Peace through blunts
King Kaufman in Salon today talls the story of the brilliant tactic taken by the Lisbon police to stem the potential violence surrounding the Euro 2004 cup.
Now here's the setup. British fans--hooligans as they are so endearingly called--are known for rioting in the streets and attempting to beat the hell out of fans of opposing teams. 50,000 of them followed the British team to Lisbon for the tournament, and police were fearing the worst, considering that Britain was playing France in the first round, and we all know of the enduring love that exists between those two cultures.
So what to do?
But even as an estimated 15,000 people jammed the Rossio, Lisbon's town square, in an impromptu pre-match party, and even as France scored twice in injury time for a stunning 2-1 win, all was peaceful, blissful, friendly, groovy.
The reason? Look no further than the Lisbon police's announced policy that marijuana smokers would be unmolested, the idea being that while drinkers get rowdy, pot smokers bliss out. "If people are drinking they lose control," said Alan Buffry, national coordinator of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, a British political party. "If they smoke cannabis they don't. Alcohol makes fans fight. But cannabis smokers will be shaking hands and singing along together."
Now standup comics have been making this connection for years, most notably the late, great Bill Hicks. And it's about time that "the man" decided it was better that people burn some weed instead of burning, say, cars and local shops in "celebration."
Kaufman has some suggestions about the seemingly impending celebration in Detroit.
Heck, hit the evidence room and flood the streets with the stuff. Paper the town with Zig-Zag. Pump Snoop Dogg and Phish through loudspeakers. Find that Afroman guy and have him sing a public service announcement. "I was gonna start a riot, but then I got high, la da da da da ..."
The governors of California and Michigan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jennifer Granholm, have the usual friendly wager going, with the loser being "forced" to eat delicacies from the winner's home state while wearing the other team's jersey.
Schwarzenegger should forget about shipping the asparagus and Napa Valley wine -- and the In-N-Out burger? Good heavens -- and airlift a few thousand pounds of Humboldt County's finest, stat.
On a semi-serious side note, my girlfriend and I have long thought, whenever the subject of the Middle East peace process comes up, that the best way to calm down the situation would be to drop burning bales of pot throughout the country--one every couple of city blocks--and then follow it up with drops of twinkies and Papa John's pizza. Let everybody get high and munch out for a couple of days, start philosophizing about all the hate and the death, and presto! the problems are solved.
Of course it's not that simple, but it might be a start. Hell, it stopped the hooligans and the French from fighting over a soccer game.