Top 5 Songs to Celebrate Prop 19 (If It Passes)

​With just days away until the Nov. 2 elections, Proposition 19–the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act–is trailing badly according to a recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll. The survey found likely voters to oppose it by a wide margin of 51 percent to 39 percent. 

Prop. 19 backers answered with another poll today showing the ballot measure succeeding 56 percent to 41 percent when factoring so-called stealth voters who are telling surveys one thing publicly but will vote another way privately. 

Whether or not the “reverse Bradley effect” will prevail come Election Day, even a number of anti-prohibitionists acknowledge that the proposition isn't written in the most perfect manner, as illustrated by the debating viewpoints highlighted in Nick Schou's piece in this week's OC Weekly

To complicate matters further, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has made it publicly known that if California's imperfect experiment with cannabis legalization be made legal, it wouldn't be tolerated at the Federal level anyway. 

Now with all that being said, who is up for a “Top 5” list of pro-cannabis songs in the event Prop. 19 defies the odds and works out well for the state? Multiple genres are represented in this suggested playlist for supporters and the possibility of their coming electoral jubilation.

5. Mista Grimm – “Indo Smoke”

Hip-hop in the early 90's was chock-full of marijuana anthems, and no list would be complete without one of its best. With Warren G and Nate Dogg in the mix, Mista Grimm's “Indo Smoke” stood out in 1993, even as a “one-hit” wonder. “I never get stressed and that's the realist/ Just the proper herb for my chronic illness.” Come to think of it, with lyrics like that, “Indo Smoke” could have been an early anthem for medical marijuana too! Anyway, after the election results come in and the fate of Prop 19 is decided, Nate Dogg won't be the only one asking “Are You High Yet?”

4. Cheech and Chong – “Up in Smoke”

“Up in Smoke” is a classic bilingual/Spanglish acoustic song from the comedic duo that, together, has done more to liberalize attitudes towards marijuana than anyone else. No list would complete without honoring their contributions! Chong even got locked up for the cause – sort of. Will cannabis prohibition take a hit and go “up in smoke” in form of Prop. 19 on Nov. 2? Time will tell…

3. Peter Tosh – “Bush Doctor”

Could Reggae legend Peter Tosh be any more direct in singing “Legalize Marijuana” in the song “Bush Doctor?” Just change the lyrics “Down here in Jamaica” to “California” and you have the perfect Prop. 19 anthem. 
Tosh's song mirrored a lot of the current debates surrounding legalization. He starts out by warning of the health risks of cigarette smoke and juxtaposing them with the positive effects of marijuana glaucoma. 
With the passage of Compassionate Use Act, that's only slightly outdated. For a more updated context, should Prop. 19 pass, Tosh's lyrics, “So there be/ No more need to smoke and hide / When you know you're takin' Illegal ride,” will be all the more relevant. “It can build up your failing economy,” he adds too. 

2. Brujeria – “Don Quijote Marijuana”

It was difficult to even to choose between this odd Mexican extreme metal band's various cannabis anthems. The question beckoned: “Don Quijote Marijuana?” or the hilarious cover-parody of the “Macarena” named after the possibly soon to be legalized drug in California? 
In the end, 'Don Quijote Marijuana” with its bong hit samples and a disco sensibility wins out the day! How could a DJ at the Prop. 19 electoral headquarters NOT play this song? Win or lose it will get the people up and dancing. “Ahora si estan bailando!”

1. Rick James – “Mary Jane”

Released off of James' debut 1978 album “Come Get It,” the punk-funk song “Mary Jane” is a must play come election day. The musical arrangement is classic as the now deceased singer lyrically lavishes marijuana in a poetic ode framed as a love song to a woman. Whether or not Prop.19 passes, James and millions of others in California will probably “love her just the same.”

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