A Reader poll on legalizing reefer—and not one word about Mayor Rahm | Bleader

A Reader poll on legalizing reefer—and not one word about Mayor Rahm



To celebrate Weed Week at the Reader, I've been taking a survey: Do you favor the legalization of marijuana?

I know, I know—you probably think all I ever think about is marijuana.

But that is so not true.

I take all kinds of surveys on all sorts of things.

Can't say there's anything scientific about my surveys. It's just when I get something on my mind, I ask people about it. Anybody—even strangers on the street.

Start them off with a preamble . . .

This is not a scientific survey. No right or wrong answer. Don't give me the answer you think I want to hear, give me the answer you believe in. Your name won't be used. Don't even want to know your name. Probably misspell it if you gave it to me . . .

You may remember the last time I commissioned a poll on behalf of the Reader. That was back in 2004 after I read about a presumably scientific survey that said 18 percent of African-Americans were going to vote for President George Bush.

I was like: no way!

So I stood on the corner of Madison and State and asked random black people walking by: Excuse me, but, do you, or any black person that you know, plan to vote for President Bush?

And the general response: No and no!

One lady told me her cousin in Minnesota was a Republican, but even he wasn't voting for George Bush!

OK, so it's not exactly George Gallup. But when the election results came out, the black vote was like 95 percent for John Kerry. So I was right—at least in Chicago.

But back to reefer . . .

Most everyone I know—and I know a whole lot of people—supports the legalization of marijuana.

Not just decriminalization, which they did in Evanston. Yeah, Wildkits!

Not just medical marijuana—which we cruelly deny to people who really need it.

But all-out legalization. As in, let's just walk on down to the CVS and buy ourselves a joint.

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: that's just a reflection of the people I hang with.

You know, like all of my friends are fuckups.

Well, now, it's true—some of my best friends are degenerate old weed heads.

But not all of them!

Everywhere I go—north side, south side, west side, northwest side, southwest side, etc—it's four to one for legalization.

OK, it's not like black people voting against Bush—but there's a lot of support for legalization out there.

Face it—everybody wants to get stoned. Or they don't want to get busted for getting stoned. Or even if they don't get stoned, they don't want to have to pay to bust someone else who gets stoned. They'd rather tax the shit out of the people who are getting stoned. And so forth . . .

Here's just a few sample responses when I ask: Yes or no—do you favor the legalization of marijuana?

"Are you fucking kidding me!"

Or . . .


Or . . .

"Hell, yeah!"

Or . . .

"You know, if you truly want to appreciate Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, you have to listen to it when you're stoned."

Oh, wait—actually, that last response was something I was telling someone the other day. Sorry about that.

So now the question is: if so many people want to legalize reefer, why do we put up with a bullshit system that won't legalize it?

Ah, good question.

Unfortunately, I have no logical answer. And I'm not sure one exists.

Read more from Weed Week:

Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky's feature story, "The politics of pot"

"Father Pfleger: end the pot possession busts!" by Mick Dumke

"Eating Under the Influence: platillo nopal loco," by Mike Sula

"The five best stoner records of the year," by Miles Raymer

"Eating Under the Influence: kimchi-bulgogi omelet," by Kate Schmidt

"Why are blacks busted more often for pot?" by Steve Bogira

"Cooking with cannabis: boat noodles," by Mike Sula

"Today's marijuana lesson comes from New York City," by Mick Dumke