by Ben Joravsky
But . . .
Within days Aldermen Roberto Maldonado, Edward Burke and James Balcer said they might not vote for decriminalization, even though they’ve always been true-blue mayoral rubber stampers.
And now, who knows? This may spark our own version of a real Chicago Tea Party!
Well, I say right on to any alderman who dares to vote against the mayor. And as much as I favor marijuana’s legalization, I encourage them to vote their conscience on this issue as well.
I only hope this becomes their—oh—gateway to other no-votes.
Anyway, most of the dissenting aldermen say they’d have a hard time justifying a decriminalization vote to their children.
That got me thinking about a conversation an alderman might have with his son on the issue. Probably go something like this . . .
“Daddy—did you vote for the mayor’s budget?”
“Yes, son, as did all the other aldermen.”
“True—but the mayor really, really wanted me to vote for it.”
“And, daddy, did you vote for the mayor’s infrastructure trust?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Even though it will probably raise the borrowing costs to build new schools, parks and other stuff?”
“Wow, son, you really know a lot about city policy.”
“Well, I read those guys in the Reader.”
“Oh, we’ll have to talk about that.”
“And daddy, did you vote for the mayor’s NATO ordinance even though it meant we had to spend tens of millions of dollars on a three-day party that nobody wanted?"
"Well, son—the mayor wanted it."
“So when it comes to raising taxes, wasting money, and cutting services you pretty much do whatever the mayor tells you?”
“That’s correct, though I don’t think I’d phrase it quite that way in a campaign mailing.”
“So, daddy—are you going to vote for the mayor’s marijuana decriminalization plan?”
“Absolutely, positively not!”
“Because, son, we need to send a message to our children that it is wrong, wrong, wrong to smoke marijuana and there will be severe consequences if you do!”
“Even if the only people getting arrested are black people.”
“Have you been reading that Reader again?”
“When you think about it, daddy—marijuana’s already legal for white people. It’s just illegal for black people. Right?”
“So when you say you want marijuana to `remain’ illegal does that mean you want police to start arresting white people for possession?”
“You know—you should really read other papers besides the Reader.”
“For instance, should the police bust Mrs. McGilicutty, our dear, sweet next-door neighbor?"
"You do know she gets high almost every night in her back yard?”
“So that's where that smell was coming from . . . "
“Or should the police just continue their policy of only arresting black people for doing something that everyone
“I thought that was your mother and her friends."
"I know! Maybe the police should start treating black people like white people so everyone’s free to possess marijuana. And then it truly is legal, even though it's technically illegal."
"You know, son, as much as I enjoy talking to you, this conversation's starting to give me a headache."
"Unless, of course you're growing it or selling it—then they'll really bust you."
“So I think I'll end it, because . . . "
“Which means marijuana would be illegal before you possess it but legal after you possess it!"
"I need a drink!"
"That’s cool, daddy—I got to go anyway.”
“Where are you going?”
“Over to Mrs. McGilicutty’s to get high.”
“Because, daddy—that’s the only way this shit makes sense.