What a day it was in California on Tuesday.
At the state Capitol, lawmakers debated legalizing marijuana for the masses so it could be taxed to raise money for drug treatment programs.
And a federal court in San Francisco debated the meaning of marriage.
Either California is on the cutting edge of social change, or we're completely insane.
Both issues are bathed in passion — and absurdity.
The forces arguing against gay marriage say the point of "traditional" marriage is making babies and building a foundation for families.
So, what about all those happily married couples who don't want children — or all those infertile couples who can't have them?
The forces pushing to legalize pot for general use admit that marijuana can be addictive — but not as addictive as alcohol!
Really? That's your argument?
Both issues are at the forefront of political controversy in California. But that's really where the comparisons end.
At it's core, smoking pot is a yearning to retreat into numbness and solitude.
At its core, gay marriage is a yearning to participate fully in the joys of union.
One could argue that gay marriage promotes community. One could argue that marijuana undermines it.
It's hard to argue for the legalization of any substance involving addictive carcinogens inhaled for intoxication without sounding self-serving.
And it's hard to lay out arguments against gay marriage before a panel of federal judges without sounding discriminatory.
"The judge is saying that if there is a reason we are going to limit marriage, then what are your reasons?" said Lawrence C. Levine, a professor at Sacramento's McGeorge School of Law.
It's an interesting needle to thread given that the anti-gay marriage movement is bankrolled by the Catholic and Mormon churches.
The Catholic church views same-sex intercourse as a sin, and many supporters of gay marriage say such faith-based beliefs fuel the anti-gay sentiment that lies at the heart of the opposition.
Those opposed to gay marriage raised $40 million to pass Proposition 8 in 2008. Now high-powered lawyers — including the legal giants who fought Bush v. Gore in the U.S. Supreme Court — are girding for years of legal wrangling over the issue.
Meanwhile, the push to legalize marijuana in California seems destined for a costly November ballot campaign in which millions of dollars will be spent to manipulate an uninformed public.
The politician leading the charge to legalize marijuana is Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco — one of the few openly gay members of the Legislature.
The rest of America must think we're stoned.