Scene In Passing: As Yogi might say, can pot make a nickel worth a dime?

Let’s talk baseball, Yogi Berra, wine, Mark Twain and cannabis.

That’s cannabis as in cannabis sativa, also known as pot, weed, wacky tabacky, Mary Jane, medical or recreational marijuana. But first, baseball. Spring training is here and the annual unhappy offseason is over; the gift of “play ball” is in the air. Life is baseball and baseball is life.

Here’s all you need to know about that nexus, encapsulated in the wisdom of hardball philosopher Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” So nobody, if persistent and alive, ever gives up.

Moving on to wine, it’s the nectar of the Gods with fermentation help from mankind. Before I reached the age of consent, it was denied me by law. So that’s when I learned the truth of this from hard reality philosopher Mark Twain: “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.” Until recently in society, and in some parts of it still, that included marijuana.

Two e-mailed story ideas from folks with axes to grind or PR to purvey got me thinking about all this. Those e-mailed ideas included one from CeCe Stanton in Nevada,

Stanton, identifying herself as Cannabis Network Reno/Vegas director and Women Grow Reno chapter director, objected to a legislative proposal she says is designed to let the alcohol distribution industry take over marijuana distribution. She said it also deals with making marijuana recreational and it could go to voters in 2016. Her axe to grind seemed to oppose booze pushers invading the marijuana arena.

Stanton, branding it the “Tax and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” bill, expressed preference for another approach, which she called the “Marijuana Transparency Act.” Because this columnist doesn’t cover the Legislature nor know much about this brouhaha, we’ll leave it at that; what is known here is that the other e-mailed release came from a public relations dude at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas, and included a prediction.

The prediction came from Barney Warf, professor of geography there, and identified Nevada as one of five states likely to legalize recreational marijuana. The five are California, Vermont, Illinois, New York and Nevada. Recreational use already is under way in states like Colorado, Washington and Alaska. As Warf sees it, “Nevada shares the libertarian sentiments of Alaska.”

Perhaps, but the bet here is things gleaned from my own youthful penchant for sneaking sips of wine and the wisdom of Berra and Twain are also in play if Nevada ever allows recreational pot. Recent forbidden fruit looks good, money talks, and government wants money. Twain once told us: “We have the best government money can buy.” Berra, more recently, gave us this: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime any more.”

Bottom line: government lusts for money, and marijuana is the next way to burn the joint at both ends. No matter what happens in the larger arena of state politics, however, Carson City is ready for anything. It will have two medicinal pot dispensaries, but the real clue is this: the city can allow any number of grow and production facilities. As usual, the market can and possibly will hold future sway. So prepare yourself for whatever comes.

Bottoms up and let the games begin. Another opening day is on the horizon, but maybe not just on April 5.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at


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