Dear President Obama: Can you help me get a job?
Oh, I know it's presumptuous of me to ask you directly. And presumptuous of me to even assume you're reading these words. (Call me presumptuous -- but with gumption!)
I just figure that in the course of your day at the White House, after several pressing crises have been rapped about (if not wrapped up) with your staff members, you might considerately ask them, "By the way, how's the family doing?"
That's probably something you've asked, for instance, your Senior Advisor David Axelrod. Perhaps Mr. Axelrod has included something like this in his reply, "My son just began editing the brand-new 'Denver' city page on The Huffington Post web site. It's now up and running. (Heh-heh-heh, just don't hold me responsible if there's any ever criticism of the administration on it!)"
I'm imagining, Mr. President, that you would have responded most sincerely, "Well, congratulations to your son Ethan. By gosh, I'll check that site out!"
Which leads me back to my job inquiry.
Things still aren't looking good here in Colorado, even though we're economically positioned better than a lot of other states. We're still in the midst of shrinking prosperity and the very real prospect of fiscal collapse. As for the stimulus, the keg must have been turned off before the dram trickled down to me. Or maybe the nectar just hasn't trickled up to me yet? Let's still hope, then, that the prospect of me being helped by the stimulus spending isn't, as the expression goes, "pissing up a rope."
In other words, I really need work.
There aren't too many growth industries here in Colorado. There is one, though: medical marijuana. It's perfectly legal -- as you may have heard or read -- to use, grow, and sell marijuana for medical purposes here. The number of patients and the need for additional sources of the beneficial weed are booming. I may want to move to the country, and serve as a legally-designated caregiver, cultivating cannabis for medical marijuana patients.
Now, now: I promise I wouldn't be doing it on-the-sly in a national forest like some poor steward of the land, some shady cartel underling. No, I have more up front, upscale, tax-paying visions. First off, I'd let the local sheriff know, so we're on good terms and it's understood that I'm compliant with our state law. Then, I'd call the USDA, so they could certify my outdoor operation as organic, just as if I'm raising apples naturally for Whole Foods. But there's a sticking point: as you know, marijuana possession and cultivation are still illegal under federal law -- whether for medicine or not. Don't take this the wrong way, but being a thoughtful person with a green thumb isn't something I'd want Attorney General Eric Holder holding a prison sentence over my head for, if it serves the whims of our national drug control strategy to bust my ass.
Much as I like Colorado, I'd consider relocating for a job. Unfortunately, I don't have the law enforcement or ex-military background to serve as one of the thousands and thousands of "contractors" needed in the continuing conflict in Afghanistan. (Hell, the French Foreign Legion wouldn't want this "mercenary" either!)
What skills do I have? I can craft good-spirited propaganda. I've worked for non-profits in the past, assisting with media strategies. And though I'm not quite willing yet to shill for an outfit comparing the public option of health care to National Socialism, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
I've also penned journalistic articles, writing freelance for a variety of publications: from local city mags like 5280 and Denver Magazine to Salon.com and High Times (by the way, if you'd like to grant me access, I'll interview you for High Times about any prior drug use of yours). Is there an in-house White House publication I'm unaware of, one that I could possibly assist with? (The West Wing Policy Wonk?)
And I'm a musician. How about re-instituting a Works Project for songwriters? Didn't Woody Guthrie and other Dust Bowl balladeers earn some extra bread during the Great Depression that way? I've already created a jingle for the "Local Shakedown" program on Boulder's college radio station, although I think maybe 35 people ever heard my stellar, 50-second, sonic ditty. Hey, I've already got a new song idea for the days at hand: "Let's Put 'Us' Back in the Stimulus." I can tailor it to the country-western, stadium-rock, or melodramatic popular song markets. Your pick.
It's said that when you're searching for a job, it's a good strategy to let as many people know as possible. That's why I'm reaching out to you. Thanks for your time and consideration. (By the way, here's my curriculum vitae.)
But, if you can't actually help me land a cushy government job, or network something for me with one of your business leads, I have one last question, President Obama:
Can I at least put you down on job applications as one of my contacts?
For more news and commentary from Colorado, check out HuffPost's just-launched Denver section.