This Week’s Reefer Madness

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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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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