Kosmicki: What if supervisors were high when voting?

Seventy-five pounds of marijuana were found in 2003 at 29401 Airline Highway.

What if, before county supervisors took their vote to ban outdoor medical marijuana cultivation, they all got high? This column explores the possibility.
Editor’s note: This obviously satirical column by Editor Kollin Kosmicki appeared on the Opinion page of Friday’s Free Lance.
What if, before county supervisors took their vote to ban outdoor medical marijuana cultivation, they all got high? This column explores the possibility.
As San Benito County’s five supervisors walked separately through an office leading to their board chambers, each passed a box marked “evidence” on a desk near the entry. Catching their eyes at the top was a bin full of glazed, nutty brownies labeled by black marker as “Homegrown.”
“Sounds like Grandma made it,” Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz muttered with a slightly fiendish smile. “One or two going missing won’t hurt the case.”
De La Cruz, though, was the fifth and last supervisor to grab a couple of post-lunch brownies before the afternoon debate—after one other presentation—over the county’s proposal to ban all outdoor growing of medical marijuana.
Chairwoman Margie Barrios, who joined with Supervisor Anthony Botelho in bringing forward the relatively strict ordinance, started their conversation about possibly initiating what amounts to pot-growing prohibition.
“Now, are we ready to hash over medical marijuana?” she said, an unmistakably choreographed joke and a social risk for the courteously toned Barrios with a June Cleaver streak.
Slouched in their chairs, De La Cruz and fellow Supervisor Jerry Muenzer turned to gauge each other’s reactions. Each tried to maintain an emotionless poker face but couldn’t hold off against the mysterious, all-powerful forces pulling their cheeks into full-blown grin mode, driving both to bow their heads in trying to let the moment pass. Fifteen or 20 seconds went by, though, and neither could get over their bouts of somewhat contained laughter. Sort of like Beavis and Butt-head.
Lightly banging the gavel, Barrios spoke up.
“OK, OK, now it’s time to get started. All right, calm down, everyone. Please. It was a joke. It was just a joke. A very good joke, I must say, but a joke, nonetheless.”
Muenzer and De La Cruz slowly raised their heads, and Barrios invited the main speaker to the podium from the sheriff’s office.
“Should we do the legal explanation first?” the county’s main attorney interjected.
“We’ll get to the mumbo jumbo portion later, I’d say,” the chairwoman replied with a sense of businesslike assurance. “And Paul, when I say mumbo and jumbo, I mean that with all due respect.”
Barrios, believing she was totally on fire at this point, piled on.
“Paul, don’t you have an uncle named Mumbo?”
There was no real punch line and it made no sense to anyone in the crowd. But the supervisors, they all figured they somehow got it and smirked proudly. They were on another level that day.  
“My name’s Matt, but that’s fine,” the county counsel responded to her.
“OK, thanks, and thanks for all you do, Paul,” she replied. “Great. Let’s move on then.”
Puzzled like most everyone else, Capt. Eric Taylor approached the podium for his presentation while carrying the evidence box. As Taylor reached in and pulled out the container of “Homegrown” brownies, the supervisors’ euphoric mood and sense of optimal wit subsided as they realized what had just occurred.
“These,” Taylor said with a laser-focused glare at supervisors, “are some of the most potent pot brownies on the market today.”
For the first time in the county’s 141-year history, an audible, collective gulp sound emitted through the five supervisors’ microphones. There had been individual gulps on many occasions through the decades, but never five simultaneous gulps like that moment.
“As you can see,” Taylor went on, looking down and wondering momentarily for the first time whether he’d brought more pot brownies to the meeting, “the cartel isn’t just hiding its marijuana in corn crops like we recently saw in North County. They’ve now found ways to hide their drugs in desserts like these brownies, and we haven’t quite figured out a way to monitor this type of activity. Even drones are useless.”
All five supervisors, on their best behavior, stood as straight as possible and stared ahead intently. In their rattled heads, it was a different story.
“Just play it cool … Just play it cool … Just play it cool,” Supervisor Robert Rivas repeated to himself.
De La Cruz recited his own mantra and started fixating on a cop TV show from the 1980s as he watched the sheriff’s captain.
“Don’t call him Sledge Hammer … Don’t call him Sledge Hammer,” he went on.
Muenzer wanted to make sure he stuck to his game plan going in.
“Don’t say a word … Don’t say a word … Don’t say a word,” he uttered.
Botelho looked on in scrutinizing fashion but had weed on the brain.
“You know what?” he pondered to himself. “I kind of like it. This reminds me of having wine or a couple beers.”
Among a wide range of thoughts racing through Botelho’s head, he continually wondered what his more conservative friends would think of the farmer’s newfound love for ganja. He also experienced a spattering of highbrow epiphanies such as coming on to a technological theory that could possibly lead to inter-galactic space travel in the next decade, discovering the missing piece in a hybrid formula to create the long-pursued Perfect Apple, and realizing that all these years he’s been pronouncing library without the first “R.”
“Why didn’t somebody say something?” the more polished academic of a supervisor asked himself.
“Say something about what?” said Barrios.
Her interruption signaled to Botelho that he’d unknowingly vocalized the last part of his monologue.
Now the only question for Botelho was, How much of my soliloquy did they hear?
“Good luck with your caramel apple,” Barrios said. “Now let’s move on now.”
Botelho crouched his neck and stewed furiously in his seat—not out of humiliation from the embarrassing moment, but because everyone knew his secret ingredient for the Perfect Apple.
Then De La Cruz burst.
“Sledge Hammer!”
Failing to heed his own warning, De La Cruz stood and yelled the fictional name of a character whose resemblance to Taylor is basically nonexistent.
People in the crowd—staff officials, a janitor who heard the ruckus, pot advocates and marijuana opponents—they were all completely blown away.
De La Cruz again turned to assess Muenzer’s reaction, to see whether his pal, Jerry, if anyone, would understand the brilliance of his celebrity facial comparison.
Muenzer stared back and held a stupefied look for a few moments, then finally gave in and grinned while tapping his right foot uncontrollably, raising his arms to celebrate.
“He’s totally Sledge Hammer. Did you love that show, too?”
“Awesome show,” De La Cruz said.
Recognizing supervisors weren’t getting any work done at that point, Barrios abruptly called it off, sort of.
“Ladies and gents, this meeting is hereby canceled.”
She stood and continued, putting her iPod up to her microphone. She pressed play on her favorite song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and a massive party ensued.
“Where are those brownies?” Muenzer said.


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