Innovative Californians Discover Key To Boosting Voter Turnout: Free Weed
Your average American is far too savvy a consumer to just go and do things because it's a "civic duty" or whatever. These are people who won't even buy a 12-pack of soda unless it's on an endcap at the supermarket and is being pushed at 50 percent off, so why should they go to some gross elementary school gymnasium and vote for President, or, worse, "neighborhood council," which sounds like something out of a terrible reality show, just for the privilege of feeling good about themselves as citizens? Well, the gentle hipsters in Eagle Rock, which is a part of Los Angeles, have figured out a way to lure people to democracy: by giving away $40 worth of medical marijuana to anyone who can bring in proof of voting!
So apparently there are things in Los Angeles called "neighborhood councils" that are elected? And people care about them, to some moderate extent? 792 people voted in Eagle Rock's election this past weekend, which doesn't sound like a lot except that the previous year only about 80 people showed up. Were all these extra people drawn in by ... marijuana? According to an anonymous flier distributed before the election, maybe! Here, watch this video from the local CBS affiliate and try to determine if any of these people are high right now:
One of the aspects of this story that we find hilarious is that everyone is all like "WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO COULD HAVE HANDED OUT THIS MYSTERIOUS FLIER!!!" and yet presumably somewhere on the flier it tells you where you can go to exchange your "I Voted (In A Pointless Neighborhood Council Election)" sticker for delicious pot? Maybe reporters could go to that location, and ask questions?
Anyway, this weed-for-votes plot seems to have not been so effective. The evil flier urged voters to back the "Progress and Collaboration Slate," which was running specifically on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries (Progress and Collaboration wanted a couple, whereas the incumbent Eagle Rock Neighbors Slate opposed them); but only two of the eight Progress and Collaboration candidates won. Progress candidate Mark Smith says that their opponents tried to paint them falsely as supporters of "bordellos and cocaine," which, have you ever thought that maybe if you had actually supported bordellos and cocaine you might have won, Mr. Smith? Something to think about for your bribe-flier for next year's election. [CBS]