags, and something about prescription drugs. Or is it that I can no longer keep my prescription drugs in plastic bags? Or maybe I’m required to keep the drugs in something stronger, like a condom? Or maybe I only have to do that when I’m on certain film sets in the San Fernando Valley. Where I would never be.
This is confusing.
Oh, and are we strengthening the death penalty or getting rid of it? You know, I think I remember—there will be a death penalty for anyone who wants to borrow money to build big tunnels under the Delta. And for those who would buy guns and ammunition. And I think I understood they’re bringing back the electric chair for any hospital executive who pays him or herself more than the president makes. But will that include all of President Trump’s income, or just his federal salary? And how will they know how much the president makes if Trump won’t release his tax returns?
And if I’m reading all these measures right – and there are more than 15 of them, more than 100,000 words all together – the death penalty is eliminated for marijuana or for juvenile offenders, but not for juvenile offenders smoking marijuana. Or something.
About the marijuana, I don’t understand. Are we legalizing the smoking of marijuana? Or banning smoking all together? Or just taxing cigarettes? Yeah, but does the tax include marijuana cigarettes?
And then I have a question about that one measure that requires the legislature to post bill text online 72 hours before the vote. It also requires video of all legislative proceedings be posted online.
Those requirements make sense as far as they. But here’s what I don’t understand. Is there any language in the ballot measure that allows me, while I’m watching the legislature or reading about it, to be stoned?
And does the measure allow me to carry a plastic bag with me in case, you know, watching that legislature upset my stomach?
I sure hope so.