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High hopes



Lost amid the presidential hubbub were the results of several state elections that offer signs of hope for those who believe America’s war on drugs is as senseless and ineffective as it is costly. In one of the surest signs that intelligent life does exist somewhere in the United States, California voters approved a ballot measure that channels many people arrested for illicit drug use into treatment programs instead of prison. Voters in Colorado and Nevada approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and in Oregon and Utah they restricted the government’s ability to seize the property of drug offenders. Also, the residents of Mendocino County — located in prime pot-growing territory along California’s lush North Coast — decided to let people there legally grow up to 25 plants each year for personal use.

Which got News Hits to thinking this whole presidential mess could be worked out if a high-level summit meeting between George Bush and Al Gore were convened in Mendocino. Before talks got under way, the two candidates would be required to roll a fat one (it’s not like they haven’t done it before) and share a smoke. Tensions would de-escalate. A spirit of compromise would form. They’d both realize Ralph Nader really is the best man for the job and hand the reins of power over to him so that they could ditch the D.C. rat race in favor of opening a hemp clothing boutique along scenic Highway One.

Curt Guyette is Metro Times news editor. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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