Dope, snoops, trust and Clyde

Pot-smoking tourists don’t trust CEOs, even when the dogs are OK.

Nevada is getting on the national radar because of this new pot initiative we’ll be voting on in November. There was an article in Newsweek, for example, on the petition drive that passed the signature requirements to get on the ballot, which was refreshing since the article made us look like dangerous hipsters instead of dumb-ass rednecks, for a change. We’ve also seen not one but two federal drug czars pop in to Vegas to spread heavy gloom on this whole idea of decriminalizing the reefer.

For example, drug czar John Walters told a lunch crowd that Nevadans should trounce the three-ounce bounce because, “I don’t think Las Vegas and Nevada want to become the center for drug tourism.” Well, hey there, John my man, not so fast with the prune-faced drug czarisms. While the thought of the number of hazed-out gigglers standing in line to see The Star Trek Experience might indeed be harrowing, a little touch of Amsterdam might be exactly what Nevada needs in order to compete with the looming specter of tribal casinos. It could well be that the daring act of turning illegal smiles into legal ones could mean millions to our scrambling economy. It wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve thumbed our nose at a stuffy national taboo to make a few bucks.

Then again, the driving thing could be sticky.

In a recent phone survey of 600 residents of Vegas, 44 percent said they would vote for herbal “decrim,” 46 percent said they would vote no, and 10 percent passed out while listening to the question. What this tells me, an unscientific interpreter of opinion polls, is that 44 percent of Nevadans smoke pot, 46 percent don’t, and 10 percent are quite willing to make life difficult for snoops asking nosy personal questions on the phone.

In another recent survey, Americans were asked about the people they now trust in our society. The answers showed some major damage being suffered by certain professions who have been recently bombarded by hideously bad press. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they still trusted schoolteachers, which put that occupation at the top of the chart. Cops did very well, getting a trust rating of 71 percent. Priests, predictably, took a big hit, getting a trust rating of only 48 percent, and CEOs of major corporations got thoroughly clobbered, racking up a puny trust rating of 23 percent. That figure put CEOs lower than car salesmen, infomercial weenies like Klesko and all members of the Manson family, except Charlie.

And as for Saving Clyde, The Dog Who Swims In Pyramid Lake During Potentially Dangerous Thunderstorms … (cue up Disney-esque banjo music) well, we made it back without any trouble. No drowning, no lightning bolts, no survivalist ordeals, no dramatic rescues, not even any swallowed water.

We did, however, cut it close. Five minutes after we got back to shore, the storm came in, blowing dog-drowning whitecaps across the lake. In the shelter of the SUV, I pondered what might have been. Clyde, meanwhile, slept.