No Legal Recourse

bud

A Dusting of Early Snow

Frequent Photo

A burly former martial arts instructor, The Piano Man, as he prefers to be known, is certainly capable of lethal violence if he allowed himself to lose his temper.   Last year he nearly did.  A friend of a friend convinced him to front 2 ½ pounds.

“He came back with 2.  He had only sold a half.” The mover returned two pounds but The Piano Man realized that only one was his.  The other must have belonged to one of the other growers who fronted the mover pounds.

“It was all loose and shakey, ‘cause they’d been going through it,” The Piano man claimed and he said the one pound was a different strain than the stuff he grew.  To make matters worse, both of the returned pounds were 7 grams shy apiece. He tried to get the mover to exchange the pound that didn’t belong to him and to replace the missing grams.  “It turned into an ordeal…I tried to solve it in a peaceful manner—find a civilized way to handle…”  he interrupts himself with an explanation, “We had mutual friends.”

Soon it became apparent that he wasn’t going to get the resolution he wanted peacefully.  “It was Christmas Eve.  It f’d up my Christmas…I was getting’ upset and wanted to hurt someone…”  He paused and the visions passing through his head weren’t of sugarplums.  But then he added, “The whole point of [pot] is to be more peaceful and one with nature.  If you want to be more violent—deal coke.”  In the end, The Piano Man kept both short pounds, his and the other.  “No one liked it ‘cause it looked so bad,” he said of the orphan pound.  It went for $2400 instead of the $3400 he had been expecting. And, it took him 3 months to offload it.  “I lost a grand….plus 3 months.  I had to send it out 3 times.” He sighs over the extra danger and stress that put him in.

When asked if he would have liked to go to the police, he said, “I like to settle stuff myself.  [Going to the police} is a whole different drawn out scenario.”  He hesitated then added reflectively, “It would be nice to think I could deal with them again.”  But after a moment he tells a story about a friend.  “He was doing his first thing in his garage—3 days from harvest…He lived across town.  [When he came over, he discovered someone] broke his garage door down.”  Everything had been cut and was gone.  Because the marijuana was medical and he had a doctor’s recommendation, the grower went to the police.  “They inspected it and told him…’The only thing we can do is fingerprint [the room].  [Then] we’ll have to interview anyone who ever was in there.”  Not surprisingly, the grower opted to go no further.  The Piano Man seemed to feel this story explained his reality sufficiently—when you grow illegally (even if you have a quasi legal status), the police are a luxury you can’t afford. Some people argue that the grower, by living outside of society’s rules forfeits the right to the protection of society.

Yet, there are compelling reasons to create a venue where growers can get help from the police.  Laws exist to create safety for society. Law enforcement officials act as guards– preventing crime (and retribution for crime) from leading to Hatfields versus McCoys scenarios.  Legal protection for the grower could lead to a safer society for us all.

I wrote about this subject last Janurary and  address this subject more fully in another article I wrote for Humboldt Grow (the site hasn’t yet been updated) that just came out.  Feel free to go out and buy large stacks of the magazine ;>

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111 comments

  • I am normally not particularly impressed with marijuana photos, but that is an amazing picture of amazing clarity of an amazing flower. Wow!! I’ve been away for awhile so I get to discover anew your incredible talent.

  • Good article.

    It clearly demonstrates the Catch 22 of growing medical marijuana – and the roll police don’t play when an illegal grower gets ripped off.

  • Good article.

    It clearly demonstrates the Catch 22 of growing medical marijuana – and the roll police don’t play when an illegal grower gets ripped off.

  • You may want to watch “Goodfellas” again on DVD.

    The Mob was simply the enforcement of the streets laws since none of them could go to the police.

    Of course if you were a criminal, you had to pay “taxes” or kickbacks to the higher-ups on the food chain.

    I have no sympathy for those who live outside of the law, pay zero taxes and yet still demand free police and fire protection. Let’s not forget clean water, toilets that flush, reduced PG&E rates because they make no income on their tax returns, and public assistance, AKA: welfare. Yet they carry more cash than you and I will earn legally in a month.

    Either get your own private “pot police” to mediate matters in a non-violent way or shut the hell up.

    • “Yet they carry more cash than you and I will earn legally in a month.”

      A month? More like a lifetime.

      • I don’t mean to be unreasonably skeptical but while I’ve seen a few big wads of money, I don’t think too many growers carry around on a daily basis more than $2000 at a time and most handfuls of cash I’ve seen probably are much less than that..

  • You may want to watch “Goodfellas” again on DVD.

    The Mob was simply the enforcement of the streets laws since none of them could go to the police.

    Of course if you were a criminal, you had to pay “taxes” or kickbacks to the higher-ups on the food chain.

    I have no sympathy for those who live outside of the law, pay zero taxes and yet still demand free police and fire protection. Let’s not forget clean water, toilets that flush, reduced PG&E rates because they make no income on their tax returns, and public assistance, AKA: welfare. Yet they carry more cash than you and I will earn legally in a month.

    Either get your own private “pot police” to mediate matters in a non-violent way or shut the hell up.

    • “Yet they carry more cash than you and I will earn legally in a month.”

      A month? More like a lifetime.

      • I don’t mean to be unreasonably skeptical but while I’ve seen a few big wads of money, I don’t think too many growers carry around on a daily basis more than $2000 at a time and most handfuls of cash I’ve seen probably are much less than that..

  • Tyler, you have a point but the worry is that innocents can get caught up in the retaliation ie Hatfield and McCoys.

    Second, if you live in a large marijuana producing area, the economy is to a large part driven and supported by the illegal money which does end up funding social services. For instance, growers buy groceries, gas, garden supplies etc. and the store owners pay taxes on what they make (not to mention some growers also pay taxes, too.)

  • Tyler, you have a point but the worry is that innocents can get caught up in the retaliation ie Hatfield and McCoys.

    Second, if you live in a large marijuana producing area, the economy is to a large part driven and supported by the illegal money which does end up funding social services. For instance, growers buy groceries, gas, garden supplies etc. and the store owners pay taxes on what they make (not to mention some growers also pay taxes, too.)

  • Kym – please tell me you are not that naive.

    Let’s sit down with five growers and look at their tax returns and then their bank accounts.

    Do you really think they are paying taxes to fund Social Security, Medicare, schools, roads, prisons, hospitals, social services, etc.?

    We all pay state sales tax on the items we purchase, gasoline tax, property tax, etc. – but I also pay 35-40% of my income off the top for federal tax, state tax, Social Security, Medical Tax, SDI (State Disability Insurance) – and I’m sure I am missing a few from my paystub.

    Taxes are the price we pay for good government.

    If the pot growers (drug dealers) want good government, either live by the rules we all have to or stop complaining.

    I tell you what — instead of blogging about this — let’s set up an interview on KMUD with Cynthia Elkins and a few growers. Have them bring in their last three years of tax returns, bank accounts, PG&E statements, school records for their children, and whatever else you can think of that would be appropriate.

    I know. I just broke your first rule – never talk about anything.

    Keep it quiet and keep it all cash.

    • Tyler,
      I should tease you back and call you naive, too. After all growers don’t look and sound alike. Many of them are like Garrett Benson the UPS driver (and veteran) killed last Sept. They have jobs and contribute legally to taxes. They also might have fake businesses (how many carpentry businesses etc are fronts to funnel money) on which they pay taxes. I also know that some people pay taxes through some sort of anonymous tax thingie (I haven’t the knowledge of how this works or what it is called) in which they declare money to the government and pay taxes on it but don’t tell the government who they are. (Yes, that is strange and I only heard of people doing it–apparently it allows the grower to, if busted, not be busted by the IRS at the same time.) Certainly, it is a fair statement that growers, in general don’t pay taxes on all their income. I wouldn’t argue with you there.

      But the point is that society–the whole big bunch of us- suffer when violence happens. Sometimes innocents are injured physically, certainly we all pay taxes that are “wasted” on trying to solve violent crimes that results. Wouldn’t it be best to stop the cycle as soon as possible?

      • I continue to believe it would be best to stop the problem where it really starts which is with those that are growing illegally.

        While I sympathize with the innocent who get caught up in the mess created by the drug dealers (yeah pot growers sounds better but isn’t it the same thing?) but I don’t have any sympathy for the grower who cries for police because someone stole his pot.

        I’m tired of the drug culture (users to dealers to growers) saying “it isn’t my fault.”

    • School records for the children mean nothing. We have had two schools (techinically three) in SoHum and Mendo falsify records in order to make it look like my stepdaughter attened school when she wasn’t and also they left out the part where she was held back and suspended. It would not look good for her mother in court that the child wasn’t doing as well in school as her mother testified so they were willing to do this. These schools were willing to break federal laws and risk losing their federal funding by not sending the records at all in order to protect my fiance’s ex. If the people you hire to educate your children are willing to take these risks what other risks are they willing to take?

      By the way, what did happen to the funding that these schools used to send the kids on several week long trips every school year? It seems that last year all trips were cancelled due to lack of funding.

  • Kym – please tell me you are not that naive.

    Let’s sit down with five growers and look at their tax returns and then their bank accounts.

    Do you really think they are paying taxes to fund Social Security, Medicare, schools, roads, prisons, hospitals, social services, etc.?

    We all pay state sales tax on the items we purchase, gasoline tax, property tax, etc. – but I also pay 35-40% of my income off the top for federal tax, state tax, Social Security, Medical Tax, SDI (State Disability Insurance) – and I’m sure I am missing a few from my paystub.

    Taxes are the price we pay for good government.

    If the pot growers (drug dealers) want good government, either live by the rules we all have to or stop complaining.

    I tell you what — instead of blogging about this — let’s set up an interview on KMUD with Cynthia Elkins and a few growers. Have them bring in their last three years of tax returns, bank accounts, PG&E statements, school records for their children, and whatever else you can think of that would be appropriate.

    I know. I just broke your first rule – never talk about anything.

    Keep it quiet and keep it all cash.

    • Tyler,
      I should tease you back and call you naive, too. After all growers don’t look and sound alike. Many of them are like Garrett Benson the UPS driver (and veteran) killed last Sept. They have jobs and contribute legally to taxes. They also might have fake businesses (how many carpentry businesses etc are fronts to funnel money) on which they pay taxes. I also know that some people pay taxes through some sort of anonymous tax thingie (I haven’t the knowledge of how this works or what it is called) in which they declare money to the government and pay taxes on it but don’t tell the government who they are. (Yes, that is strange and I only heard of people doing it–apparently it allows the grower to, if busted, not be busted by the IRS at the same time.) Certainly, it is a fair statement that growers, in general don’t pay taxes on all their income. I wouldn’t argue with you there.

      But the point is that society–the whole big bunch of us- suffer when violence happens. Sometimes innocents are injured physically, certainly we all pay taxes that are “wasted” on trying to solve violent crimes that results. Wouldn’t it be best to stop the cycle as soon as possible?

      • I continue to believe it would be best to stop the problem where it really starts which is with those that are growing illegally.

        While I sympathize with the innocent who get caught up in the mess created by the drug dealers (yeah pot growers sounds better but isn’t it the same thing?) but I don’t have any sympathy for the grower who cries for police because someone stole his pot.

        I’m tired of the drug culture (users to dealers to growers) saying “it isn’t my fault.”

    • School records for the children mean nothing. We have had two schools (techinically three) in SoHum and Mendo falsify records in order to make it look like my stepdaughter attened school when she wasn’t and also they left out the part where she was held back and suspended. It would not look good for her mother in court that the child wasn’t doing as well in school as her mother testified so they were willing to do this. These schools were willing to break federal laws and risk losing their federal funding by not sending the records at all in order to protect my fiance’s ex. If the people you hire to educate your children are willing to take these risks what other risks are they willing to take?

      By the way, what did happen to the funding that these schools used to send the kids on several week long trips every school year? It seems that last year all trips were cancelled due to lack of funding.

    • Pot growers not utilizing the justice system has several consequences that reach far beyond the pot growing community. Has anyone noticed the general aversion to utilizing law-enforcement by young people in general? It seems that a “don’t snitch”, “handle it yourself” culture has emerged in our communities and that scares me. When one group, like pot growers, creates a culture of “dont call the cops”, it bleeds over into other people in the community.

  • Guerrilla in the Midst

    Forget it when it comes to credit. This story is nickel and dime drama. Growers are often off by a few points weighing wet country-cut bud. Nobody should try to squeeze $8500 out of 2.5 lbs through a middleman. Piano Man should have negotiated down to $7500 with a cash buyer in the first place.

    I also know that some people pay taxes through some sort of anonymous tax thingie

    Form W-7. Homeland Security has made this pointless.

    • Fronting pot is a time honored tradition. I’m impressed that there seemingly aren’t more problems. I agree with you though–a cut in price for cash now seems a safer bet. I wonder if it didn’t have something to do with being desperate for money for Christmas.

      • Guerrilla in the Midst

        Christmas gifts don’t typically cost $8500. It still sounds rather greedy to me.

        Fronting is a time-honored chumpdition. Fronters think they can keep themselves out of trouble by putting other people at risk. This is an illusion. The frontee has little risk compared to the fronter. If Piano Man’s friend was caught by police, he would flip on Piano Man. The case of Piano Man the grower becomes Piano Man the ringleader.

        • I meant to tell you that I appreciate the link earlier. Tax thingie didn’t seem quite the professional language I strive for!

          What I understand is that nobody likes fronting, but the reality is that fronting if for no more than an hour or two while a friend does a deal with a friend is pretty normal albeit mindnumbingly risky.

  • Guerrilla in the Midst

    Forget it when it comes to credit. This story is nickel and dime drama. Growers are often off by a few points weighing wet country-cut bud. Nobody should try to squeeze $8500 out of 2.5 lbs through a middleman. Piano Man should have negotiated down to $7500 with a cash buyer in the first place.

    I also know that some people pay taxes through some sort of anonymous tax thingie

    Form W-7. Homeland Security has made this pointless.

    • Fronting pot is a time honored tradition. I’m impressed that there seemingly aren’t more problems. I agree with you though–a cut in price for cash now seems a safer bet. I wonder if it didn’t have something to do with being desperate for money for Christmas.

      • Guerrilla in the Midst

        Christmas gifts don’t typically cost $8500. It still sounds rather greedy to me.

        Fronting is a time-honored chumpdition. Fronters think they can keep themselves out of trouble by putting other people at risk. This is an illusion. The frontee has little risk compared to the fronter. If Piano Man’s friend was caught by police, he would flip on Piano Man. The case of Piano Man the grower becomes Piano Man the ringleader.

        • I meant to tell you that I appreciate the link earlier. Tax thingie didn’t seem quite the professional language I strive for!

          What I understand is that nobody likes fronting, but the reality is that fronting if for no more than an hour or two while a friend does a deal with a friend is pretty normal albeit mindnumbingly risky.

  • We could have a meeting with four growers, and I think we should also in invite four CEOs from major US companies. They pay little or no taxes even though they may be getting billions of dollars in government subsidies. Companies like Halliburton KB and Goldman Sachs, and lots of other US corporations put their money in offshore accounts and don’t pay any taxes whatsoever even though they benefit the most from the services of the country.

  • We could have a meeting with four growers, and I think we should also in invite four CEOs from major US companies. They pay little or no taxes even though they may be getting billions of dollars in government subsidies. Companies like Halliburton KB and Goldman Sachs, and lots of other US corporations put their money in offshore accounts and don’t pay any taxes whatsoever even though they benefit the most from the services of the country.

  • Why is it that in every disussion on marijuana cultivation that everyone always trys to pass the buck and change the conversation to other industries. It’s not that I am pro these other corporate rip offs and polluters but the two are not comparable and have nothing to do with any point being made.

    If you choose to make your living cultivating there are risks that you have chosen to take. If you are growing and don’t have a reliable outlet then you have chosen to take those risks. If you get ripped off then you either have to eat it or deal with it your own way. If you don’t have any backup then your screwed. These are all choices you make, deal with it.

    You all know that the cops are being paid to bust YOU so you can’t expect them to protect YOU when you get ripped off. Look at the guy down in Mendo, he was in a business with two others growing at his house. They got into a fight over money the other guys assulted him, he went to the cops and filed a report then asked the cops to go back to his house with him so he could get some of his things because he was afraid. Of course when they went to the house there was evidence of an illegal grow op sooooo…….guess who got busted? Talk about stupid!

    • What about my point though that the larger society would be served by trying to intervene before things get worse? That is valid whether you think growers “deserve” help or not.

  • Why is it that in every disussion on marijuana cultivation that everyone always trys to pass the buck and change the conversation to other industries. It’s not that I am pro these other corporate rip offs and polluters but the two are not comparable and have nothing to do with any point being made.

    If you choose to make your living cultivating there are risks that you have chosen to take. If you are growing and don’t have a reliable outlet then you have chosen to take those risks. If you get ripped off then you either have to eat it or deal with it your own way. If you don’t have any backup then your screwed. These are all choices you make, deal with it.

    You all know that the cops are being paid to bust YOU so you can’t expect them to protect YOU when you get ripped off. Look at the guy down in Mendo, he was in a business with two others growing at his house. They got into a fight over money the other guys assulted him, he went to the cops and filed a report then asked the cops to go back to his house with him so he could get some of his things because he was afraid. Of course when they went to the house there was evidence of an illegal grow op sooooo…….guess who got busted? Talk about stupid!

    • What about my point though that the larger society would be served by trying to intervene before things get worse? That is valid whether you think growers “deserve” help or not.

      • my well said was for Humboldtkids.

        Kym, society would be better if there weren’t illegal activities. Pot growers want to keep their illegal activities but still be protected by the law. How can that possibly make sense to anyone?

  • It’s not that I don’t think growers “deserve” help. Its that I think they made a choice to live and work outside the law, which has its risks. I just can’t see a police force or sheriff’s department that is dealing with trying to bust them worrying about protecting them when they get ripped off. I worry constantly about my stepdaughter and the violence that is going on up there due to the home invasions and what not. One of her friends watched as a guy got stabbed in G-Ville. There was a shooting at the place at the river where her and her friends hang out over a pot deal gone wrong. What I am saying is that if your going to grow illegally then you need to provide yourself with protection, and it doesn’t necessairly have to be guns. Make sure you can trust who you deal with, don’t be condescendging, arrogant and advertise your business to the whole world.

    Humboldt county advertised to the whole world that growing was easy money, I’ve been hearing about it for years. I have also been hearing about how dangerous it was for years. When you advertise like that you are inviting trouble. Humboldt County was advertised as hippie heaven, a wonderful paradise for growers……”If you call someplace paradise, you kiss it goodbye” from the Eagles, Hotel California. I think they knew what they were talking about.

    I know other people in other places that are major growers and have been since the 70’s. Some that moved to Humboldt in the early 80’s have seriously been regretting it. The other place I am speaking of does not advertise, they don’t brag and they keep their mouths shut. They grow just as good of a product that is grown in Humboldt. Lots of times they sell their product with the “humboldt label” attached because they don’t want the publicity and the heat and riffraff that it brings with it. Therefore they do not have the problems that Humboldt and the rest of NoCal has as far as home invasions etc….

  • It’s not that I don’t think growers “deserve” help. Its that I think they made a choice to live and work outside the law, which has its risks. I just can’t see a police force or sheriff’s department that is dealing with trying to bust them worrying about protecting them when they get ripped off. I worry constantly about my stepdaughter and the violence that is going on up there due to the home invasions and what not. One of her friends watched as a guy got stabbed in G-Ville. There was a shooting at the place at the river where her and her friends hang out over a pot deal gone wrong. What I am saying is that if your going to grow illegally then you need to provide yourself with protection, and it doesn’t necessairly have to be guns. Make sure you can trust who you deal with, don’t be condescendging, arrogant and advertise your business to the whole world.

    Humboldt county advertised to the whole world that growing was easy money, I’ve been hearing about it for years. I have also been hearing about how dangerous it was for years. When you advertise like that you are inviting trouble. Humboldt County was advertised as hippie heaven, a wonderful paradise for growers……”If you call someplace paradise, you kiss it goodbye” from the Eagles, Hotel California. I think they knew what they were talking about.

    I know other people in other places that are major growers and have been since the 70’s. Some that moved to Humboldt in the early 80’s have seriously been regretting it. The other place I am speaking of does not advertise, they don’t brag and they keep their mouths shut. They grow just as good of a product that is grown in Humboldt. Lots of times they sell their product with the “humboldt label” attached because they don’t want the publicity and the heat and riffraff that it brings with it. Therefore they do not have the problems that Humboldt and the rest of NoCal has as far as home invasions etc….

  • Oh, and as far as larger society getting involved. Lets see, you don’t want them meddling in your business when all is well on the home front. As in my fiance’s case, we’ve been told that his exwife and daughters life is none of his business, that her schooling is none of his business, that if his daughter is having to watch her mothers sexual exploits it’s none of his business, if his exwife is getting welfare she doesn’t need to extort more child support out of him that its none of his business, that how she really makes a living is none of his business. See my point, nothing in those peoples lives is any of “larger societies” business, yet when they start getting ripped off, shot at etc…then you want people like us and the rest of “larger society” to intervene. Think about it, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    A couple of years ago I might have agreed with you. I know I kept my mouth shut about his ex and their lives. We were both more than willing to wait it out instead of sending the feds up that hill to get his kid because we didn’t want her, her daughter and her friends to get busted. Do you think after all the crap she has put us through, all the lies that her, her daughter and her friends have told that we actually care now? We bent over backwards to keep his ex out of trouble…….she bends over backwards to keep him out of her daughters life. A large contingency of people in SoFreakingHum have bent over backwards to help her remove her daughter from her fathers life. Do you think we can possibly care if any of them get ripped off or busted? We used to, not anymore. We won’t help them along in that way but you can bet we’ll just sit back and laugh when it does happen.

  • Oh, and as far as larger society getting involved. Lets see, you don’t want them meddling in your business when all is well on the home front. As in my fiance’s case, we’ve been told that his exwife and daughters life is none of his business, that her schooling is none of his business, that if his daughter is having to watch her mothers sexual exploits it’s none of his business, if his exwife is getting welfare she doesn’t need to extort more child support out of him that its none of his business, that how she really makes a living is none of his business. See my point, nothing in those peoples lives is any of “larger societies” business, yet when they start getting ripped off, shot at etc…then you want people like us and the rest of “larger society” to intervene. Think about it, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    A couple of years ago I might have agreed with you. I know I kept my mouth shut about his ex and their lives. We were both more than willing to wait it out instead of sending the feds up that hill to get his kid because we didn’t want her, her daughter and her friends to get busted. Do you think after all the crap she has put us through, all the lies that her, her daughter and her friends have told that we actually care now? We bent over backwards to keep his ex out of trouble…….she bends over backwards to keep him out of her daughters life. A large contingency of people in SoFreakingHum have bent over backwards to help her remove her daughter from her fathers life. Do you think we can possibly care if any of them get ripped off or busted? We used to, not anymore. We won’t help them along in that way but you can bet we’ll just sit back and laugh when it does happen.

  • Kym, your comments on Garrett Benson of UPS were close.

    Mr. Benson was murdered because he was a drug dealer. Period. Had he been driving his UPS truck and not dealing drugs he would be alive today.

    I’m not sure your point about society needs to intervene? How? By telling drug dealers not to deal drugs? That didn’t work too well for Nancy Reagan and “just say no”.

    Share your thoughts…

    • Its so easy to label someone a drug dealer! I can walk into Ray’s in McKinleyville and buy a lethal dose of 150 proof alcohol. What do you call that? John Parducci, a legendary winemaker, was once considered by police a filthy bootlegger. After prohibition he went on to become one of the most wealthy and influential people in Mendocino County. What do you think about that?

      Do you really think that Mr Benson deserved to die because he grew, and perhaps sold, marijuana? Do you really think that marijuana as a substance, and the people who grow it, are so vile that they should be prepared to die? I think you need counseling.

      Another great post Kym, and plenty of dialogue to go with it. Keep rockin’ the boat!

  • Kym, your comments on Garrett Benson of UPS were close.

    Mr. Benson was murdered because he was a drug dealer. Period. Had he been driving his UPS truck and not dealing drugs he would be alive today.

    I’m not sure your point about society needs to intervene? How? By telling drug dealers not to deal drugs? That didn’t work too well for Nancy Reagan and “just say no”.

    Share your thoughts…

    • Its so easy to label someone a drug dealer! I can walk into Ray’s in McKinleyville and buy a lethal dose of 150 proof alcohol. What do you call that? John Parducci, a legendary winemaker, was once considered by police a filthy bootlegger. After prohibition he went on to become one of the most wealthy and influential people in Mendocino County. What do you think about that?

      Do you really think that Mr Benson deserved to die because he grew, and perhaps sold, marijuana? Do you really think that marijuana as a substance, and the people who grow it, are so vile that they should be prepared to die? I think you need counseling.

      Another great post Kym, and plenty of dialogue to go with it. Keep rockin’ the boat!

  • My point about Mr. Benson was rather that growers do pay taxes, not on all the money they make sure, but they do pay. Mr Benson paid through his job (and he served his country before that if I remember correctly). Other growers pay through other means. To me, most contribute money to social services so to dismiss them as non contributors thus they shouldn’t get services doesn’t work.

    Honestly, I don’t really know how society could intervene. Sometimes I just state problems that I see and hope smart people conversing together come up with solutions. I thought something like a policy that the police dept. could have that would not prosecute people who came forward to get help might work. When a woman near us was killed many years ago, my understanding is that law enforcement made it abundantly clear that they were not interested in busting grows but just wanted to find the perpetrators. The community rallied (and may have been already–I wasn’t as intimately connected here at the time) and instead of worrying about hiding plants they soon had one of the men and the other was arrested not long after.

  • My point about Mr. Benson was rather that growers do pay taxes, not on all the money they make sure, but they do pay. Mr Benson paid through his job (and he served his country before that if I remember correctly). Other growers pay through other means. To me, most contribute money to social services so to dismiss them as non contributors thus they shouldn’t get services doesn’t work.

    Honestly, I don’t really know how society could intervene. Sometimes I just state problems that I see and hope smart people conversing together come up with solutions. I thought something like a policy that the police dept. could have that would not prosecute people who came forward to get help might work. When a woman near us was killed many years ago, my understanding is that law enforcement made it abundantly clear that they were not interested in busting grows but just wanted to find the perpetrators. The community rallied (and may have been already–I wasn’t as intimately connected here at the time) and instead of worrying about hiding plants they soon had one of the men and the other was arrested not long after.

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  • To Eric Sligh – please get the facts straight.

    If you re-read my above post, I never said Garrett Benson of UPS deserved to die. I’m quite sad over his senseless death.

    I did say the only reason he was murdered was because he was a drug dealer.

    All you dopers, drug dealers, pot growers — whatever you call yourselves — are missing one fact: it is illegal today.

    Your comments on alcohol were correct. During Prohibition alcohol was illegal. And with it came the cash and then the violence (and ultimately the mob).

    Which is why I support the legalization and taxation of marijuana.

    Here is where the problem lies.

    Not one single doper, drug dealer, pot grower supports the legalization of marijuana.

    Oh, they all say that. But it would cripple their untaxed cash business.

    It would force them to compete as a legitimate business. Pay all required taxes as an employer. Be subject to inspections by government regulators, fire department, IRS, Franchise Tax Board, insurance companies, inspections and oversight by the ABC or Department of Agriculture (depending on how it is classified), etc.

    I miss Eric Heimstadt’s wise words of wisdom as he knew better than anyone that dopers fear the legalization of marijuana.

    Let’s have a real debate and hear why you would NOT support the legalization of marijuana.

    • Tyler, I agree that many growers don’t support legalization but I know you are wrong that “Not one single doper, drug dealer, pot grower supports the legalization of marijuana. ” Many work actively to achieve legalization. They know that this would make life harder for them but they believe it is the right thing to do.

      • fiance’ here again……Yes, Kym, I agree with you. It is hard to generalize and put everyone in any group all in the same catagory. That is what makes all of this so hard for us. That is why we are just now starting to “go public” with our problems. We know there are good people up there that do take good care of their children and that work hard, contribute to the community and do work for legalization to their own detriment. Too bad that more than a few bad apples are ruining it for everyone else.

      • I wonder how many growers are taking 10% of their profits and applying them to the legalization movement? (I also do support legalization for the record). How many are willing to stop growing until it is legalized?

  • To Eric Sligh – please get the facts straight.

    If you re-read my above post, I never said Garrett Benson of UPS deserved to die. I’m quite sad over his senseless death.

    I did say the only reason he was murdered was because he was a drug dealer.

    All you dopers, drug dealers, pot growers — whatever you call yourselves — are missing one fact: it is illegal today.

    Your comments on alcohol were correct. During Prohibition alcohol was illegal. And with it came the cash and then the violence (and ultimately the mob).

    Which is why I support the legalization and taxation of marijuana.

    Here is where the problem lies.

    Not one single doper, drug dealer, pot grower supports the legalization of marijuana.

    Oh, they all say that. But it would cripple their untaxed cash business.

    It would force them to compete as a legitimate business. Pay all required taxes as an employer. Be subject to inspections by government regulators, fire department, IRS, Franchise Tax Board, insurance companies, inspections and oversight by the ABC or Department of Agriculture (depending on how it is classified), etc.

    I miss Eric Heimstadt’s wise words of wisdom as he knew better than anyone that dopers fear the legalization of marijuana.

    Let’s have a real debate and hear why you would NOT support the legalization of marijuana.

    • Tyler, I agree that many growers don’t support legalization but I know you are wrong that “Not one single doper, drug dealer, pot grower supports the legalization of marijuana. ” Many work actively to achieve legalization. They know that this would make life harder for them but they believe it is the right thing to do.

      • fiance’ here again……Yes, Kym, I agree with you. It is hard to generalize and put everyone in any group all in the same catagory. That is what makes all of this so hard for us. That is why we are just now starting to “go public” with our problems. We know there are good people up there that do take good care of their children and that work hard, contribute to the community and do work for legalization to their own detriment. Too bad that more than a few bad apples are ruining it for everyone else.

      • I wonder how many growers are taking 10% of their profits and applying them to the legalization movement? (I also do support legalization for the record). How many are willing to stop growing until it is legalized?

  • I find it a bit counterproductive to use the term “doper.”

    For one, dope refers to opium which is gooey and bubbly. Doop, dope, etc. Cannabis is herbal. “Herber,” fine.

    Secondly, it is a few letters away from a racist epithet which is exactly how it is used in modern language. The same type of feeling that makes some people say doper makes other people say nigger. So, when you use terms like this, think about how it can be interpreted. For me, as soon as I read/hear the word “doper,” I think this person is some kind of ignorant ass white boy who thinks he’s better than other people. If you want to come off like that, well done.

  • I find it a bit counterproductive to use the term “doper.”

    For one, dope refers to opium which is gooey and bubbly. Doop, dope, etc. Cannabis is herbal. “Herber,” fine.

    Secondly, it is a few letters away from a racist epithet which is exactly how it is used in modern language. The same type of feeling that makes some people say doper makes other people say nigger. So, when you use terms like this, think about how it can be interpreted. For me, as soon as I read/hear the word “doper,” I think this person is some kind of ignorant ass white boy who thinks he’s better than other people. If you want to come off like that, well done.

  • Here’s the problem I have with dopers. They ignore the fact that what they are doing is illegal.

    They always change the subject away from the fact of what they are doing is illegal.

    They don’t pay their fair share of taxes, yet call themselves liberal.

    They call names of anyone who is against the illegal growing of marijuana.

    Heck, I said it before and I’ll say it again — I’ll be happy to go on KMUD and have an open dialog with any doper.

    I’ll talk about my family and you can discuss your kids and all their friends that come over to your house.

    We can share tax returns and the percentage of my income that goes to taxes and charities and we’ll talk about yours.

    We can discuss the legalization of marijuana and how this might effect your lifestyle (cash).

    Let’s talk about one doper (give me a name) that publically supports the legalization of marijuana.

    I get sleepy when I hear the usual B.S. comments from anonymous dopers.

  • Here’s the problem I have with dopers. They ignore the fact that what they are doing is illegal.

    They always change the subject away from the fact of what they are doing is illegal.

    They don’t pay their fair share of taxes, yet call themselves liberal.

    They call names of anyone who is against the illegal growing of marijuana.

    Heck, I said it before and I’ll say it again — I’ll be happy to go on KMUD and have an open dialog with any doper.

    I’ll talk about my family and you can discuss your kids and all their friends that come over to your house.

    We can share tax returns and the percentage of my income that goes to taxes and charities and we’ll talk about yours.

    We can discuss the legalization of marijuana and how this might effect your lifestyle (cash).

    Let’s talk about one doper (give me a name) that publically supports the legalization of marijuana.

    I get sleepy when I hear the usual B.S. comments from anonymous dopers.

  • Tyler Durden? As in fight club? How ridiculously appropriate for your challenge, no wait a minute, just ridiculous.

    There are crimes with victims, and there are are crimes without victims aka victim-less crimes. Both crimes have selective and general harm associated with them. Just because its a so called victim-less crime, does not mean it should be legal. But a moral society should place a litmus test of the greater benefit to the state. You have to understand the difference between selective and general harm to use this litmus.

    Selective harm is the harm done to the individual by the crime, general harm is that done to others and society in ‘general’. In cases of Heroin and Cocaine the selective harm is in the mental and physical addictions assigned by abuse to the offender, as well as the incarceration incurred by the offense. The general harm is that done to families, theft to support a habit, murders to protect and expand a drug trade, ect. It clear those drugs have more benifit to society in maintaining a ban than legalization.

    With Marijuana the selective harm done is in an arguable mental addiction. With a big arguable because there are NO credible studies that support it. So selective harm is an arguable mental addiction, and loss of freedom to the offender by the offense. The general harm is to the family of the offender in his incarceration, and to the local economy in the loss of an esrts while productive member of society.

    Looking at the cost benefit to society it is in our interest to NOT have a prohibitive society with regard to marijuana in that criminalization CAUSES more harm to society than good.

    There are a couple more FACTS that are important to keep in mind when considering a cost benefit approach to legalization or criminalization in society. In that 18-45yr olds 30% plus of that demographic use on a regular or sporadic basis. Criminalizing 30% of our population in and of itself is absurd. Black Americans make up 17% of our population to put this thought into perspective. Chew on that. Also of the over 2.2 million of our prison population incarcerated here in America, 80% are in because of the War of Drugs. 80-90% of those are in for marijuana possession, and of those 90% for simple possession. Fact.

    There are lots of crazy laws, put into effect by imbeciles. It is our job as a society to sort through this soup and preserve what makes us productive and fair, and discard or disregard the rest. In Montana today it is still legal to hang an offender for cattle rustling. I dont know if that would still fly but its still on the books. Virginia, or my memory perhaps one of the Carolinas it is still illegal to kiss your wife in the bedroom with the lights on. Again, it is an old crazy law still on the books. But once upon a time someone payed the piper over someone else’s idiocy. Point is we dont have to start talking about jim crow laws to know just because its illegal does not make it moral, or right.

    And if this was fight club pitting your lackluster argument about ‘dopers’ against my retort…its a KO with you drooling on the floor. Thats not a ringing in your ear… you just got knocked out.

    • It is fairly obvious that you are trying to debate with someone (Tyler) that has no interest in hearing the other side. He is only interested in trying to shove his point of view down any and everyone elses throat. He doesn’t really want to hear the facts.

      Speaking of the facts and goofy laws…did you know that in Kentucky it is illegal to shoot whales from a moving vehicle? So if you happen to be driving down the road in Kentucky and see a whale make sure you stop before you shoot it.

      Needless to say, there are so many stupid laws on the books that they are impossible to count, many states have “marijuana tax stamps” which are insanely high priced, some as much as $275 a gram. Do a google search….you’ll find them….pix and all.

      But as far as Tyler is concerned, he needs to be ignored………………and he’ll take is bigotry else where, because it is painfully obvious that he doesn’t want to have a debate, he just wants to pontificate!

      • True enough. It is interesting to try to argue with stubborn people for a second, but it wears off.

        • Mr. Nice….

          I thought you might be interested..there is an article in the T-S about a couple getting busted with 116 lbs in Iowa. In the blogs there is a link to a news paper report on the bust from Iowa. In it that state that they people are being charged with marijuana tax stamp violations. In Iowa the penalty for this is $3.50 per gram if over 28 grams + 200% + interest + class D felony charge. The base number on this fine would be approx. $36,377,600.00. If they fail to pay the fine it doubles + more interest. This does not include the possession, transportation, etc… charges…just the tax stamp violation. Like I said on the T-S blog….Iowa has figured out how to get their piece of the Humboldt Pie with out the headaches.

          • I looked at that. Reminded me again why I avoid reading local newspapers.

            That topix thread was mildly interesting. Sometimes I think there is something in the water in Eureka.

            Anyway, I don’t understand why the fine is 36 million. I don’t claim to be a math wizard, but 116 lbs is ~ 52,000 grams which would be ~$175,000 in tax stamps at $3.50 per gram… am I not carrying the 1?

            • I did the math wrong…actually put the decimal in the wrong place….sorry…nobodys perfect…..it should be 363,776.00….
              116 x 16 x 28 x 3.50 x 200 is the formula. You can’t forget the x 200. Then the add interest on to that and if you don’t pay it it 100% of the fine + more interest. Needless to say, quite a few states are starting to reinstate the “marijuana tax stamp laws” in cases such as this in order to get more money out of the accused. NORMAL is screaming about it.

  • Tyler Durden? As in fight club? How ridiculously appropriate for your challenge, no wait a minute, just ridiculous.

    There are crimes with victims, and there are are crimes without victims aka victim-less crimes. Both crimes have selective and general harm associated with them. Just because its a so called victim-less crime, does not mean it should be legal. But a moral society should place a litmus test of the greater benefit to the state. You have to understand the difference between selective and general harm to use this litmus.

    Selective harm is the harm done to the individual by the crime, general harm is that done to others and society in ‘general’. In cases of Heroin and Cocaine the selective harm is in the mental and physical addictions assigned by abuse to the offender, as well as the incarceration incurred by the offense. The general harm is that done to families, theft to support a habit, murders to protect and expand a drug trade, ect. It clear those drugs have more benifit to society in maintaining a ban than legalization.

    With Marijuana the selective harm done is in an arguable mental addiction. With a big arguable because there are NO credible studies that support it. So selective harm is an arguable mental addiction, and loss of freedom to the offender by the offense. The general harm is to the family of the offender in his incarceration, and to the local economy in the loss of an esrts while productive member of society.

    Looking at the cost benefit to society it is in our interest to NOT have a prohibitive society with regard to marijuana in that criminalization CAUSES more harm to society than good.

    There are a couple more FACTS that are important to keep in mind when considering a cost benefit approach to legalization or criminalization in society. In that 18-45yr olds 30% plus of that demographic use on a regular or sporadic basis. Criminalizing 30% of our population in and of itself is absurd. Black Americans make up 17% of our population to put this thought into perspective. Chew on that. Also of the over 2.2 million of our prison population incarcerated here in America, 80% are in because of the War of Drugs. 80-90% of those are in for marijuana possession, and of those 90% for simple possession. Fact.

    There are lots of crazy laws, put into effect by imbeciles. It is our job as a society to sort through this soup and preserve what makes us productive and fair, and discard or disregard the rest. In Montana today it is still legal to hang an offender for cattle rustling. I dont know if that would still fly but its still on the books. Virginia, or my memory perhaps one of the Carolinas it is still illegal to kiss your wife in the bedroom with the lights on. Again, it is an old crazy law still on the books. But once upon a time someone payed the piper over someone else’s idiocy. Point is we dont have to start talking about jim crow laws to know just because its illegal does not make it moral, or right.

    And if this was fight club pitting your lackluster argument about ‘dopers’ against my retort…its a KO with you drooling on the floor. Thats not a ringing in your ear… you just got knocked out.

    • It is fairly obvious that you are trying to debate with someone (Tyler) that has no interest in hearing the other side. He is only interested in trying to shove his point of view down any and everyone elses throat. He doesn’t really want to hear the facts.

      Speaking of the facts and goofy laws…did you know that in Kentucky it is illegal to shoot whales from a moving vehicle? So if you happen to be driving down the road in Kentucky and see a whale make sure you stop before you shoot it.

      Needless to say, there are so many stupid laws on the books that they are impossible to count, many states have “marijuana tax stamps” which are insanely high priced, some as much as $275 a gram. Do a google search….you’ll find them….pix and all.

      But as far as Tyler is concerned, he needs to be ignored………………and he’ll take is bigotry else where, because it is painfully obvious that he doesn’t want to have a debate, he just wants to pontificate!

      • True enough. It is interesting to try to argue with stubborn people for a second, but it wears off.

        • Mr. Nice….

          I thought you might be interested..there is an article in the T-S about a couple getting busted with 116 lbs in Iowa. In the blogs there is a link to a news paper report on the bust from Iowa. In it that state that they people are being charged with marijuana tax stamp violations. In Iowa the penalty for this is $3.50 per gram if over 28 grams + 200% + interest + class D felony charge. The base number on this fine would be approx. $36,377,600.00. If they fail to pay the fine it doubles + more interest. This does not include the possession, transportation, etc… charges…just the tax stamp violation. Like I said on the T-S blog….Iowa has figured out how to get their piece of the Humboldt Pie with out the headaches.

          • I looked at that. Reminded me again why I avoid reading local newspapers.

            That topix thread was mildly interesting. Sometimes I think there is something in the water in Eureka.

            Anyway, I don’t understand why the fine is 36 million. I don’t claim to be a math wizard, but 116 lbs is ~ 52,000 grams which would be ~$175,000 in tax stamps at $3.50 per gram… am I not carrying the 1?

            • I did the math wrong…actually put the decimal in the wrong place….sorry…nobodys perfect…..it should be 363,776.00….
              116 x 16 x 28 x 3.50 x 200 is the formula. You can’t forget the x 200. Then the add interest on to that and if you don’t pay it it 100% of the fine + more interest. Needless to say, quite a few states are starting to reinstate the “marijuana tax stamp laws” in cases such as this in order to get more money out of the accused. NORMAL is screaming about it.

  • This is why I hate having anonymous debates with people over a blog.

    They drone on and on and never — not once — answer any of the questions you bring up.

    Instead they pontificate their own point of views and ignore all logic and laws.

    Let’s just ignore the cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, etc.

    But hey, as long as you feel good I’m OK.

  • This is why I hate having anonymous debates with people over a blog.

    They drone on and on and never — not once — answer any of the questions you bring up.

    Instead they pontificate their own point of views and ignore all logic and laws.

    Let’s just ignore the cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, etc.

    But hey, as long as you feel good I’m OK.

  • This is why I hate having anonymous debates with people over a blog.

    They drone on and on and never — not once — answer any of the questions you bring up.

    Instead they pontificate their own point of views and ignore all logic and laws.

    Let’s just ignore the cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, etc.

    But hey, as long as you feel good I’m OK.

    Alright, let’s address the cash. Why is cannabis worth money? Two reasons.
    1. It is illegal
    2. People want it

    The government keeps talking about 2… how they are going to “lower demand.” That’s just fancy talk for “we aren’t going to actually do anything.”

    People want to pretend like cannabis is worth money because it is so hard to grow. I beg to differ. Any shoeless Okie could grow cannabis. People in Afghanistan grow fields of bomb… does it look like they have any formal agricultural training?

    Law enforcement is corrupted by the cash. Seizing a new boat cash… but cash nonetheless. Families are corrupted by the cash. The environment is corrupted by the cash. You name it, it all points back to ducats. Ag is cash. What do you suppose causes people in the Valley to spray DDT analogues, methylbromide, etc? Good vibes?

    I don’t care a damn about the taxes. You can save that argument for a Democrat.

    I don’t think law enforcement or government will solve this. The only people who will solve this are entrepreneurs. Liquor stores already sell “cannabis free,” blunts, pipes, empty dime bags, roach clips… I even saw a cheap vaporizer in a liquor store in Oakland. If businesspeople could sell weed, they would put these growers and corner kids out of business in an instant. The CEO of Virgin said he’d sell bomb. Virgin Hooter, right? Why would anyone pay $30 for a little bag when they could buy a Virgin Blunt for $5?

  • This is why I hate having anonymous debates with people over a blog.

    They drone on and on and never — not once — answer any of the questions you bring up.

    Instead they pontificate their own point of views and ignore all logic and laws.

    Let’s just ignore the cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, etc.

    But hey, as long as you feel good I’m OK.

    Alright, let’s address the cash. Why is cannabis worth money? Two reasons.
    1. It is illegal
    2. People want it

    The government keeps talking about 2… how they are going to “lower demand.” That’s just fancy talk for “we aren’t going to actually do anything.”

    People want to pretend like cannabis is worth money because it is so hard to grow. I beg to differ. Any shoeless Okie could grow cannabis. People in Afghanistan grow fields of bomb… does it look like they have any formal agricultural training?

    Law enforcement is corrupted by the cash. Seizing a new boat cash… but cash nonetheless. Families are corrupted by the cash. The environment is corrupted by the cash. You name it, it all points back to ducats. Ag is cash. What do you suppose causes people in the Valley to spray DDT analogues, methylbromide, etc? Good vibes?

    I don’t care a damn about the taxes. You can save that argument for a Democrat.

    I don’t think law enforcement or government will solve this. The only people who will solve this are entrepreneurs. Liquor stores already sell “cannabis free,” blunts, pipes, empty dime bags, roach clips… I even saw a cheap vaporizer in a liquor store in Oakland. If businesspeople could sell weed, they would put these growers and corner kids out of business in an instant. The CEO of Virgin said he’d sell bomb. Virgin Hooter, right? Why would anyone pay $30 for a little bag when they could buy a Virgin Blunt for $5?

  • To All Fired Up: You completely left out, in your argument about marijuana being victimless (“With Marijuana the selective harm done is in an arguable mental addiction. With a big arguable because there are NO credible studies that support it. So selective harm is an arguable mental addiction, and loss of freedom to the offender by the offense. The general harm is to the family of the offender in his incarceration, and to the local economy in the loss of an esrts while productive member of society”) one important item. I can’t state any documented facts, I can only say what I have seen and heard about, and that is that marijuana is the gateway drug to harder drugs…the heroin and cocaine which you yourself say result in “mental and physical addictions assigned by abuse to the offender, as well as the incarceration incurred by the offense. The general harm is that done to families, theft to support a habit, murders to protect and expand a drug trade, ect.” And I say, so what, if not everyone goes on to the harder drugs? If the one (or more) who DOES is your loved one, then the so-called “victimless” crime suddenly becomes a crime with victims…YOU and your family. I daresay there is hardly one family locally, and would venture to guess even nationally or worldwide, who is not a victim because someone in their family chose to start with marijuana as a stupid teenager who wanted to be cool. I highly doubt that any druggie started off saying to him/herself “gee I think I’ll grow up to be a useless burnt out braindead total loss” when he/she made the decision to smoke that first joint. How can anyone say that marijuana growing, selling, and using is a victimless crime? Even if a grower says they only sell for medical use, they really have NO IDEA who is using that marijuana. A ten-year old, who at age 13 turns to harder drugs, and by age 18 has been arrested, perhaps incarcerated, perhaps turned to crime to support his/her habit, perhaps killed someone by driving while stoned? And will NEVER become a productive and responsible citizen? Take a look around and see if you don’t agree.

    • Several very prestigious studies have determined that marijuana isn’t a gateway drug. See http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/study-say-marijuana-no-gateway-drug-12116.html
      for one discussion–the top one I found on my google search. Here is a brief prepared by the Rand Drug Policy Research Center http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB6010/RB6010.pdf

      Just because someone uses marijuana and then goes on to use a harder drug doesn’t mean that marijuana led to the harder drug. Lots of people drink milk and then go on to drink beer. It doesn’t mean that the one leads to the other. What appears to be the real “Culprit” is genetics and environment. Some people are predisposed to drug addiction. Some people predispositions are aggravated by environmental conditions (ie poor support system.)

      • Cowardly Anonymous Commenter

        I usually don’t talk about these things. My experience has been anything but gateway effect. I discontinued using alcohol due to cannabis therapy. My binge drinking on Fridays and Saturdays was causing me health problems. I sought medical help. I was prescribed disulfiram which did little but make me pass out. I went to a psychiatrist who had me going to AA meetings where I talked with people who believed they were helpless if not for their belief in God. The same psychiatrist prescribed me an assortment of anti-depressants which killed my sex drive, making me depressed. Strangely enough, I did not feel depressed before taking anti-depressants.

        I didn’t want to completely abstain. I wanted go back to how I used to be where I could enjoy a glass of expensive champagne instead of needing box after box of cheap wine. When I was young and could recuperate, alcohol didn’t feel like a burden. Forty years after my first drink, I felt frozen in time by an addiction to a powerful mind-altering substance.

        Finally, willing to try anything, I went to a acupuncturist in San Francisco. They had me go to a MD in Chinatown who practiced herbal medicine. This doctor recommended that I drink more water and cook with Kudzu starch. He also said that cannabis would ease withdrawal symptoms. Instead of recommending cannabis on paper himself, he referred me to a pot doc.

        The pot doc in particular was none other than Dr. Mikuriya whose office was across the bay in the tiny town of El Cerrito. Not only did he sign off to recommend cannabis for my particular condition, he gave me instructions on what to expect for each step through the alcohol withdrawal process which lasted months. The Hawaiian strains and hybrids were of particular use for calming any craving I had while also not leaving me in a fog. I could not find enough of these strains in any of the dispensaries in Berkeley. I could not grow any significant amount of Hawaiian strains as they generally yielded very little under artificial lighting and the local limit was a mere six plants. Seeking access to higher yielding crosses of Hawaiian genetics and a compassionate climate in which to cultivate, I moved north.

        Up here, I enjoy a wealth of cannabis knowledge that can’t be found in any book or internet post. I have made good friends who are very helpful. Some people up here had nearly the same life experience as me and also chose to retire here for the same medicinal reasons. I do not have any need for alcohol and my cannabis intake is quite low these days. I could easily move back to the Bay Area at this point if I hadn’t already fallen in love with this place.

        I do not understand the sentiment that cannabis leads to hard drugs. I have had precisely the opposite experience. I think that it is a shame that I could not simply acquire this medicinal herb from the first doctor I visited. It took me nearly 5 years to get to a point where I had found someone brave enough to help.

      • Kym,

        Your right about that…its not the plant that is the problem…saying that Mj is a gateway drug is like saying that feeding your kids is a gateway source to obesity.

      • Kym, I read both of the articles for which you provided links.

        In the first article, of 214 boys studied (all of whom eventually used legal or illegal drugs by the time they were 22 years old) , 28 used marijuana first, then alcohol and/or tobacco. The rest used alcohol and/or tobacco first, then marijuana. The article doesn’t state how many used illegal drugs vs legal drugs, so this doesn’t really seem to address the point I was trying to make. It would have been a better study, to me, if they had indicated how many of the 214 actually went on to use illegal drugs, not just legal drugs, and compared only those boys. However, what does it matter if they used alcohol and/or tobacco first, then marijuana, or marijuana first and then alcohol and/or tobacco, before going on to hard drugs? Both roads lead to the same result…usage of hard drugs. That same article says that it is the availability that leads to the first usage…meaning if alcohol and/or tobacco were more readily available, the boy used them before going on to marijuana. “Dr. Tarter” indicated that the study had some limitations, including “the examination of behaviors in phases beyond alcohol and marijuana consumption in the gateway series will be necessary”. That is just what I’m saying…this study did not go far enough.

        In the second article, which also “seems” to be saying marijuana is not a gateway, it states:
        “Although marijuana has never been shown to have a gateway effect, three drug initiation facts support the notion that marijuana use raises the risk of hard-drug use:
        • Marijuana users are many times more likely than nonusers to progress to hard-drug use.
        • Almost all who have used both marijuana and hard drugs used marijuana first.
        • The greater the frequency of marijuana use, the greater the likelihood of using hard drugs later.”

        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

        Yes, that second article says that it is likely that people who have an underlying propensity to abuse (perhaps genetic or environmental) are quite likely to abuse anything, not just hard drugs. I totally agree that there are some families that seem to have a gene for addictions of various sorts. But if someone with an addictive tendency chooses to use marijuana, the likelihood of going on to hard drugs is much higher than if he/she never used marijuana at all. Comparing milk and beer-drinking to marijuana and harder drugs usage is like comparing apples and oranges. No comparison at all.

        I agree that not everyone who uses marijuana goes on to use hard drugs, but If it were possible to take a survey of all hard-drug users in Humboldt County, it would be very interesting to discover how many of them used marijuana first.

        • There is absolutely no hard science behind the marijuana gateway theory. It is as bunk as “amotivational syndrome.”

          The gateway theory has been circulating through tabloid articles since the 1950s. Go to news.google.com and look it up if you are curious. Even in those days, logical people dismissed this theory as being due to association with drug dealers and therefore being pushed into harder drugs. To this day, people float this argument around as if it had any credibility. It does not.

          There are millions of cannabis users worldwide. There are far fewer hard drug users. Even among the hard drug users, only a small fraction of those could be termed addicts. Most surveys pin the total percentage of developed countries’ populations who are hardcore “problem” illegal drug addicts between 0.4-0.7%. If all of these people smoked cannabis, so what? Many times that number use cannabis and are not addicted to hard drugs.

          It is time to stop basing our policy on the irrational assumption that there is something we can do to help the 1/200 people who happen to fall victim to stimulant/opiate addiction. This is less than the number of people who are autistic, far less than the number of people who smoke, and far far less than the number of alcoholics. The only thing our laws do is push the murder rate ever closer to the addiction rate. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I do not believe any drug law can save an addict from their own addiction. In countries which claim low addiction rates, these people are all in jail or in mental hospitals. That is, they are still addicts, just tucked away from the rest of society. Is this what we want for our own, supposedly free country?

          People these days tend to point to the situation in Iran and Afghanistan where the number of addicts has jumped to amazing levels of 5% and in some areas as much as 20%. In my opinion, this is our fault. Before this insane war on Muslim people, their addiction rates looked much like everyone else’s.

          As far as I’m concerned, the problem of drug addiction is like boils that manifest themselves on people’s backs: medical problem, not moral problem. And, like a boil, the more attempts made at screwing around with it, the worse it gets. Scientifically, we are far beyond the days of Chaucer when it was supposed that boils were a result of immoral behavior. Socially, we are not very far beyond that as far more people believe in the fantasy of morally corrupt drug addicts who would find Jesus in jail (when really there is plenty of heroin behind those walls).

        • Should add that to me, trying to disprove the gateway theory is like trying to disprove creationism. People who believe in the concept of intelligent design think it is possible because nobody can come up with any proof that fully disputes the possibility that this is true. This is the same with the gateway theory. In science, an idea that can’t be backed up with evidence nor refuted by evidence is not a theory, it is a belief.

  • To All Fired Up: You completely left out, in your argument about marijuana being victimless (“With Marijuana the selective harm done is in an arguable mental addiction. With a big arguable because there are NO credible studies that support it. So selective harm is an arguable mental addiction, and loss of freedom to the offender by the offense. The general harm is to the family of the offender in his incarceration, and to the local economy in the loss of an esrts while productive member of society”) one important item. I can’t state any documented facts, I can only say what I have seen and heard about, and that is that marijuana is the gateway drug to harder drugs…the heroin and cocaine which you yourself say result in “mental and physical addictions assigned by abuse to the offender, as well as the incarceration incurred by the offense. The general harm is that done to families, theft to support a habit, murders to protect and expand a drug trade, ect.” And I say, so what, if not everyone goes on to the harder drugs? If the one (or more) who DOES is your loved one, then the so-called “victimless” crime suddenly becomes a crime with victims…YOU and your family. I daresay there is hardly one family locally, and would venture to guess even nationally or worldwide, who is not a victim because someone in their family chose to start with marijuana as a stupid teenager who wanted to be cool. I highly doubt that any druggie started off saying to him/herself “gee I think I’ll grow up to be a useless burnt out braindead total loss” when he/she made the decision to smoke that first joint. How can anyone say that marijuana growing, selling, and using is a victimless crime? Even if a grower says they only sell for medical use, they really have NO IDEA who is using that marijuana. A ten-year old, who at age 13 turns to harder drugs, and by age 18 has been arrested, perhaps incarcerated, perhaps turned to crime to support his/her habit, perhaps killed someone by driving while stoned? And will NEVER become a productive and responsible citizen? Take a look around and see if you don’t agree.

    • Several very prestigious studies have determined that marijuana isn’t a gateway drug. See http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/study-say-marijuana-no-gateway-drug-12116.html
      for one discussion–the top one I found on my google search. Here is a brief prepared by the Rand Drug Policy Research Center http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB6010/RB6010.pdf

      Just because someone uses marijuana and then goes on to use a harder drug doesn’t mean that marijuana led to the harder drug. Lots of people drink milk and then go on to drink beer. It doesn’t mean that the one leads to the other. What appears to be the real “Culprit” is genetics and environment. Some people are predisposed to drug addiction. Some people predispositions are aggravated by environmental conditions (ie poor support system.)

      • Cowardly Anonymous Commenter

        I usually don’t talk about these things. My experience has been anything but gateway effect. I discontinued using alcohol due to cannabis therapy. My binge drinking on Fridays and Saturdays was causing me health problems. I sought medical help. I was prescribed disulfiram which did little but make me pass out. I went to a psychiatrist who had me going to AA meetings where I talked with people who believed they were helpless if not for their belief in God. The same psychiatrist prescribed me an assortment of anti-depressants which killed my sex drive, making me depressed. Strangely enough, I did not feel depressed before taking anti-depressants.

        I didn’t want to completely abstain. I wanted go back to how I used to be where I could enjoy a glass of expensive champagne instead of needing box after box of cheap wine. When I was young and could recuperate, alcohol didn’t feel like a burden. Forty years after my first drink, I felt frozen in time by an addiction to a powerful mind-altering substance.

        Finally, willing to try anything, I went to a acupuncturist in San Francisco. They had me go to a MD in Chinatown who practiced herbal medicine. This doctor recommended that I drink more water and cook with Kudzu starch. He also said that cannabis would ease withdrawal symptoms. Instead of recommending cannabis on paper himself, he referred me to a pot doc.

        The pot doc in particular was none other than Dr. Mikuriya whose office was across the bay in the tiny town of El Cerrito. Not only did he sign off to recommend cannabis for my particular condition, he gave me instructions on what to expect for each step through the alcohol withdrawal process which lasted months. The Hawaiian strains and hybrids were of particular use for calming any craving I had while also not leaving me in a fog. I could not find enough of these strains in any of the dispensaries in Berkeley. I could not grow any significant amount of Hawaiian strains as they generally yielded very little under artificial lighting and the local limit was a mere six plants. Seeking access to higher yielding crosses of Hawaiian genetics and a compassionate climate in which to cultivate, I moved north.

        Up here, I enjoy a wealth of cannabis knowledge that can’t be found in any book or internet post. I have made good friends who are very helpful. Some people up here had nearly the same life experience as me and also chose to retire here for the same medicinal reasons. I do not have any need for alcohol and my cannabis intake is quite low these days. I could easily move back to the Bay Area at this point if I hadn’t already fallen in love with this place.

        I do not understand the sentiment that cannabis leads to hard drugs. I have had precisely the opposite experience. I think that it is a shame that I could not simply acquire this medicinal herb from the first doctor I visited. It took me nearly 5 years to get to a point where I had found someone brave enough to help.

      • Kym,

        Your right about that…its not the plant that is the problem…saying that Mj is a gateway drug is like saying that feeding your kids is a gateway source to obesity.

      • Kym, I read both of the articles for which you provided links.

        In the first article, of 214 boys studied (all of whom eventually used legal or illegal drugs by the time they were 22 years old) , 28 used marijuana first, then alcohol and/or tobacco. The rest used alcohol and/or tobacco first, then marijuana. The article doesn’t state how many used illegal drugs vs legal drugs, so this doesn’t really seem to address the point I was trying to make. It would have been a better study, to me, if they had indicated how many of the 214 actually went on to use illegal drugs, not just legal drugs, and compared only those boys. However, what does it matter if they used alcohol and/or tobacco first, then marijuana, or marijuana first and then alcohol and/or tobacco, before going on to hard drugs? Both roads lead to the same result…usage of hard drugs. That same article says that it is the availability that leads to the first usage…meaning if alcohol and/or tobacco were more readily available, the boy used them before going on to marijuana. “Dr. Tarter” indicated that the study had some limitations, including “the examination of behaviors in phases beyond alcohol and marijuana consumption in the gateway series will be necessary”. That is just what I’m saying…this study did not go far enough.

        In the second article, which also “seems” to be saying marijuana is not a gateway, it states:
        “Although marijuana has never been shown to have a gateway effect, three drug initiation facts support the notion that marijuana use raises the risk of hard-drug use:
        • Marijuana users are many times more likely than nonusers to progress to hard-drug use.
        • Almost all who have used both marijuana and hard drugs used marijuana first.
        • The greater the frequency of marijuana use, the greater the likelihood of using hard drugs later.”

        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

        Yes, that second article says that it is likely that people who have an underlying propensity to abuse (perhaps genetic or environmental) are quite likely to abuse anything, not just hard drugs. I totally agree that there are some families that seem to have a gene for addictions of various sorts. But if someone with an addictive tendency chooses to use marijuana, the likelihood of going on to hard drugs is much higher than if he/she never used marijuana at all. Comparing milk and beer-drinking to marijuana and harder drugs usage is like comparing apples and oranges. No comparison at all.

        I agree that not everyone who uses marijuana goes on to use hard drugs, but If it were possible to take a survey of all hard-drug users in Humboldt County, it would be very interesting to discover how many of them used marijuana first.

        • There is absolutely no hard science behind the marijuana gateway theory. It is as bunk as “amotivational syndrome.”

          The gateway theory has been circulating through tabloid articles since the 1950s. Go to news.google.com and look it up if you are curious. Even in those days, logical people dismissed this theory as being due to association with drug dealers and therefore being pushed into harder drugs. To this day, people float this argument around as if it had any credibility. It does not.

          There are millions of cannabis users worldwide. There are far fewer hard drug users. Even among the hard drug users, only a small fraction of those could be termed addicts. Most surveys pin the total percentage of developed countries’ populations who are hardcore “problem” illegal drug addicts between 0.4-0.7%. If all of these people smoked cannabis, so what? Many times that number use cannabis and are not addicted to hard drugs.

          It is time to stop basing our policy on the irrational assumption that there is something we can do to help the 1/200 people who happen to fall victim to stimulant/opiate addiction. This is less than the number of people who are autistic, far less than the number of people who smoke, and far far less than the number of alcoholics. The only thing our laws do is push the murder rate ever closer to the addiction rate. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I do not believe any drug law can save an addict from their own addiction. In countries which claim low addiction rates, these people are all in jail or in mental hospitals. That is, they are still addicts, just tucked away from the rest of society. Is this what we want for our own, supposedly free country?

          People these days tend to point to the situation in Iran and Afghanistan where the number of addicts has jumped to amazing levels of 5% and in some areas as much as 20%. In my opinion, this is our fault. Before this insane war on Muslim people, their addiction rates looked much like everyone else’s.

          As far as I’m concerned, the problem of drug addiction is like boils that manifest themselves on people’s backs: medical problem, not moral problem. And, like a boil, the more attempts made at screwing around with it, the worse it gets. Scientifically, we are far beyond the days of Chaucer when it was supposed that boils were a result of immoral behavior. Socially, we are not very far beyond that as far more people believe in the fantasy of morally corrupt drug addicts who would find Jesus in jail (when really there is plenty of heroin behind those walls).

        • Should add that to me, trying to disprove the gateway theory is like trying to disprove creationism. People who believe in the concept of intelligent design think it is possible because nobody can come up with any proof that fully disputes the possibility that this is true. This is the same with the gateway theory. In science, an idea that can’t be backed up with evidence nor refuted by evidence is not a theory, it is a belief.

  • Are we still arguing that marijuana is a “non-violent trade”? Or that it is all about “medicinal use”? Or my personal favorite, “compassionate use”?

    From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
    “Mendocino man killed in pot farm dispute

    A Mendocino County man was beaten to death early Friday morning over an apparent dispute with his partners in a marijuana farm outside Hopland, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department said.”

    And from the Arcata Eye:
    “At the Larry Street residence, 33-year-old Kenneth Dru McCasland, of Arcata, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

    Officers seized approximately five pounds of processed marijuana, 25 pounds of unprocessed marijuana, nearly an ounce of concentrated cannabis (hash) and $22,000 cash.

    The electrical wiring in the home had been modified to facilitate an indoor grow. Building and Fire officials responded to the scene due to the unpermitted modifications and hazardous conditions in the electrical wiring. The electric meter was removed by Pacific Gas and Electric until the home’s electrical wiring is in compliance with building codes.

    It was the second DTF raid at the Larry Street address in as many years for McCasland.”

    But wait, there’s more:
    “At the Beverly Drive residence, 36-year-old Arcata Christopher Lee Robinson was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

    Officers seized 25 pounds of unprocessed marijuana and $12,300 in cash. Unpermitted modifications had been made to the home’s electrical system to facilitate an indoor marijuana growing operation.

    Building and Fire officials were called to the home due to the significant fire hazard. The electrical meter was removed from the home by Pacific Gas and Electric.”

    Are we seeing a pattern emerge yet?

    Cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, cash, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, illegal wiring, cash, violence, cash, murder, cash, etc., etc.

  • Are we still arguing that marijuana is a “non-violent trade”? Or that it is all about “medicinal use”? Or my personal favorite, “compassionate use”?

    From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
    “Mendocino man killed in pot farm dispute

    A Mendocino County man was beaten to death early Friday morning over an apparent dispute with his partners in a marijuana farm outside Hopland, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department said.”

    And from the Arcata Eye:
    “At the Larry Street residence, 33-year-old Kenneth Dru McCasland, of Arcata, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

    Officers seized approximately five pounds of processed marijuana, 25 pounds of unprocessed marijuana, nearly an ounce of concentrated cannabis (hash) and $22,000 cash.

    The electrical wiring in the home had been modified to facilitate an indoor grow. Building and Fire officials responded to the scene due to the unpermitted modifications and hazardous conditions in the electrical wiring. The electric meter was removed by Pacific Gas and Electric until the home’s electrical wiring is in compliance with building codes.

    It was the second DTF raid at the Larry Street address in as many years for McCasland.”

    But wait, there’s more:
    “At the Beverly Drive residence, 36-year-old Arcata Christopher Lee Robinson was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

    Officers seized 25 pounds of unprocessed marijuana and $12,300 in cash. Unpermitted modifications had been made to the home’s electrical system to facilitate an indoor marijuana growing operation.

    Building and Fire officials were called to the home due to the significant fire hazard. The electrical meter was removed from the home by Pacific Gas and Electric.”

    Are we seeing a pattern emerge yet?

    Cash, law enforcement, cash, the damage to the environment, cash, dysfunctional families, cash, the ruining of neighborhoods, cash, no taxes paid, cash, illegal wiring, cash, violence, cash, murder, cash, etc., etc.

  • What’s interesting is that the conversation continues to revolve around one fact.
    Growing pot is illegal.
    BUT
    let’s put this in a different context.
    A woman is a prostitute. We all know it’s illegal, yet many women do it. If a woman who is in the oldest profession is beaten and put in the hospital by a john, the police should STILL obtain justice for her.
    Even though her lifestyle may have created the circumstances, the CRIMINAL WHO BEAT HER still needs to be stopped.
    I don’t envy law enforcement in this county. They see it all the time–the way pot growing has led to child neglect, fraud and murder. Yet, they still have to protect all citizens…even those who are breaking the law themselves.

  • What’s interesting is that the conversation continues to revolve around one fact.
    Growing pot is illegal.
    BUT
    let’s put this in a different context.
    A woman is a prostitute. We all know it’s illegal, yet many women do it. If a woman who is in the oldest profession is beaten and put in the hospital by a john, the police should STILL obtain justice for her.
    Even though her lifestyle may have created the circumstances, the CRIMINAL WHO BEAT HER still needs to be stopped.
    I don’t envy law enforcement in this county. They see it all the time–the way pot growing has led to child neglect, fraud and murder. Yet, they still have to protect all citizens…even those who are breaking the law themselves.

  • I don’t think pot is a gateway drug per se. But the illicit CLIMATE around it is. Once you have broken one rule to “get high’ the next one is easier, and you have entered a mindset and a culture. It’s the rule-breaking that is the gateway.

    So if it is legal and the clandestine nature of pot-smoking is altered, will it still be considered a ‘gateway’ drug? No – I don’t think so.

    I don’t like it and I don’t want it anywhere around me, that’s not gonna change even if it is legal, but I am ready to see it legalized. End this senseless sham that is 215

    • 215 is just a halfway point, something to spark the conversation. 215 has clearly shown that the business model of cannabis stores works much better than corner hustlers. While a corner kid detracts from nearby business, a cannabis store generally bolsters it. We don’t need to roll back 215 and try to take a smaller baby steps next time just to make people with no vested interest happy.

      I don’t believe in any of the various pseudoscientific gateway theories. If being exposed to a “climate” of substance produced substance users, wouldn’t more people who went to Rite-Aid be chain-smoking, pork rind eating alcoholics? There is no proof of any causal connection between exposure and use rate, just a consensus of people who believe that it is true based on zero data and plenty of emotion. People feel comfortable refuting empirical evidence based on the premise that their long time belief and association with other people who believe the same thing trumps any refutation of that belief… but that is illogical.

      Not only is the “rule-breaking” gateway theory not an actual theory based on actual data, isn’t even a relatively new belief. It first became popular in the 50s as an explanation for why the gateway drug progression occurred even though there was no data that any drug progression was occurring. The rule-breaking belief is nothing but a competing explanation for the same fake idea as the standard “gateway theory.” Countering the gateway belief with the rule-breaking belief is equivalent to debating why astrology is such a precise fortune telling system.

      Actual data suggests cannabis to be a drug that terminates experimentation with addictive drugs. That is, users who start on cannabis generally end with cannabis. This explains why there are ten times as many cannabis users as cocaine or heroin users even though all of these drugs are widely available on any corner in your local ghetto.

  • I don’t think pot is a gateway drug per se. But the illicit CLIMATE around it is. Once you have broken one rule to “get high’ the next one is easier, and you have entered a mindset and a culture. It’s the rule-breaking that is the gateway.

    So if it is legal and the clandestine nature of pot-smoking is altered, will it still be considered a ‘gateway’ drug? No – I don’t think so.

    I don’t like it and I don’t want it anywhere around me, that’s not gonna change even if it is legal, but I am ready to see it legalized. End this senseless sham that is 215

    • 215 is just a halfway point, something to spark the conversation. 215 has clearly shown that the business model of cannabis stores works much better than corner hustlers. While a corner kid detracts from nearby business, a cannabis store generally bolsters it. We don’t need to roll back 215 and try to take a smaller baby steps next time just to make people with no vested interest happy.

      I don’t believe in any of the various pseudoscientific gateway theories. If being exposed to a “climate” of substance produced substance users, wouldn’t more people who went to Rite-Aid be chain-smoking, pork rind eating alcoholics? There is no proof of any causal connection between exposure and use rate, just a consensus of people who believe that it is true based on zero data and plenty of emotion. People feel comfortable refuting empirical evidence based on the premise that their long time belief and association with other people who believe the same thing trumps any refutation of that belief… but that is illogical.

      Not only is the “rule-breaking” gateway theory not an actual theory based on actual data, isn’t even a relatively new belief. It first became popular in the 50s as an explanation for why the gateway drug progression occurred even though there was no data that any drug progression was occurring. The rule-breaking belief is nothing but a competing explanation for the same fake idea as the standard “gateway theory.” Countering the gateway belief with the rule-breaking belief is equivalent to debating why astrology is such a precise fortune telling system.

      Actual data suggests cannabis to be a drug that terminates experimentation with addictive drugs. That is, users who start on cannabis generally end with cannabis. This explains why there are ten times as many cannabis users as cocaine or heroin users even though all of these drugs are widely available on any corner in your local ghetto.

  • Its funny when you google the name of an old boy friend and you find out he’s been arrested for running a drug house!!
    Wow Dru! Some how I’m not surprised though 😉

  • Its funny when you google the name of an old boy friend and you find out he’s been arrested for running a drug house!!
    Wow Dru! Some how I’m not surprised though 😉

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