Jim Dabakis, a Democratic state senator from Utah, tried a weed gummy this weekend. It was his first weed gummy; in fact, he claimed it was the first marijuana he ever ingested. Standing in the parking lot of a Las Vegas dispensary called NuLeaf—recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada—sporting a Red Sox t-shirt tucked into a pair of jeans, Dabakis dabbled with the green monster for the camera. And so what might be the most endearing campaign video to ever surface during a United States election was filmed.
Dabakis drove to Nevada to make a point before Utah votes on the legalization of medical marijuana. (Well, he didn’t drive. He said he was driven for safety reasons, and that no tax payer money was used on the mini trip.) According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utahans will vote on Proposition 2 for medical marijuana this November. But no matter the outcome of that vote, state lawmakers have agreed to hold a special session afterwards to pass their own plan.
The plan is a compromise between Republicans, church leaders, and medical marijuana advocates, Desert News reports. Under it, medical marijuana distribution would happen only at county health departments or up to five “pharmacies,” limiting the number of private dispensaries. Utahans would only be able to take single dosages in certain forms. Unlike Prop 2, patients would not be permitted to use edibles, nor could they grow their own marijuana.
That brings us back to Dabakis chewing pot gummies in a Las Vegas parking lot. His point was that Utah lawmakers were going to re-legislate the heck out of Prop 2 despite the results of a vote without ever having tried marijuana, so dammit, he was going to try it. He ate half a tangerine gummy, which he deemed “bitter,” and waited for the effects to take hold. Two days later, he posted a follow-up video.
“I made it back to Salt Lake, and I’m healthy. I wouldn’t suggest shooting up marijuana to anybody,” he informed his constituents (emphasis ours). Okay, Jim. “But I’ll tell you, I think it’s a lot of ho-hum. I think the reefer madness crowd—you guys, you need to try it. It’s not that big a deal.”
It’s what all the cool kids are doing. But in all seriousness, medical marijuana is already legal in 30 states plus Washington, D.C. Missouri is also voting on a medical marijuana ballot initiative in November. And according to Pew Research, six in every 10 Americans are in favor of medical marijuana being legal. (Canada, which legalized weed last week, is looking down at all this and thinking, how quaint.)
You’d think that forcing yourself to watch another politician perform another political stunt would just whack away further at your emotional core. But a Utah state senator ingesting his first weed for the constituents is good, as is the challenge to other legislators to try it themselves before crafting laws. On that note, so are sensible marijuana legalization laws in general. Here’s a reminder to vote on November 6.