Thought this was interesting:
Joey Burger was 14 when his naturalist parents moved from Santa Cruz to settle in the coastal forest of Humboldt County. Local hippies and homesteaders welcomed the new kid in the woods. They schooled him in the regional art — growing marijuana.
“It was never looked upon as a bad thing,” Burger said.
Except before the fall harvests, when helicopters full of narcotics officers whipped through the sky. Neighbors rushed “to call their friends to make sure they were OK,” he said.
These days, it isn’t just helicopters that frighten Humboldt County’s pot culture.
America’s most renowned bastion of illicit marijuana growing is threatened by cavernous, city-taxed cultivation warehouses soon to be licensed in Oakland. It is alarmed by cities from La Puente to Berkeley to Sacramento that approved taxes on dispensaries or endorsed medical marijuana cultivation, sanctioning a weed economy wider and more competitive than ever.
So now Humboldt seeks to save itself by going legit.
In an area where marijuana growers typically evade attention, Burger is the public voice of the new Humboldt Growers Association. Aligned with a Sacramento lobbyist, it is working for county approval to license and tax outdoor pot plantations of up to 40,000 square feet.
Maybe if we can convince right-wingers that allowing legal pot growth is a victory for the free market, we can finally legalize pot?
BTW- in an era when news is just so poorly done, McClatchy continues to stand out in front of the pack. I just really enjoy their work.
Whatup Santa Cruz!
By the way, we grow plenty of weed here now, although you do need to move to higher elevations to get away from the summer fog. But no need to move to Humboldt anymore.
Mike Kay (Team America)
This wouldn’t be happening if we prayer in school.
Santa Cruz is in Humboldt County?
eta: oops, misread.
I thought one of the interesting stories about the recent pot proposition was the resistance from surprising quarters. This makes some sense.
I suspect that the right wingers who could be convinced of that are already on board.
Hearty, swashbuckling, free-market capitalists defying the over reaching talons of big gubmint? What’s not to like?
Oh, wait; in another five years they’ll be asking for subsidies to keep prices down.
30 Years from now, America Pot Farmers will be bitching about “cheap sub standard imports” because the Pot Agribusiness big guys will have out sourced the growing to countries with a more favorable labor market.
Sounds like a new sandwich from The Outback restaurant chain.
If pot becomes like all other row crop agriculture we’ll soon have giant conglomerates dominating the industry, quality just over the level the public would reject, a glut of product and a government agency spending our tax dollars to convince us to consume more of it.
This is excellent news for John McCain.
I frequently wonder why all non-McClatchy US news organizations don’t just die.
Seriously. Everything is the fault of the right wingers. No left-leaning people have anything against marijuana at all. I’m sure 100% of the people who read this blog (at least 95% of which MUST be “left-leaning” if not completely over-board) all think pot should be legalized.
California, a well-known Republican stronghold, just recently proved my point when they shot down Prop 19 which would legalize pot for recreational use. Damn right-wing Californians!
Its not a victory for the free market until a large pharmaceutical operation is able to secure a patent and claim exclusivity of sale.
It was almost 20 years ago I was talking to a friend of mine who hailed from those parts, and he told me that everyone there feared the day pot became legal, because of the havoc it would bring to their profit margins.
Guess it’s been a good ride while it lasted.
Nothing like the sound of hovering DEA black helicopters
to ruin a nice fall harvest day.
Unless it is the sound of junky locusts.
Wow, I can’t believe Bonnie Neely is still on the Humboldt country Bd of supervisors. I grew up in Eureka and still recall her name.
It was always a point of strange pride when exchange students from Europe would arrive at my high school and they were fully aware of our county for one reason only — pot. :-)
That said, legalize away. My dad worked for the Forest Service in Humboldt for 20+ years and many a time he came across machine guns on trip wires out in the woods. Ackowledging reality — that pot is a huge part of the local economy, which was destroyed by the death of the lumber and pulp mills in the 1980s — is step one. But the locals need to enact policies to protect small producers; the last thing Humboldt needs is more agricultural industrialization and monopolies.
Hailing from parts is a vocation of the short sighted, indeed.
Barring a fascist ‘winger takeover pot legalization will probably happen. But the Dead and Zappa will still be overrated by over-consumers. And I reserve the right to ignore rambling bakeheads who try to convince me otherwise.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
It’ll be easier to convince the right-wingers to legalize pot if we tell them that it will be picked by the invisible hand of free market and not brown hand of an illegal Mexican.
The Grand Panjandrum
Only purchase pot from locally grown sources! It will be nice when good pot shows up at my local grower’s market along side the tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers grown by the folks from just down the road. That’s some change I can believe in.
I also wonder how long it will be (after legalization) before pot is required to have warning labels like tobacco.
University of California Press has a
Field Guide to California Agriculture
Paul F. Starrs, and Peter Goin
Very good and extensive article on the CA Marijuana crop. I found it more interesting that the ones on beets and turnips.
Edit: Cole should learn about these interesting CA specialty crops, might motivate his ass to get out here, someday.
Is there any talk of legalizing hemp production these days? For a while the benefits of hemp were used by some pro-legalization folk as the thin end of the wedge, but I haven’t heard much about it lately.
licensed to kill time
@The Grand Panjandrum:
Warning: This product may cause merriment and munchies.
The defeat of Proposition 19 in the California November elections complicates any path to legalization. Some of the opposition to the proposition came from those who feared a horde of stoned drivers on the streets and freeways. But some of the opposition came from somewhat surprising sources (Marijuana initiative drew strongest support in Bay Area, but failed in ‘Emerald Triangle’)
Another way of looking at this: California farmers want people in Oakland and other cities to buy their weed for, uh, medical purposes, but they do not want them to be able to grow their own supply in warehouse operations. Medical marijuana is already a big business. And big businesses always seek to protect their turf.
California voters are a notoriously fickle lot and repeatedly fail to fit the notion that we are all lefties. CA voting against Prop 19 does nothing to prove that lefties also oppose marijuana legalization.
In Northern California, we are mostly lefties. The Central Valley and the Sierras electorally look a lot like some Midwestern red states, like Indiana. And SoCal may be known as a leftwing bastion because of Hollywood, but Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Orange County are serious power centers for wealthy Republicans. That said, on most counts even the Republicans are more socially liberal than the country as a whole, but that’s true in almost every coastal state anyway.
As a lefty, this continually frustrates me, so I chuckle at folks like yourself that assume this is a homogeneously liberal state.
Completely anecdotal, of course, but I know a guy who is a huge grower (and who sells only a small percentage to legal buyers through medical mj coops) who totally voted against Prop. 19 because it would cut into his non-legal and gigantically huge illegal profits, not so much his legal ones.
I agree that the McClatchy crew do some good work. Too bad that they are getting clobbered along with other print media organizations. By the by, I ran across this little tidbit as I was looking at the McClatchy marijuana story:
Real Americans(tm) in the land of Snowmobile Snooki, too stupid to use condoms.
Yeah, and guess who some of the biggest opponents of Prop 19 were?
Those growers in Humboldt Co. and the rest of the Emerald Triangle.
They’re not stupid. They get about 2G’s a pound for their product now which is then sold retail in the dispensaries for about the same price that Kind bud goes here in my neck of the woods on the East Coast ~ $80-$100 per 1/4 oz.
They’re making a killing off of herb and the bottom would fall out of the prices if it were legalized. And, as someone mentioned, smaller operations couldn’t compete with the bigger outfits growing it agribusiness style.
Personally, I don’t think it will ever be legalized now. IT’s too big of an industry keeping it illegal. Legalization would cut into the profits of distillers and breweries. It would put the DEA, cops, lawyers, judges, prisons and prison guards and drug counselors out of work. And don’t forget the damage to the drug cartels and the American firearms manufacturers.
Indeed. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to subscribe to their news feed, but it’s done now. Finally.
Mike Kay (Team America)
@Brachiator: forget condoms, this would be solved in a snap with mandatory school prayer.
Makes sense. Also NPR recently did a story on declining marijuana prices (Plummeting Marijuana Prices Create A Panic In Calif):
Legal and illegal cultivators are … taking hits … as oversupply and the recession affect the marijuana market.
@Mike Kay (Team America): Maybe we should let the free market decide whether prayer in school is the most efficient method of learnings our children.
meh, If we are going to slide down the TSA slippery slope to neo fascism, I at least want to have a good buzz on.
edit – as for Alaska, they can just Clap Louder!
@Mike Kay (Team America):
I think that they are already praying that they don’t get a disease. Along with the standard prayers that nobody gets pregnant.
Doesn’t seem to be working. Or as one might reply to Sarah Palin, “How’s that hopey prayin’ thingey workin out for Alaskans?”
The Grand Panjandrum
BTW shouldn’t Reefer Madness be the obligatory video embed for any post about the Killer Weed? Nothing like a bit of campy propaganda for a few chuckles.
Ironically, the biggest Zappa fan I know is allergic to marijuana.
This is why, as my man John Masterson says, we have to get past medical.
My money is on “immediately.” As in “a condition of legalization.”
@licensed to kill time:
I bet frito-lay would be total proponent of pot consumption. Until bankers create a “snack futures” and thus a new bubble begins.