Prop 19: A Long Strange Trip

by Don Lattin

Talk about your flashbacks…

Blogging about media coverage of Prop. 19 takes my boggled mind back to those heady days in  the spring of 1973 and my own misadventures covering the Berkeley Marijuana Initiative, the first law in the nation that sought to decriminalize pot.

At the time, I was a 19-year-old reporter for the Daily Californian, the independent off-campus student newspaper at UC Berkeley. They say “write what you know,” so the editors at the Daily Cal put me on the marijuana beat.

The highlight of that campaign was the “Win a Kilo” contest, in which the initiative's sponsors raised funds by raffling off 2.2 pounds of an unnamed “green vegetable matter.” I was given the honor of chairing a blue-ribbon panel, which gathered one afternoon in the offices of the Daily Cal to test the kilo's contents. We somehow got it together enough to report in the next day's edition that the green vegetable matter was of the “highest” quality.

Today, nobody seems to be having that much fun covering Prop. 19, which seeks to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California. What drama there is hinges on infinitesimal electoral fluctuations around the initiative; there have been lots of stories on polls showing the measure losing, winning, then losing again.

The absence of breast-beating on either side of the issue has made space for some thoughtful reporting, though the prevailing reactive (rather than proactive) journalistic ethos means that only a few news outlets have seized the day. The Contra Costa Times, for one, had a balanced piece on how marijuana may actually affect one's health – as opposed to the inflated claims of the medicinal pot proponents.

(Last year, the New York Times had a clear-eyed article that wasn't linked to Prop. 19 but focused on people who have an abusive or addictive relationship with pot.)

In a way, it's hard to grok what's happening–or, better, not happening–around California's marijuana initiative. Prop. 19 is the most talked about measure on Tuesday's ballot, but relatively little advertising money has been spent by either side. A few TV and radio spots have been running in the final week of the campaign, but this refreshing lack of paid propaganda has required voters to get their information from actual news analysis.
Imagine that!

For stories probing what the dearth of advertising means, check out these pieces in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. There's been a little reporting on religious communities' perspectives on Prop. 19. The New York Times explored the varied responses from black churches and other leaders in the African-American community. Oakland  Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, whose  Roman Catholic diocese is ground-zero for “Oaksterdam University” and the legalization campaign, opposed the measure in an op-ed published by the Chronicle.
(Organized crime has the most to lose from the passage of Prop. 19, but it must be stressed here there is no known link between Bishop Sal Cordileone and Godfather Don Corleone.)

As for me, 37 years have passed since I covered the pot beat for the Daily Cal, but I still seem to have trouble taking all this very seriously. I just wrote my own op-ed for the Chronicle on how the passage of Prop. 19 will require all of us aging hippies finally to stop talking about glory days of the 60s counterculture.

And, no, I wasn't stoned when I wrote it.

* * *

Don Lattin is the author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. (HarperCollins, 2010).

This entry was posted in The Scoop. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Prop 19: A Long Strange Trip

  1. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this
    website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to
    get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness
    and appearance. I must say you have done a excellent job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Opera.
    Superb Blog!

  2. whoah this weblog is fantastic i like studying your posts.
    Keep up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals are looking round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  3. asknu7iio8 says:

    [url=]effexor xr[/url] [url=]buy triamterene[/url] [url=]buy motilium[/url] [url=]provera[/url] [url=]indocin[/url]

  4. askny55q1u says:

    [url=]bactroban[/url] [url=]continued[/url] [url=]lisinopril 20 mg no prescription[/url] [url=]eurax[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]advair[/url] [url=]apcalis[/url]

  5. asknnl9zaf says:

    [url=]medrol online[/url] [url=]found here[/url] [url=]zoloft[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]valtrex[/url] [url=]nolvadex for sale[/url] [url=]buy atarax[/url] [url=]glucophage medication[/url] [url=]baclofen 10 mg[/url]

  6. An insufficient numger of andrigen in women can cause a decrease in sexual desire,
    or libido.

  7. In the second study, researchers at Aurora Health Care, a big community-based health care system in Wisconsin, assessed healh and demographic
    data from 7,245 men with low tsstosterone levels from 2011-2014.

  8. Thosze people who have noral testosterone level should not administer thee
    treatment ffor the sheer fun of it or for purposes other than for health.

  9. BennyGoalm says:

    [url=][/url] [url=]long term payday loans online[/url]

  10. Robertgap says:

    [url=]visit this link[/url] [url=]adalat[/url] [url=]diclofenac[/url] [url=]doxazosin[/url] [url=]resource[/url] [url=]effexor[/url] [url=]more bonuses[/url] [url=]lozol[/url] [url=]buy augmentin[/url]

  11. Charlesdiarl says:

    [url=]tetracycline[/url] [url=]cialis generic online[/url] [url=]generic for elavil[/url] [url=]lipitor[/url] [url=]albendazole online[/url] [url=]ampicillin sulbactam[/url] [url=]viagra[/url]

  12. KennethMic says:

    wh0cd417650 [url=]clindamycin 150 mg[/url] [url=]ampicillin online[/url] [url=]buy tadacip[/url] [url=]buy albuterol online[/url] [url=]celebrex in canada[/url]

  13. Aaronkeelt says:

    wh0cd109902 [url=]buy paxil online[/url] [url=]buy paxil online[/url] [url=]kamagra[/url] [url=]rocaltrol without prescription[/url] [url=]cleocin[/url] [url=]view site[/url] [url=]online zoloft[/url] [url=]buy yasmin birth control pills[/url] [url=]moduretic online[/url]

  14. TracyArrax says:

    wh0cd769172 [url=]buy cheap lasix[/url] [url=]retin a online[/url] [url=]diclofenac[/url] [url=]diclofenac[/url] [url=]digoxin[/url] [url=]furosemide lasix[/url]

  15. Aaronkeelt says:

    wh0cd459117 [url=]orlistat alli[/url] [url=]buy vermox[/url] [url=]buy ventolin on line[/url] [url=]tetracycline online[/url] [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]ventolin inhaler[/url]

  16. Eugeneextip says:

    wh0cd105486 [url=]vermox online[/url] [url=]cialis online[/url] [url=]generic paxil[/url] [url=]Zetia[/url] [url=]Lasix By Mail[/url] [url=]cialis[/url]

  17. Eugeneextip says:

    wh0cd105486 [url=]GENERIC ADALAT[/url] [url=]prednisone price[/url] [url=]purchase glucophage[/url] [url=]cheap levaquin[/url] [url=]tretinoin cream lowest prices[/url] [url=]cephalexin online[/url] [url=]elimite cream[/url] [url=]Cafergot[/url]

  18. Charlesdiarl says:

    wh0cd52590 [url=]diclofenac[/url] [url=]phenergan[/url] [url=]retin-a[/url] [url=]robaxin[/url] [url=]50 mg clomid[/url] [url=]prednizone for sale[/url]

  19. MichaelLok says:

    wh0cd473246 [url=]where can i buy tamoxifen[/url] [url=]neurontin[/url] [url=]buy hydrochlorothiazide online[/url]

  20. BennyGoalm says:

    wh0cd10897 [url=]viagra[/url] [url=]metformin[/url] [url=]buy buspar[/url] [url=]amoxicillin[/url] [url=]anafranil[/url]

  21. Alfredswesy says:

    wh0cd527403 [url=]augmentin xr 1000[/url] [url=]Cialis Pills[/url]

  22. Charlesdiarl says:

    wh0cd529702 [url=]nolvadex for sale[/url]

  23. Alfredswesy says:

    wh0cd789130 [url=]zofran online[/url]

  24. Aaronkeelt says:

    wh0cd890606 [url=]cialis lowest cost[/url] [url=]sildenafil no rx[/url]

  25. says:

    If you’re trying to take a roomful of people by surprise, it’s a lot easier to hit your targets if you don’t yell going through the door.

  26. Aaronkeelt says:

    wh0cd255070 [url=]buy zoloft[/url] [url=]ampicillin[/url] [url=]buy hydrochlorothiazide[/url] [url=]propeciaforlesscom[/url] [url=]cafergot[/url] [url=]bentyl[/url]

  27. TracyArrax says:

    wh0cd100934 [url=]PREDNISONE[/url]

  28. infinitesoul says:

    Each of us owes it to our spouse, our children, our friends, to be as happy as we can be. And if you don’t believe me, ask a child what it’s like to grow up with an unhappy parent, or ask parents what they suffer if they have an unhappy child.

  29. homework math essay i need help with my science homework [url=]essay[/url]

  30. cheap auto insurance cheap car insurance quotes auto insurance companies in florida [url=]cheap car insurance in michigan[/url]

  31. critical essay buy essays college essay [url=]college essay help[/url]

  32. personal loans companies online payday advance online payday advance [url=]how to get money quick[/url]

  33. personal loans personal loans no credit quick cash online [url=]cash till payday loans[/url]

  34. Loan says:

    specialized loan services cash payday advance loans definition [url=]loan service[/url]

  35. va home loan payday loans online debt consolidation loans for fair credit [url=]payday loans online[/url]

  36. Quick Loans says:

    personal loans unsecured unsecured loans personal loans unsecured [url=]cash express[/url]

  37. Spotloan says:

    where to get a loan with bad credit payday loan stores loans unsecured [url=]unsecured personal loan[/url]

  38. research essay writing a research paper buy research papers [url=]research essay[/url]

  39. Essays says:

    write my paper for me help me write do my paper [url=]writing articles for money online[/url]

  40. Paydayloan says:

    quick loans no credit check loans no credit check loans no credit check [url=]loans no credit check[/url]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.