Friday, March 23, 2012

Toni Preckwinkle, Ken Davis, and I talk marijuana

Posted By on 03.23.12 at 10:47 AM

Ben, in a pensive moment, on a prior Ken Davis Show, er, Chicago Newsroom episode
  • Ben, in a pensive moment, on a prior Ken Davis Show, er, Chicago Newsroom episode
In the aftermath of my resounding Election Day defeat, I should have hid in a cave.

But, no, I go on the Ken Davis TV show to talk about marijuana with Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle.

As I explained the last time I went on Ken's show, it's not really the Ken Davis Show—it's Chicago Newsroom. But I call it the Ken Davis Show because Ken's the host and pretty much everyone calls it the Ken Davis Show.

So my recommendation is that Ken just change the name and call it a day.

Anyway, like I was saying, today's topic is marijuana and the main guest is Toni Preckwinkle.

President Preckwinkle's there because she's the highest-ranking local official with enough guts to talk sense about our insane marijuana laws.

That's where we spend tens of millions of dollars each year locking up thousands and thousands of black people for doing what most everybody—black, white, and Hispanic—has either done or will soon be doing.

Smoking—or possessing—marijuana.

And Ken has me on 'cause this issue has become an obsession since Mick and I began covering it many months ago.

Well, that and 'cause I'm looking so dapper in that new black blazer I recently bought at Marshall's.

But before we get to the marijuana portion of the show, Ken mentions that President Preckwinkle didn't do so well on Election Day.

That is—some of the candidates she endorsed lost.

I quickly point out that she did better than I did. Since almost all of the candidates I voted for, or would have voted for had I lived in their districts, lost.

As I continue 30 years and counting of banging my head against the great wall of Chicago.

Back to Ken's show . . .

Here's the link.

And I encourage everyone to watch it because President Preckwinkle makes several outstanding points. My favorite being: "I agree with Ben."

That's the first time I've ever heard those words come out of the mouth of an elected official who wasn't inebriated.

In this case, she was agreeing with my point that when it comes to marijuana laws other elected officials tend to say one thing and do another.

In other words, they'll privately tell you that it's unfair, wasteful, and hypocritical to arrest only black people for doing what everyone does. And then they'll hide under the table when it comes to doing something about it.

For taking a stand in favor of decriminalization—hey, you have to start somewhere—President Preckwinkle's become one of my favorite public officials.

Although I shouldn't come right out and say that. On account of the fact that an endorsement from me is clearly detrimental to the career of any Chicago politician.

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