When Marijuana is Legalized…Let's Think Proactively

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Professional Clippers abound in the Emerald Triangle

Legalizing marijuana has become a question not if but when (probably not in the next year but, almost certainly in the next twenty).  The problem for Humboldt and the Emerald Arena is societal acceptance in the form of laws means economic breakdown.  Or does it?  Can this area capitalize on its marijuana expertise? According to an editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal, it can.

The author, Janie Sheppard, speculates that economic laws as stated by Nobel Prize winner, Paul Krugman, indicate that areas of production center around areas of expertize i.e. the Netherlands and Tulips.  In other words, the North Coast, long a center for illegal grows could become a center for legal production of marijuana if it capitalizes on the specialized knowledge of its people.  One commenter to the editorial speculated,  …”a million different opportunities will rise from the end of prohibition, everything from coffee-shops, head shops, delivery services, bakeries, hydro stores, etc. The taxes generated could be used to build our state into a self reliant super-economy.”

Our counties already have a base of knowledgeable marijuana professionals (yes, the word applies) these folks could start or man small businesses. Tourist industries, already a staple in this region could expand and small “winery” type grows that specialize in certain flavors or certain medicinal strains could become legal and licensed.

Taxes, licensing, following regulations and other legitimate debts will take a bite out of profits.  Costs will drop but probably not precipitously  as long as other states maintain laws against production (Worldwide legalization is ideal but not imminent.) Conversely, though, expenses associated with illegality i.e. money used to conceal production, lawyer fees, etc. will drop.

If we start a conversation now on how to work within the probable new laws (and even work to ensure the new  laws don’t result in financial catastrophe for areas of the Emerald Arena), we might not just survive the change, we might flourish.

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74 comments

  • “… we might flourish.” Who is the “we”?

  • Joe, I think the whole county, indeed the whole area, will suffer as the fallout from legalizing marijuana spreads across the North Coast. Therefore, the whole area will benefit by planning for the future legalization of marijuana which is almost assuredly rolling towards us like a giant wave. We can surf it or we can be sucked under.

  • Gertrude Stein said on her deathbed, the answer comes before the question

  • Didn’t someone mention tax base on my secession article:) You’ve answered your own question! We could indeed become the Napa of vintage marijuana, or as we like to say up in my holler, the Napa-lachia of ganja. Although, I foresee the predictable static from the usual naysayers, it seemed realistic enough to the tobacco companies, all of whom years ago already designed their marijuana marketing packages. Besides, it’s essential pseudo-legal at this point and not likely to go revert back to its former status. Why? Because with the exception of the vocal few, most people just don’t care about marijuana. Witness the recent Michael Phelps incident. Three days after his bog smoking pic appeared, approximately 75-80% of people polled in a Fox News poll said they could care less if Phelps smoked pot. Yes, Fox News, bastion of neocon pinheadism, couldn’t even spin this one.

    We already have the branding, as the Humboldt name largely became famous through the growth of the underground agricultural economy. Then we can sell them all the other great stuff we make once we get them here!

  • They already call 215 cards “Legally Stupid Cards”. Where are we going to find enough marijuana users to pay all of the taxes, and pay all the land and grower accessory costs, and still glean a profit for the grower.

    Where is all of this wealth going to come from? Bailout money? Increased unemployment payments?

    At some point somebody is going to have to have a job, somebody is going to have to grow a carrot, right here in America. Some body is going to have to come up with energy for industry, right here in America.

    We need to stop smoking the shit, and get a clue. Marijuana is not going to solve our problems, legal or not.

  • Amen, Ernie.

  • Bubba, I agree that most people just don’t care that much about marijuana anymore. (I’m not sure about that cigarette makers have brands all ready to go story though. I’ve spent a few minutes trying to track that down and can’t find anything authoritative–if anyone has any facts I would love them.) I agree that marijuana is seen as no worse than alcohol or cigarettes by the majority of Americans.

    Ernie and Bluelaker, people are still buying marijuana now and we are definitively in a recession. I hear prices, while not astronomical, are still hitting close to the same mark as last year. See here for how alcohol sales are staying high and states are talking about relaxing rules on alcohol in order to make more money.

    However, I don’t think legalizing marijuana will solve the economic woes of the world. But I do think it is the moral thing to do, the intelligent thing to do and it IS going to happen. So let’s be prepared.

  • They already call 215 cards “Legally Stupid Cards”.

    I’m all for sparking one up and getting stoopid! And while we’re at it let’s not become a part of The Machine any more than we already are. Marijuana use does alter behavior and thinking. It urges one towards the peace of nature and away from the insanity of the bureaucratic/scientific/technological/industrial complex –The Machine. Towards the intelligence of our emotions and away from that kind of thinking that wants everything to be always in control –leaving no room for the unexpected.

    stop smoking the shit, and get a clue… somebody is going to have to have a job… Some body is going to have to come up with energy for industry, right here in America.

    Alcohol is the drug favored by industry for exploiting the worker. In the industrialist mindset pot smoking is looked down upon because pot heads are dreamers. They tend to think for themselves rather than for the Man, the Boss, the Control freak, the status quo. The line is that marijuana makes for an uncontrollable and unreliable work force. “We need people who will do as they’re told, toe the line, punch the clock, get their head out of the clouds, get with the program, get a clue, be a cog in The Machine.”

    somebody is going to have to grow a carrot, right here in America.

    Seeing that Kym is likely right and legalization is inevitable, I agree that NOW is the time for Humboldt potheads to dream the dream of our future before we find someone else telling us, There’s no longer any place for impractical dreamers around here.

  • The scent of freedom implied in the notion of when, not if, is intoxicating for many of us.

    Ernie brings the perspective of the greater economic picture which consigns many of our romantic ideas to the pipedream category.
    Since the reality of legalization is years in the future, it can’t hurt to talk about what that might look like and how we might capitalize on the local horticultural expertise.

    From my reading of Dr. Ted Courtney’s cutting edge information on the medecinal properties of the different constituents, it would seem that there is a huge potential market in topical salves derived from the non-THC cannibinoids found in the leaves, and in the leaves themselves for ingestion. Arthritis relief is a huge industry to enter….if big Pharma lets us dabble. As more and more research is allowed we will understand when the sprouts/leaves are at the peak of their CBD potency, and a non-THC based marijuana food and medecine may emerge.

    It is common knowledge that the economic potential hemp was starting to pose a threat to the timber/paper industry in the thirties with the development of new fiber processing machines.
    Resurrecting the American hemp industry might create jobs, as we are talking a renewable agricultural resource that produces more per acre than timber. But with lumber sales down, can’t imagine there is much start-up money for this.

    Here are few ideas for discourse.

  • …should read “It is common knowledge that hemp was starting to pose a potential economic threat to the timber/paper industry…”.
    sorry

  • What’s this “we” need to stop smoking Ernie my friend? How about “you” need to start. You have such strong opinions but say you have never smoked any. That alone is an amazing sentence. What 64 year old non Christian man
    living in Humboldt Co hasn’t at least smoked some. We know you would love it and have a lot of fun and laughs and your brain would think up even more interesting things. Then you might have to change your mind.

    I do know why you might think how you think living in Garberville but look at all the people you like and respect, we’re not all idiots. These are druggie times we live in and I believe pot to be among the least of them all.

  • Bunny, I’ll probably have a MJ brownie or something when they run out of alcohol. Until then it’s pretty safe. I can’t even stand the smell of it.

    I gave up smoking cigarettes when I was ten years old because I decided that smoking was stupid and juvenile, and I still think smoking is stupid. And you are right MJ is no more harmful than a cigarette. But, one drink of alcohol a day is beneficial.

    And no, I’m not saying smokers are stupid. I’m saying that smoking is stupid, harmful, and not very wise. I think that anything is okay to “Use” if you weigh the risks. Some people just flat need it, I don’t.

    And, I think that I have a great sense of humor even without being stoned. I think that if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, that it still makes a noise, I never even had to wonder about that. Sorry.

    If this sounded a little Frank I’m sorry, I was trying to be Ernest.

  • food for thought Kym. I’ll cogitate a little longer

  • LOL at your last sentence, Ernie.

  • Much as I would like to see most substances legalised, I fear that the economic benefits may be illusory. Make it legal and many people will not even bother with it.

    Having said that, once you take into consideration the legal savings (police, courts, goals) perhaps there would be a major change in the financial climate.

    Oh dear – I contradicted myself within the space of two sentences!

  • I hope they do legalize it. I don’t see much difference between weed and alcohol. It’s a waste of money to keep pot dealers in jail. they need to go after the ones who deal the harder drugs.

  • I have 3 points.

    First, Tourism. We’re already a tourist destination. Look at Amsterdam. We could definitely increase tourist dollars with MJ legalization.

    Second, Like others have alluded to I think we shouldn’t fool ourselves and think that wealthy well established businesses are going to let MJ come along and cut into their profits. They will be prepared and they will make a move to have all or as much of the profits for themselves.

    Third, I spent more than 20 years in public safety, not LE, and saw only a handful, no more, of people with a problem associated with MJ. While people with some problem related to alchohol were a daily occurence. ANYONE who says alchohol is ok but pot is bad is either terribly misinformed, a hypocrit or an idiologue.

  • “ANYONE who says alchohol is ok but pot is bad is either terribly misinformed, a hypocrit or an idiologue.”

    Hypocrit never, Idiolog maybe. Here’s to you.

  • At least you admit to it.

  • Hot topic Kym.

    I just got back last night and have been reading the blogs this morning. At least one thinks I’m a dreamer for saying pot could help states/people in these hard times if legalized, as I editorialized in last Sunday’s column for the T-S.

    Maybe I am a dreamer, but I think a lot of good could come from legalization.

  • I gave up smoking cigarettes when I was ten years old because I decided that smoking was stupid and juvenile, and I still think smoking is stupid. And you are right MJ is no more harmful than a cigarette. But, one drink of alcohol a day is beneficial.

    Who is to say half a gram of the “blue cross” per day is not beneficial? Who made that discovery? If not beneficial, where is the evidence to say it is harmful? I know that is a negative argument since neither case has been proven, but that is the point.

    The evidence I read about cannabis is about fake increased risk of testicular cancer from 1 in 10,000 to 1.6 in 10,000 (males, of course). I also read about Swedish schizophrenia studies that conflict with other studies using the exact same methods. The truth is that we don’t know anything solid about the benefits or drawbacks of cannabis because the government doesn’t want us to and won’t allow proper research to be done in order to find out.

    Ernie, if you actually believe the nonsense studies about daily solvent intake being a good thing, what do you think about studies that show one glass of alcohol per day increases cancer rates among women? Conflicting studies on moderate drinking show an allegedly positive effect on liver disease and an allegedly negative effect on cancer incidence. If these studies so obviously conflict, why are people so willing to believe one-sided cannabis studies? We should be more skeptical especially when the alcohol studies are done on sample sizes in the millions and cannabis studies are done with a few dozen subjects. Cultural bias is my only explanation for people wanting to believe one or another conflicting but plausible idea to be the truth. People like to believe that their lifestyle is good and the lifestyle of others is bad.

    Next we’ll be hearing about how a sausage and a bag of pork rhinds a day is good for us (sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council).

  • Mr. Nice

    Okay you be Nice and I’ll be Ernest.

    “Ernie, if you actually believe the nonsense studies about daily solvent intake being a good thing,”

    I realize that I’m being ridiculous here, but water is also a solvent, and it has some serious side effects if inhaled. It can transmit diseases, it absorbs oxygen, I could go on, but I’m sure that you get my point.

    If I would preach anything, it would be moderation. However, we all justify our addictions, no matter how moderate. But, I can tell you from personal experience that there are a hell of a lot more people here in Garberville that think that they can function while they are stoned than people that try to function while drunk. Work a counter for an hour and you will soon get my point. Even a drunk knows what his name is.

  • I realize that I’m being ridiculous here, but water is also a solvent, and it has some serious side effects if inhaled. It can transmit diseases, it absorbs oxygen, I could go on, but I’m sure that you get my point.

    That’s not ridiculous at all. I would go as far to say that the recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water per day resembles the recommendation of 1 glass of alcohol per day. Both ideas have inspired peer-reviewed studies and articles challenging these assumptions.

    The origin of “8 glasses of water per day” is widely thought to be the Food and Nutrition Board’s recommendation for “one ml of water per calorie of food” which goes on to say “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” This recommendation is clear: drink water with dry food. It does not say drink 8 glasses of water to match daily caloric intake, but people took it that way. Eight glasses of water per day is little more than a ploy to sell bottled water with no verifiable benefits.

    If I would preach anything, it would be moderation. However, we all justify our addictions, no matter how moderate. But, I can tell you from personal experience that there are a hell of a lot more people here in Garberville that think that they can function while they are stoned than people that try to function while drunk. Work a counter for an hour and you will soon get my point. Even a drunk knows what his name is.

    I wouldn’t consider the people of Garberville to be a good representation of the average cannabis using citizen’s cannabis intake. I’ve known people in places like Garberville, Briceland, Honeydew, etc. who use enough cannabis in a week to supply a soccer player, a sumo wrestler, and Michael Phelps for a year. Does it matter if cannabis is legal or not to people who already want to smoke multiple blunts every day? In my view, they are going to do so regardless of legality, so why not try to make society a bit safer for the rest of us?

    To see the effect of cannabis on people’s minds, I would look no further than how easily students cope with cannabis use at colleges. This is especially true in difficult schools and among students enrolled in difficult programs where cannabis use is most prevalent. The intelligent people of the world are conscious enough to use cannabis in a positive manner and yet receive the same treatment as the irresponsible smokestacks. This all or nothing approach is similar to labeling people who drink a couple of beers as brain-dead alcoholics.

    I would preach not to drink alcohol at all if I thought anyone would listen. As I know people will continue to slam whiskey no matter what I preach, I am glad there is not a dangerous black market for alcohol which ensures that people’s drunken ways affect me as little as possible. I wish the same were true for the cannabis market.

    What you are saying about working the counter in Garberville is begging the question. If I were to base my opinion of drinking on experience serving drinks to alcoholics, I might come to the irrational conclusion that the worst drinking behavior represents the norm. Keep in mind that people who can respond at the counter and are acting quite alert are not going to say “oh, by the way, I am high in case you were wondering.”

  • the flip side of this is how many business employees in this area work while high. no need for names… and they do it well enough that unless they are just back from their break, you can’t tell. many more than one might suspect.
    it is hempsterdam ’round here.

  • Thanks Mr. Nice, I always enjoy your responses.

    OMR, Get outside and soak up some of this sunshine! But don’t get too much, I understand that it causes cancer. Just another example of a reason that we should practice moderation.

  • ernie, thank you for your concern, moderation is best. that sun felt so good earlier, i had to take a nap after that last comment.
    now if you were to substitute the words ‘the middle path’ for moderation, the hippies might hear ya better, and maybe even venerate you a little. there are a lot of practicing buddists in the area.

    remember the ozone hole is weakest in the spring over our latitudes, so take it easy on the early color my fellow tannees…

  • Legalizing marijuana has become a question not if but when (probably not in the next year but, almost certainly in the next twenty).????

    I have heard this since 1972.

    SSDD

  • me too. i was in michigan in the early ’70’s when ann arbor went to a small fine for possession ($35? or something)….which was about the cost of an ounce. we thought it would happen all over.
    while it is mildly euphoric to dream or plan about the eventuality, there are some big financial interests (big Pharma, and the booze companies) who are behind the scenes players.
    legalization probably won’t happen because it is right, but because someone has found a way to make money for the state…

  • Thanks Kym for starting such a lively dialogue. I know very little about such things, but I do think legalization is in the future and unfortunately the powers that are will jump in and grow mass produced MJ. While boutique MJ will be desired by some, it will probably not be the choices of the masses. This county will have to find other means for most of its economy, I think.

  • So, where do we start? Should we try to get some honest politicians, or should we just pay-off some of old old ones?

  • i believe diogenes went looking for an honest man with a lantern on the streets of athens during the day time some years back. no luck. i ‘spect the same would be true in sacredemento.
    we look to the politicians but they are not employed by us, they are in job training for more lucrative positions in business world.

  • i liked this paragraph from that ukiah opinion: “Seeing legalization on the horizon, the Sheriff and his deputies brainstormed priorities. They figured out that the serious problems (not per se breaking the law) came from large-scale growers using diesel powered generators to run the lights and fans required for indoor grows. Also causing big problems were the out-of-county residents who hired locals to tend marijuana gardens here, there, and everywhere. And, of course, the gun-toting, pit bull owning outlaws. The Sheriff realized that if he concentrated his efforts on the serious problems, he could win support of county residents. He also realized that shutting down local, small-scale growers hurt the local economy. He quit doing that.”

  • I have smoked pot and have gone years without smoking pot. It does help ease pain and helps me alleviate panic attacks. For me, it works better than alcohol. I hope it is legalized soon.

  • Life overwhelmed these last few days but I am reading and taking in the comments–especially since I’ve been asked to write an article for Grow magazine on this subject. Anyone have anything they want included?

  • Sure. Pot helps my mind to slow down enough to relax. It helps me feel physically stronger and makes manual labor and household tasks more enjoyable. It enhances my life and does not diminish it. I can also go long periods of time without it, too. But in an appropriate setting, it is enhances the moment.

    Good luck with the article, Kym. Please post it!

  • Kym,

    …paragraph from that ukiah opinion: “Seeing legalization on the horizon, the Sheriff and his deputies brainstormed priorities. They figured out that the serious problems (not per se breaking the law) … The Sheriff realized that if he concentrated his efforts on the serious problems, he could win support of county residents. He also realized that shutting down local, small-scale growers hurt the local economy. He quit doing that.”

    Mob (anarchy) rules!

    Sooner or later everyone, in particular government and their enforcers, bows to the real vote (voter).

  • what is the article’s main theme?

  • sorry joe…. KYM- what is the main focus of the article?

  • Here is a recent debate which I enjoyed – Ron Paul vs. Stephen Baldwin
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufekh_SwZd0&rel=0&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

  • Thanks Kaivlya. I’ll watch it tonight after the broadband isn’t an issue.

    OMR, the main focus is going to be the new bill before congress–what it really says. And the possible outcome if marijuana is legalized, focusing on the positive aspects as the negative ones have been pretty thoroughly looked at.

  • I’ve been thinking along similar lines, and have made a Legalization Wiki at http://legalizationwiki.org to get more on the legislative side of this phenomenon. My idea is that if the legalization community can present its own idea of how the laws should be, we can prevent a lot of wasted effort on the part of our legislators. And we can also provide a framework for legalization so they don’t have to do all the work.

    I think it’s pretty unlikely that there will only be a few states legalizing. Once it starts going down, it’s going to go down like the Berlin Wall. I think this has started already, so people shouldn’t get their hopes up on being an exclusive tourist spot.

    In this light, it’s important to think about the big picture, about the many industries that will be brought into the legal economy. Even though all US states will eventually legalize it, those who act first will get the best shot at dominating these industries.

  • I see you’re still monitoring this thread. Can you tell me what “opinion” olmanriver (March 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm)was talking about? I’ve thought some about that statement and if accurate it says something rather important.

  • Joe, he is talking about the excellent ed/op piece that I linked to in the first paragraph of this post from the Ukiah Journal. I believe the author was not talking about something that had happened but rather something that should happen.

  • Guerrilla in the Midst

    There are few positive prospects for the specialty horticulture entrepreneurs who defy the current law of the land. People cite “name recognition” comparing Havana to Humboldt. It is not the same.

    Cannabis can be grown anywhere by anyone under minimal conditions. So-called kind bud is little more than the result of adequate carbon dioxide, adequate humidity/nutrition/temperature, intense light, and curing method. The only difference between one kind bud to another is strain.

    There are no strains which exist solely in Humboldt/Mendocino/So. Oregon/B.C. anymore. All formerly exclusive cannabis country varieties are now inferior to widely available cutting/seed varieties. It is not the same as it was in the 1980s and early 90s when there was “Mendocino Joe,” the “Purps,” “Romulan,” etc. There are no “Diesel” seeds to obtain at grateful dead concerts in Colorado. There is no “Headband” secret strain or fabled “Train Wreck” variety. Everyone and their little brother has what used to be elite genetic material.

    If cannabis is legalized nationwide, open areas of ideal humidity in the Mid-West will be the largest outdoor producers of drug-quality crops. Areas of cheapest electricity will be the producers of indoor product. So. Humboldt and Mendocino have perfect climates for certain varieties developed for the climate which are useless in a situation where hiding in the woods is not a market advantage.

    • Guerrilla, I apologize. You keep getting stuck in my spam filter. I have to go fish you out.

      I have heard that before and I’m not an expert on marijuana by any means and you seem very knowledgeable. I’m curious though, when moonshine was illegal it was just a basic liquor. When alcohol was again legalized, makers could concentrate on building unique bouquets and flavors. Wouldn’t the same be true here?

  • Okay, thanks Kym.

    I guess it was a bit much to expect something like that was really going on. Yet, there seems to be movement.

  • Joe, he is talking about the excellent ed/op piece that I linked to in the first paragraph of this post from the Ukiah Journal. I believe the author was not talking about something that had happened but rather something that should happen.

    That’s a letter to the editor. The Ukiah Daily Journal editor… forgot her name… she thinks cannabis is a gateway drug. Her op/ed pieces are a little less than excellent.

  • Her op/ed pieces are a little less than excellent.

    Well, that figures. What caught my attention was the statement that the Sheriff would decide which laws to enforce or not. There are some Sheriff’s in this country that have a conscience, such a reject enforcing foreclosures. As societies last bastion against tyranny, most are nothing more than co-opted lackeys of the Federal Government.

  • Mr. Nice thank you for clearing that up.

    Joe, I remember that story about the sheriff back East, too. He impressed me!

  • Guerrilla in the Midst

    Guerrilla, I apologize. You keep getting stuck in my spam filter. I have to go fish you out.

    I have heard that before and I’m not an expert on marijuana by any means and you seem very knowledgeable. I’m curious though, when moonshine was illegal it was just a basic liquor. When alcohol was again legalized, makers could concentrate on building unique bouquets and flavors. Wouldn’t the same be true here?

    Prohibition of alcohol created the cocktail lounge and made female drinking popular. When alcohol was legal, alcoholics spent time in saloons drinking beer. The saloon culture angered prohibitionists as they rallied together against women’s rights. Saloon customers didn’t need ladies in their alcohol dens, they needed prostitutes. One of the subconscious goals of prohibition was to eliminate saloon culture.

    The speakeasy did not discriminate against women, the speakeasy catered to them. The speakeasy flavored the excitement of forbidden drink with the spices of forbidden music, forbidden dance, and women who carried themselves in a forbidden manner. The cocktail originated in the speakeasy with juice and bathtub gin.

    Prohibition did not kill viticulture in California. In the peak of prohibition, wines with wonderful bouquets and flavors were shipped as kosher wine (medical marijuana) to Rabbis (caregivers). California’s cooperative wineries (medical marijuana cooperatives) flourished during prohibition.

    Although small wine cooperatives still play a role in today’s market, companies such as Fetzer dominate. When cannabis becomes legal, there will be a Fetzer of cannabis. I hope that the Fetzer of cannabis promotes environmentally conscious agricultural technology in the same way that Fetzer Vineyards has.

  • the legalization discussion is taking place in the US News and World Report (link), and the the Capital Hill Blog (link). the latter link refers to the institute of medecine’s marijuana and medecine report link, one for the files.

  • “ANYONE who says alchohol is ok but pot is bad is either terribly misinformed, a hypocrit or an idiologue.”
    Hypocrit never, Idiolog maybe. Here’s to you.

    What do you call someone that advocates strong enforcement of marijuana laws prohibiting local “counter-culture” people from growing, using and selling marijuana and stridently works against legalizing those same laws while for the past 40 years (plus or minus) has knowingly enabled, protected and profitably made their living off those same people? Would you consider such people hypocrites?

    By the way, criminal activity regardless the nature is a viable threat to everyone, some more directly than others. As members of our communities we all obey the law, not because there might be a police officer watching that will give us a “whack.” Or that there is a tough judge that will “drop his hammer on us.” We obey the law because it is our moral responsibility to one another. Anyone that does business with the “enemy,” that person that is a “viable threat,” is a traitor, pure and simple. Treason, in all its forms, is a far worse crime than growing, selling and using “pot.” One may get you “stoned,” but the other one stones (assaults) the innocents of our society. That’s why treason is a capitol offense.

  • beg pardon, the IOM marijuana link is HERE

  • OMR, those are excellent links. I’ve bookmarked several. Thank you.

    Joe, part of me agrees that following the law should be done just because it is the right thing to do. But part of me acknowledges that disobeying bad laws is one of the best ways to change them ie Gandhi and British Colonial rule.

  • Kym, I am always taken aback when the words I use are redefined by those I’m talking to. It does, however, help define how one thinks. In that regard that’s been my point for talking to you. This conversation was NEVER about anarchy or disobeying laws, hypocrites or treasonous individuals. It was always about the reasons why we are now subjected to anarchy and the destruction of the “rule of law” with the imposition of the rule of man. Your comment makes valid my observations.

    Point of fact, my exact words are, “We obey the law because it is our moral responsibility to one another.” You said, “… following the law should be done just because it is the right thing to do.” There is a big difference between “following,” as if you have a choice, and “obey.” “Moral responsibility” obligates one to another, “right thing to do” does not. It implies choice. Regardless of what we consider good or bad laws, we are legally and morally obligated to conduct ourselves in such a way that we do not threaten or cause injury to our fellow man. Our freedoms are defined by law, not visa versa. Unfortunately, that is not the case in this country today because of some of the very reason you define.

    Another point of fact, “But part of me acknowledges that disobeying bad laws is one of the best ways to change them ie Gandhi and British Colonial rule.” First, Gandhi NEVER advocated anarchy, or anarchy just because he considered some law “bad.” What he did advocate was “non-cooperation” with the “British Colonial” rulers. There is a difference.

    As regards, “one of the best ways to change them” “disobeying bad laws” may be effective, but certainly NOT one of the best ways. That statement of belief, in and of itself, is a true indictment upon our Democratic form of government to serve and protect the needs of the people. Besides, that solution simply amounts to defacto revolution. While that may be the eventual outcome, I’m sure there are many thousands of police officers that do not agree with that solution.

  • Joe, as you often do, you make me question my beliefs–which is good I know but not always fun! And it isn’t fun because I am torn. Fundamentally, I’m believer in the law. I believe in people following the will of the majority unless there is actual evil happening. I believe marijuana should be legal because laws should as little as possible invade the private morality of people.

    In the end though I believe that marijuana should not be illegal for a variety of reasons but the most obvious reason is—it isn’t working to have it illegal. People grow it and, more importantly, people smoke it in astounding numbers. People are not going to quit growing marijuana ever just because it is illegal. And because its against the law, people are dying. T

    How do I weigh those opposing feelings? Over and over I revisit them–chewing at them like a dog with a sticker in his paw. Each time I come to the conclusion that until marijuana is legalized, society will face a barrage of ills (overcrowded prisons, money misspent, good people disrespecting law, etc.) and working to legalize marijuana is the one thing I can think of that might help. So I do.

  • Kym, the struggle is to connect the dots.

    There are Absolute Truths in this Universe regardless of what most people choose to believe. So stating such a Truth does not make it opinion when established as a reality by experience. This Truth was understood by many an ancient scholar and Truth Seeker. To wit: “Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.” We are now reaping!

    You cannot have the ingrained criminal element for the past 35-40 years that totally involved everyone either directly, complicity or implicitly without a total betrayal of the value system of that society and their children. Your commentary and related comments on your “Notes” for March 9th identifies some of that reality. Legalizing the marijuana laws now will not resolve those consequences. What does smoking and growing pot have to do with kids dying in Southern Humboldt? EVERYTHING, THAT’S WHAT!

    You talk about a “culture of secrecy” and a “lack of boundaries.” You got that right. Do you think that all of these children raised by growers and their corrupt counterparts, local businessmen, in this “culture of secrecy,” were sequestered on the moon? That they did not know what their parents were doing and that it could get them thrown in jail? That somehow this rampant corruption would not produce corrupt minds, minds that has no sense of right or wrong, let alone some vague respect for self and law? Did you think for a second that these children, your age now, would not assume the self-righteous way of judging what laws, property rights or human rights they would obey or spit on regardless the threat? My point that I have tried to make with you for umpteen weeks now is that illegal marijuana is not THE problem NOW! The problem is what it has obviously produced.

  • Joe, I’m sorry. Somehow in the haze of the last few busy days, I missed this.

    After taking in comments on my blog and of people I know, I’m not sure I totally buy the culture of marijuana as having led to these problems but let’s say that it is true, What would you propose to do to stop the youth dying?

  • Kym, I guess I use too many words. By the way, it’s always more revealing what people DON’T talk about than what they do, specially when faced with answering a direct question. I’ve noticed that your commentators don’t touch anything I say with a ten foot pole, so what’s that say about their expertise? Maybe nothing, but it does tell me something about their ability to confront a man’s point of view or in Joe Blow’s particular case, observations.

    My final comment in the above post is, “My point that I have tried to make with you for umpteen weeks now is that illegal marijuana is not THE problem NOW! The problem is what it has obviously produced.” I SPECIFICALLY DID NOT SPECIFY WHAT THAT PROBLEM IS for a reason. When no comment was forthcoming, I posted on the other thread hoping to jog an answer. Over there, I concluded by saying in answer to your question, “What do I think should be done? Identify the disease and quit belaboring the symptoms. So, what’s the problem?”

    Notice I said, “illegal marijuana” and did not say that the, “culture of marijuana” “led” to the problems of “youth dying.” You did. These are ONLY symptoms of the more serious disease. It is that disease that I have asked you to define. Trying to cure any disease by working on the symptoms, in most cases, only masks the disease. Unfortunately, the burgeoning deaths of your young people, for whatever the reasons, brings the reality of the situation into sharper focus. By the way, your commentators are trying to help you. Put them to work. Identify the cancerous disease, then we’ll talk about solutions.

  • Identify the cancerous disease, then we’ll talk about solutions.

    The disease is the same disease that has led to the recent economic collapse in our country. This is the disease of losing our sovereignty.

    Cannabis laws are not constitutional law. Any law prohibiting cannabis is based on an unconstitutional treaty with foreign governments. The United States Constitution has been amended 27 times without a single instance banning the production, sales, or consumption of cannabis. No words in the US Constitution suggest that banning cannabis without an amendment is even an option.

    In fact, the constitution explicitly prohibits laws prohibiting cannabis. Cannabis is a sacrament and the First Amendment guarantees us freedom of religion. Cannabis producers and distributors often face elevated crimes for weapons possession and the Second Amendment guarantees us the right to bear arms. Cannabis producers are often raided based on false probable cause such as alleged smell and subsequently have their property seized regardless of guilt which is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to a fair trial which has been directly violated in federal government trials of medical cannabis distributors. One could argue that any criminal sentencing for the cultivation or consumption of a plant is a violation of the Eighth Amendment which bans cruel and unusual punishment as well as excessive bail. So-called “mandatory minimums” in regards to cannabis enforcement are always a violation of due process and thus always in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment grants all powers to regulate cannabis production and sale to the states and yet here we are talking about the supposed conflict of federal and state law. Perhaps most important of all is the Eleventh Amendment which protects us from foreign laws and lawsuits which in turn protects us from enforcement of international cannabis-banning treaties to which the US is (illegally) a party of.

    Clearly, the disease is the cancer of so-called rule of law and so-called Democracy infringing on our basic rights as citizens of the United States. The US Constitution and its amendments is not a body of good intentioned but obsolete philosophy, it is the end-all law of the land. Keep in mind that only one amendment has ever been repealed.

    I could care less about discussion of individuals like Ghandi when it comes to resolving disputes with foreign laws infringing on our rights. Ghandi preached non-violent resistance to British Colonial law. Here in America, we handle things a bit differently. When Americans were resisting British Colonial rule, we actively murdered those responsible for its enforcement and their supporters until they could no longer fight. Passive resistance is not an acceptable means to an end for the citizens of the United States as it cannot guarantee true sovereignty in the way that violent revolution has.

    The government defies its own rules in portraying people growing and selling a plant as corrupt criminals. Our nation is much safer with the supposed corruption of these citizens due to their supposed crimes than it is with people who actively defy the US Constitution in the name of a morally corrupt interpretation of law in a democratic republic. Until we roll back the illegal policies that the fascists have made us think are actual binding laws, the cancer will continue to spread until we have no power or wealth left in this country.

  • Kym,

    The following individual chimed in with his “supposed” answer for you trying to obfuscate the issue. You might note, Kym, he gets my point about “the disease” even though he refuses to accept any responsibility for his part in it.

    Mr. Nice
    March 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    The disease is the same disease that has led to the recent economic collapse in our country. This is the disease of losing our sovereignty.

    I would presume, based upon the rest of his comment that when he speaks of “sovereignty” he’s talking about individual sovereignty?

    If so, a good example of what he’s talking is the Supreme Court granting Corporations the same U.S. Constitutional rights as individual American citizens. I was going to post this comment last night, but was waiting to see what Kym had to say. I’m glad I didn’t because Democracy Now had Ricki Ott talking about the Exxon Valdez oil spill twenty years later. Read her interview and you will see exactly how this came about.

    By the way, the Mother of all corporations is the United States Government. So, is it Constitutionally mandated the same legal rights as a “sovereign individual”? The right to judge “Law” for its own self-serving interests without any accountability whatsoever?

    Kym, Mr. Nice’s not so “nice” comment? It is in it’s totality a vibrant and striking example of the self-manifest disease that touches us all. And that’s putting it nicely.

  • Joe, I heard some of Ott’s interview this morning and I loved getting to finish up by reading it this afternoon. We all know how bad the spill was…Ott makes feel how bad the spill was!

  • Kym,

    Joe Blow is responding to me without addressing me directly. Could you tell Joe Blow to pass the salt for me?

    Joe Blow,

    I would presume, based upon the rest of his comment that when he speaks of “sovereignty” he’s talking about individual sovereignty?

    Individual, state, and to some extent national sovereignty. National in that nations still defer to the nonsense spouted by Costa and other international drug policy know-it-alls.

    If so, a good example of what he’s talking is the Supreme Court granting Corporations the same U.S. Constitutional rights as individual American citizens.

    Absolutely not. Incorporation is a right, not a privilege. Shareholders should not being held directly responsible for the actions of the corporation and the only constitutional way we have to accomplish this is to treat the corporation as an entity. In the same regard, corporate management cannot be held individually responsible for the actions of the corporation as these individuals are elected by shareholders who take the largest risk.

    If we stop “granting corporations” the same rights as individual (which is a bit inaccurate), who becomes liable for the actions of the corporation? The corporation itself cannot have contracts of limited liability if the corporation has no rights. Liability in such a corporation would ultimately rest on voting common shareholders, those who own securities, and even bondholders. Personally, I would have my broker enter a market order on every stock I own if this fantasy situation of holding shareholders and/or corporate management directly responsible for corporate activity ever took shape (which it never will).

    As for this cannabis subject in particular, I do not blame the growers nor the drug dealers. I can hardly even blame the murderous cartels. There are three factors responsible: the Department of Health and Human Services (which should be eliminated), the UNODC which the U.S. should not support, and the American people for blaming each other for the disease instead of demanding our sovereignty.

    Kym, Mr. Nice’s not so “nice” comment? It is in it’s totality a vibrant and striking example of the self-manifest disease that touches us all. And that’s putting it nicely

    If by not so nice you mean not agreeing with you whatsoever, I apologize.

    Please define the disease you speak of.

  • Kym,

    now my brain feels like someone had squeezed it in a big rubberband

    I know the feeling. A few years ago I had the opportunity to go back to college and that’s how my head felt for the first three months. Finally, my brain began to get back into shape. That actually was the only real benefit I got from learning a lot stuff I never really used. A brain that could actually do some heavy lifting.

    So, you just “don’t get it!” Well, the person behind Mr. Nice got it. I asked my wife to read these blog threads and she got it, so that makes it two plus two. If someone as obviously convoluted as “Mr. Nice” is can get it, well . . . What can I say?

    Here’s my dilemma, perhaps this will help explain. If a man has a stomach ache and goes to a doctor, he may be advised to eat a banana. If he has a stomach ache he will eat the banana and ask questions afterwards. But if he has no stomach ache but asks the doctor: “Tell me, doctor, what is good for stomach aches?” And the doctor says: “Eat a banana,” he will say, “Now doctor why is a banana better than a pineapple for stomach aches?” And on and on.

    Joe Blow is not interested in debating opinions. I gave you the answer. All that was and is necessary is for any of you to connect the dots. Kym said,

    Joe, I’m lost. I don’t know if I’m willfully not understanding you or just not smart enough.

    Why does this answer not surprise me. I figured out some time back, that if you were ever going to answer the question you would have done so a long time ago. When the stomach ache gets really bad, you come back and I might indulge you.

  • Here’s a cewl link on how to obtain a stomach-ache
    http://www.lambiek.net/artists/f/fisher_h/fisher_h.jpg

    a tip of Suzys white hat to Ham Fisher
    ox

  • Wait, you are calling me convoluted? I’m not talking in riddles. I’ll break it down simpler if maybe my first posts sounded too twisted.

    Weed being illegal makes weed expensive.

    People like to have nice things. Some people borrow against their home and end up $100,000 in the hole over their lust for nice things, some people grow and sell weed to obtain nice things, some people save money and use their money to buy practical things without getting into debt/jail (grown ups).

    The situation in So. Humboldt will never stop as long as people can buy nice things as a result of weed.

    My point is that if we were sovereign, competition would drive the price of weed down to what it should be ($0.50-$1/gram wholesale) instead of what it is ($5-$10/gram wholesale). If we were sovereign, interest rates never would have allowed people to borrow against inflated home values and we would not all be paying for these people’s mistakes now.

    I think it is essentially the same problem where the government opens the door for people to make easy money and then forces everyone to pay for the problems that result from this.

    As for the point of following law as a responsibility to each other, I consider nobody in So. Humboldt directly responsible for the existence of unconstitutional laws. If alcohol were illegal without a constitutional amendment, I would not blame anyone for making wine. The only thing I blame people for is voting for politicians who are blind to justice.

  • Mr. Nice, here’s the salt.

    You made some good points about shareholders being not responsible for all that a corporation does but then who should be? When Exxon vomited oil onto parts of Alaska, the response was to fine them something on the nature of 3 days income. The corresponding amount for my husband would be a couple hundred dollars–not really a deterrent. How should big corporations be held responsible?

    Part of me wants to agree with you and throw the blame onto bad politicians but part of me knows that it isn’t so simple.

    Suzy, can I borrow your white hat?

    Joe, I feel frustrated. You tell me when I understand more you’ll tell me the answer. I feel like a small child being told I’m too young to know something.

  • Kym said,

    “I feel frustrated. You tell me when I understand more you’ll tell me the answer.”

    You trying to put words in my mouth AGAIN? Where did I say that when you “understand” I’ll tell you the “answer”? I’m not talking in riddles nor am I talking to some child. I gave you the answer to the question in plain English. It’s right there for you to see, but this isn’t about “understanding” is it? It’s about recognizing someones “sovereignty.”

    Nice got the answer, even so, since he apparently doesn’t even know what he was talking about, he then accuses me of talking in riddles. Perhaps, you should consult Suzy Blah Blah. She seems to be the one with the white hat . . .

    You said, “I think talking and listening to different viewpoints help us treat each other better.” You posted the subject. You defined a situation that directly affects us all and supported your justifications for doing so. I didn’t ask you to agree. I did ask you to be honest and sincere. You want people to treat each other better? You start by recognizing each person’s “sovereignty” without prejudgment. You DON’T make accusations or insinuations to justify the dishonesty or insincerity. Is that plain enough?

    If the “answer” isn’t worth the effort to figure it out, then it is not worth anything. So, how do you teach your children solutions to their problems?

    Problems: “I told my son last night that because we live here his chance of dying doubles. I’m not happy with that” – Is that not a stomach ache? We’ll leave it at that.

  • alternet covers the potential of bringing back the hemp industry

    a few teasers..
    ‘”Industrial hemp is the best gift a farmer could have. It’s the ideal alternative crop,” says Gale Glenn, on the board of the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Glenn, now retired, owned and managed a 300-acre Kentucky farm producing burley tobacco, and she immediately launches into hemp’s benefits: It’s environmentally friendly, requiring no pesticides or herbicides, it’s the perfect rotation crop because it detoxifies and regenerates the soil, and it’s low labor.

    “You just plant the seed, close the farm gate and four months later, cut it and bale it,” she says.’

    ……………………………………….

    “This leads to the most compelling argument for hemp: fuel. Hemp seeds are ideal for making ethanol, the cleanest-burning liquid bio-alternative to gasoline, and when grown as an energy crop, hemp actually offsets carbon emissions because it absorbs more carbon dioxide than any other plant.

  • In the U.S., hemp is often associated with marijuana or rope. The plant’s distant relation to Cannabis has raised concerns over its THC levels, the psychoactive substance found in the illegal drug.

    But findings published in the July/August 2008 Journal of Analytical Toxicology indicate that hemp foods in the marketplace do not contain detectable levels of THC.

    and from the wall street journal

    “Now, food companies are trying to overcome the challenges of shedding the mysteries of hemp by introducing it as milk, protein powder and nuts (shelled hemp seeds) with some success.

    According to a study by natural products market research firm SPINS, these are the top three growth-driving categories for the industry. The report found that from 2007 to 2008, sales of hemp milk grew about 162%, protein powder increased 21% and nuts rose 44%.

    Living Harvest, the first company to commercially produce hemp milk in the U.S., hopes to cash in on that growth in April, when their hemp milk ice creams debut. The company will offer vanilla bean, chocolate fudge, toasted coconut and lime, coffee biscotti and mint chip. It will also introduce a cooking oil the same month.

    Hemp milk benefits: Hemp milk contains no common allergens and is easily digestible. It also has some of the highest amounts of iron of all types of milks, has the same amount of protein as cow’s milk and 92% of its fat content is made up of omega fatty acids (also known as “good fats”).”

  • sorry the top part of the last post was sloppy cut and paste, and was from the alternet article. sheesh.

  • Joe, I’ll pick this up with you over in my NOTES post.

    Olmanriver, Hemp and cannabis for medicinal or leisure seem so different to me that I don’t understand why there is any prohibition against hemp at all. I would love to see hemp used more. One of my favorite shirts is made with it. I think that if we were to make Humboldt economy more viable if legalization happens is to include hemp products in stores. The Hemp Connection seems to do well here partly because of the tourist trade.

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