Years ago when the Cold War was in heat, I fantasized life as a secret agent. Khrushchev threatened to bury us, missiles with nuclear warheads sprouted across the globe, and the CIA, America’s elite B&E team, burgled boudoirs in a worldwide scavenger hunt for kinky underwear. Exciting times for spies. I wanted in.
Two events defused this ambition. First, I realized my fascination for cloak-and-daggers was fueled by Hollywood. Connery and Coburn got plum roles in spy movies because they had agents. With no agent, a secret agent was a smoke dream.
Second, along the path to maturity, like many of my peers I inhaled an ounce of primo and landed in weekend lock-up. At arraignment, a gruff judge disinterested in petty indiscretions dismissed my case on a technicality. The charge was expunged from my record. So I thought.
Months later I was inducted into the Army, where a security screening disclosed the pot bust found its way into shared military/FBI files. Army regs denied pot-heads a “Top Secret” clearance, so any hope for a career in covert ops went up in smoke.
My military stint ended. Other career paths unfolded. I stopped dreaming about spies. Stopped inhaling, too.
Looking back, I could’ve enjoyed an exciting spy legacy were it not for our deranged marijuana laws. America’s longest-running war – on drugs, mainly pot – has been a titanic waste. $1 trillion flushed down the toilet on a 40-year campaign of errors, and all we have are psychedelic T-shirts touting “Grown in the U.S.A.”
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Until our policy-makers realize what they’re doing isn’t working, the ship-of-state will stay a course charted by insanity.
Yet hope springs eternal – from the purveyor of hope himself, Barack Obama. In an interview with the New Yorker, he worried that history would see his legacy as a yawn, and, in true narcissist lament, that his portrait would spark less excitement than Millard Fillmore’s.
Worries well-founded. His record reeks of devious spin-control, a KGB-inspired heavy-handed wonkiness, and little else. Since a place in history, as well as political survival, relies on deeds of real substance, he needs a home run. Short of that, a lackluster stat sheet is loading up to condemn him to the backwaters of much-deserved obscurity.
He’ll get his home run. Fate intervened, guiding him to a mother lode of new strategies to showcase his genius, and with predatory cunning he seized an opportunity: decriminalizing marijuana. By executive fiat, he could erase the stigma of innocuous arrests, win new allies, and, most important, influence history.
Imagine. One stroke of a pen would restore legitimacy to the tens of thousands of lives tainted by quixotic pot laws, and secure a place in history for the man who would transform America into a designated cannabis zone where pungent fumes waft lazily and stoners float dreamily in a haze of contended bliss, totally oblivious to an otherwise forgettable legacy. Positively brilliant.
Exciting times ahead. I’m coming in.