The Fog of Prohibition

The fog of prohibition is lifting but many people still have to deal with the reality of marijuana’s illegality.  Last week, a 35 year old Garberville woman, Aurora Hathor-Rainmenti, was arrested in Fremont Co.,  Idaho.  She was stopped for speeding and a drug dog sniffed out a small baggie that she kept in her glove compartment.  Although, Hathor-Rainmenti had a California medical marijuana card, Idaho does not honor it.

The $514 she held was confiscated at the time and Idaho is seeking to keep her borrowed car under civil forfeiture laws. She plead guilty and will serve 5 days in jail with a further 115 days possible at the court’s discretion.  In addition, she got an $800 fine.

Even states that also have medical marijuana laws do not recognize another state’s medical marijuana license.  Thus, a California resident must have a license in both Oregon and California in order to travel legally with their medicine.

People suffer when marijuana is illegal.

________________

Hat tip to 420 magazine

UPDATE: But people are going to suffer if its made legal without some sort of protection built in.  Here’s something I lifted whole from Stop the Drug War via Emerald Triangle News on Facebook.

Northern California’s Mendocino County has been known for marijuana growing for at least 30 years. Part of the state’s legendary Emerald Triangle of high-grade pot production along with neighboring Humboldt and Trinity counties, Mendocino has long profited from the underground economy. Last week, a local newspaper, the Willits News, tried to gauge just how large the profits may be, and the result is startling.

According to the News, the local marijuana industry will add $1.5 billion to the county’s economy this year. With Mendocino’s legal economy estimated at about $2.3 billion, that means the pot economy is almost two-thirds as large as all other legal economic activities combined. When combining the aboveground and underground economies, the marijuana industry is responsible for roughly 40% of all Mendocino County economic activity, a figure approaching the proportions of the Afghan opium economy.

As the News is quick to acknowledge, because marijuana is an illicit commodity, no one really knows how big the industry in the county is, so the paper relied on extrapolations based on the number of plants seized and on information it acquired about current wholesale (pound level and up) marijuana prices in the area. The County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET) seized 144,000 plants this year, and District Attorney told the paper COMMET normally seized between five and eight percent of the crop, a little less than the 10% rule of thumb for estimating all drug seizures. The paper more than compensated for the lowball seizure rate by also factoring in a 20% crop loss to spoilage. Following the formula, the News estimated 1.8 million plants were sown in the county this year, with 1.32 million surviving droughts, floods, bugs, mold, and cops.

And while both the DEA and Mendocino County law enforcement like to say that one plant produces one pound, the newspaper consulted local grower “Dionysius Greenbud,” who said the average yield is closer to a half pound — a very rough estimate, given a local crop that consists of both high-yielding outdoor plants and smaller, lower-yielding indoor plants. The paper’s in-the-ballpark estimate for total pot production in the county is thus some 662,000 pounds.

The paper assumed a wholesale price of $2200 a pound, based on reports from local growers, and a simple multiplication yields a total of $1.5 billion.

Is that figure out of line? It’s hard to say. In last year’s “Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market,” Eric Schlosser quoted former DEA officials as estimating the value of all marijuana grown nationwide at $25 billion. While it is difficult to believe that one California county accounts for nearly 5% of all pot grown in the US, who is to say different?

Frankly, I’d say that more is grown in Mendo and Humboldt than the paper estimated.  Which may, of course, mean that more is grown in California than has been estimated.



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35 comments

  • great pic

  • It is good to see us moving closer to lifting this Prohibition but, until it’s lifted, people need to remember it IS illegal. Sad that she would have been fine had it been a big ol` bottle of vicodin with her name stuck on it by a pharmacy.

  • It is good to see us moving closer to lifting this Prohibition but, until it’s lifted, people need to remember it IS illegal. Sad that she would have been fine had it been a big ol` bottle of vicodin with her name stuck on it by a pharmacy.

  • I wonder how getting a medical marijuana card in another state would be done? Wouldn’t you have to be a resident?

  • I wonder how getting a medical marijuana card in another state would be done? Wouldn’t you have to be a resident?

  • I wonder how getting a medical marijuana card in another state would be done? Wouldn’t you have to be a resident?

    Say I go to Nevada and get sick. I go to the doctor in Nevada. I get a prescription for some type of something in Nevada. They ain’t gonna be like you aren’t a resident of Nevada, we can’t give you medicine.

    It ain’t a driver’s license.

  • I wonder how getting a medical marijuana card in another state would be done? Wouldn’t you have to be a resident?

    Say I go to Nevada and get sick. I go to the doctor in Nevada. I get a prescription for some type of something in Nevada. They ain’t gonna be like you aren’t a resident of Nevada, we can’t give you medicine.

    It ain’t a driver’s license.

  • Even states that also have medical marijuana laws do not recognize another state’s medical marijuana license. Thus, a California resident must have a license in both Oregon and California in order to travel legally with their medicine.

    Rhode Island honors recommendations from other states.

    • Mr Nice,

      Once again, excellent information. I had accepted another blog’s assertion (usually a good source) that all states didn’t offer reciprocity. But after reading your comment, I checked Rhode Island’s law and found you are correct. http://ripatients.org/legal/out-of-staters/

      Thank you.

      • Yep, Rhode Island is cool like that. Immune from prosecution for small quantities with a CA recommendation. Flights to PVD are only like $300 too. One problem with that place is they haven’t gotten the whole state licensed dispensary thing off the ground yet, so to get good weed, you still gotta spend with those “Laos Pride Gangsta Crip” dudes. Last I checked, they don’t verify ID. They do have the best product, no offense to the other slangers. It isn’t like your average Humboldt good of course, it’s more like better than the other crap in RI good. Hopefully when RI starts actually licensing dispensaries, there will be some place to go besides street corners on Smith Hill to cop.

        Stuff like that has always struck me as backwards. In Arcata and Eureka, they worry that dispensaries will cause “problems.” The problem with weed sales is already there and has been for years. Storefronts are the answer to the problem, not some kinna new problem. They say it is too in your face. Some 14 year old kid talking about do want to buy weed on the street is more in your face in my opinion.

        My bad for being so off the topic. I should disclaim this that I don’t advocate patients to go buy weed from street hustlers, this is just the only option in some places.

        • Mr. Nice,

          I agree that dispensaries are better than street buys which, of course, already exist. They will slow down the street hustler making it more difficult for young kids to buy.

          I’m curious. Why do you think areas like Rhode Island that have med. marijuana not have better weed? If anyone can grow it (as is the common cant) why isn’t anyone over there doing just that?

          • They do grow weed in RI, but not enough to fill demand.

            Very high quality cannabis is much easier to obtain in Tennessee than Rhode Island. Some of that Jellico Mountain stuff is unreal, even by Emerald Triangle standards. I guess I’d need to write the pothead’s guide to the galaxy or something to explain all of the differences. RI sees more Tennessee-grown cannabis than their own stuff in any case.

            The thing is, your average cannabis patient sucks at growing. Indoor, the situation is even worse. It’s just an unwritten rule. The average country boy/girl has a natural touch for growing cannabis. I think it is just an ability to observe. A person who has been dealing with gardens and crops since an early age will recognize plant trouble way before it is anything more than a slight deficiency. A person with no introduction to growing large plants will not notice problems until they are building a webbed metro-mite apartment complex.

  • Even states that also have medical marijuana laws do not recognize another state’s medical marijuana license. Thus, a California resident must have a license in both Oregon and California in order to travel legally with their medicine.

    Rhode Island honors recommendations from other states.

    • Mr Nice,

      Once again, excellent information. I had accepted another blog’s assertion (usually a good source) that all states didn’t offer reciprocity. But after reading your comment, I checked Rhode Island’s law and found you are correct. http://ripatients.org/legal/out-of-staters/

      Thank you.

      • Yep, Rhode Island is cool like that. Immune from prosecution for small quantities with a CA recommendation. Flights to PVD are only like $300 too. One problem with that place is they haven’t gotten the whole state licensed dispensary thing off the ground yet, so to get good weed, you still gotta spend with those “Laos Pride Gangsta Crip” dudes. Last I checked, they don’t verify ID. They do have the best product, no offense to the other slangers. It isn’t like your average Humboldt good of course, it’s more like better than the other crap in RI good. Hopefully when RI starts actually licensing dispensaries, there will be some place to go besides street corners on Smith Hill to cop.

        Stuff like that has always struck me as backwards. In Arcata and Eureka, they worry that dispensaries will cause “problems.” The problem with weed sales is already there and has been for years. Storefronts are the answer to the problem, not some kinna new problem. They say it is too in your face. Some 14 year old kid talking about do want to buy weed on the street is more in your face in my opinion.

        My bad for being so off the topic. I should disclaim this that I don’t advocate patients to go buy weed from street hustlers, this is just the only option in some places.

        • Mr. Nice,

          I agree that dispensaries are better than street buys which, of course, already exist. They will slow down the street hustler making it more difficult for young kids to buy.

          I’m curious. Why do you think areas like Rhode Island that have med. marijuana not have better weed? If anyone can grow it (as is the common cant) why isn’t anyone over there doing just that?

          • They do grow weed in RI, but not enough to fill demand.

            Very high quality cannabis is much easier to obtain in Tennessee than Rhode Island. Some of that Jellico Mountain stuff is unreal, even by Emerald Triangle standards. I guess I’d need to write the pothead’s guide to the galaxy or something to explain all of the differences. RI sees more Tennessee-grown cannabis than their own stuff in any case.

            The thing is, your average cannabis patient sucks at growing. Indoor, the situation is even worse. It’s just an unwritten rule. The average country boy/girl has a natural touch for growing cannabis. I think it is just an ability to observe. A person who has been dealing with gardens and crops since an early age will recognize plant trouble way before it is anything more than a slight deficiency. A person with no introduction to growing large plants will not notice problems until they are building a webbed metro-mite apartment complex.

  • It seems that in most counties of the world pot is sneezed at while they look the other way. Guide to smoking pot around the world

    Pot is even more accepted than alcohol in some countries. Only the prejudice against alcohol is a religion thing rather than a political thing. Pious jerks!

  • It seems that in most counties of the world pot is sneezed at while they look the other way. Guide to smoking pot around the world

    Pot is even more accepted than alcohol in some countries. Only the prejudice against alcohol is a religion thing rather than a political thing. Pious jerks!

  • I’ll try again,
    It seems that in most counties of the world pot is sneezed at while they look the other way. Guide to smoking pot around the world

    Pot is even more accepted than alcohol in some countries. Only the prejudice against alcohol is a religion thing rather than a political thing. Pious jerks!

  • I’ll try again,
    It seems that in most counties of the world pot is sneezed at while they look the other way. Guide to smoking pot around the world

    Pot is even more accepted than alcohol in some countries. Only the prejudice against alcohol is a religion thing rather than a political thing. Pious jerks!

  • As one of the first 10 legal medical marijuana patients in Nevada I can tell you that it takes about 3 months to get your card, which you do get from the DMV. It looks just like a Nevada drivers license but has “medical marijuana” where the DL’s have “drivers license.” It takes a couple of months total to get one, and costs a total of about $350 the first year. After that it goes to about $225 a year. I have friends that either live in Cali. or Nevada and travel to the other for work. I know the Cali. residents can get their cards here but I think they need at least a Nevada P.O. Box. Of the two dispensarys that I know of one takes cards from Cali., don’t know how legal that is but their shop is kind of iffy anyway.

    I know the law here states that if you have a doctors recommendation on you that it is legal and I read somewhere (maybe here) that a guy went around to a couple of states and used his Cali. card to smoke in public and when he was in Las Vegas the cops left him alone after he showed his card.

    Our limits on how much we can grow are much more serious then Cali.’s but ours is also a statewide thing, not left to the different counties to decide, which makes it much easier for everyone. We can have 7 plants but only bud three at a time. If there are flower of any kind they are considered ‘in bloom.” I am in my second year as a legal patient and have had no problems from anyone.

    One thing about southern Nevada is that because of the climate it doesn’t take as long to cure the final product. In the right situation you can do well outdoors or in. It’s all a learning process and learning to garden anything in the desert is tough.

    Just thought I’d add that little Nevada tidbit to the mix!

  • As one of the first 10 legal medical marijuana patients in Nevada I can tell you that it takes about 3 months to get your card, which you do get from the DMV. It looks just like a Nevada drivers license but has “medical marijuana” where the DL’s have “drivers license.” It takes a couple of months total to get one, and costs a total of about $350 the first year. After that it goes to about $225 a year. I have friends that either live in Cali. or Nevada and travel to the other for work. I know the Cali. residents can get their cards here but I think they need at least a Nevada P.O. Box. Of the two dispensarys that I know of one takes cards from Cali., don’t know how legal that is but their shop is kind of iffy anyway.

    I know the law here states that if you have a doctors recommendation on you that it is legal and I read somewhere (maybe here) that a guy went around to a couple of states and used his Cali. card to smoke in public and when he was in Las Vegas the cops left him alone after he showed his card.

    Our limits on how much we can grow are much more serious then Cali.’s but ours is also a statewide thing, not left to the different counties to decide, which makes it much easier for everyone. We can have 7 plants but only bud three at a time. If there are flower of any kind they are considered ‘in bloom.” I am in my second year as a legal patient and have had no problems from anyone.

    One thing about southern Nevada is that because of the climate it doesn’t take as long to cure the final product. In the right situation you can do well outdoors or in. It’s all a learning process and learning to garden anything in the desert is tough.

    Just thought I’d add that little Nevada tidbit to the mix!

  • One thing I forgot is that you go through the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to apply for you card and after you pass their background check they send you a letter then you make an appontment with the DMV to get your card. You can grow for one other MM patient, so if you are doing that you can have fourteen plants and bud six at a time.

  • One thing I forgot is that you go through the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to apply for you card and after you pass their background check they send you a letter then you make an appontment with the DMV to get your card. You can grow for one other MM patient, so if you are doing that you can have fourteen plants and bud six at a time.

  • Oooops, hit send before I finished.

    It’s costs $50 to get the original application for the card which has all the forms you need included, it costs $10 for the fingerprint card through the police department, then the usual doctors fee is between $125 and $150 after you get through that you send it all back notorized with $165 and when you are approved and go to the DMV the actual card costs $12.

    That is just for the first year.

    The second year they automatically send you the packet you need and you don’t have to pay for it, you don’t have to get fingerprinted again. After you see your doctor which costs me $75 the second year, you send it all back notorized with $150 then you go to the DMV for your renewal at a cost of $12. .

    When you go to the DMV you by pass all the lines so its not a big problem.

    The packets from the Department of Health are numbered and assigned to one person so that they cannot be duplicated. It they catch you trying to duplicate the packet you lose your card. If you have had any felony drug convictions you cannot pass the background checks.

    • Vext,

      I wonder which of the many different state’s laws on this will eventually be adopted. Probably, there will be a federal legalization law before there is a comprehensive federal medical marijuana law.

  • Oooops, hit send before I finished.

    It’s costs $50 to get the original application for the card which has all the forms you need included, it costs $10 for the fingerprint card through the police department, then the usual doctors fee is between $125 and $150 after you get through that you send it all back notorized with $165 and when you are approved and go to the DMV the actual card costs $12.

    That is just for the first year.

    The second year they automatically send you the packet you need and you don’t have to pay for it, you don’t have to get fingerprinted again. After you see your doctor which costs me $75 the second year, you send it all back notorized with $150 then you go to the DMV for your renewal at a cost of $12. .

    When you go to the DMV you by pass all the lines so its not a big problem.

    The packets from the Department of Health are numbered and assigned to one person so that they cannot be duplicated. It they catch you trying to duplicate the packet you lose your card. If you have had any felony drug convictions you cannot pass the background checks.

    • Vext,

      I wonder which of the many different state’s laws on this will eventually be adopted. Probably, there will be a federal legalization law before there is a comprehensive federal medical marijuana law.

  • Kym,

    I think that a lot of state waited and watched what happened in Cali. before they did anything. I know that Nevada bases many of their laws on what Calif. does. They look at Calif. legislation and see how it works there then adopt it and change it to suit our needs.

    I am pretty sure they watched all the problems there and that is why they decided to make everything a state wide thing so that it is not so confusing here as it is there.

    The feds will probably do the same, look at how things work in the different states and mix and match so that it will be uniform across the board. They way your legislature set it up makes it difficult for people to know what they can do where. If I drive from Humboldt to San Diego with a pound of pot it depends on where I’m at on whether its legal or not. Kind of silly if you ask me. The every county has it own rules thing is a mess, then when you start adding city regulations on top of that it becomes a nightmare.

    Here if I decide to move to another county or city I just pack up and go and can take everything with me, I know exactly where I stand no matter where I’m at.

    If our federal gov. officials had a brain cell between them they would make it the same way. One group of rules and regulations across the board, SOP, standard operating procedure. Cities could use zoning ordinances for cultiation purposes just like they do for everything else.

    I try to live by the KISS rule, Keep It Simple Stupid! The feds should make that their motto when making this decision and any other decisions they make. Too many loopholes and too many oh by the ways make it too hard to figure out what is best for everyone.

  • Kym,

    I think that a lot of state waited and watched what happened in Cali. before they did anything. I know that Nevada bases many of their laws on what Calif. does. They look at Calif. legislation and see how it works there then adopt it and change it to suit our needs.

    I am pretty sure they watched all the problems there and that is why they decided to make everything a state wide thing so that it is not so confusing here as it is there.

    The feds will probably do the same, look at how things work in the different states and mix and match so that it will be uniform across the board. They way your legislature set it up makes it difficult for people to know what they can do where. If I drive from Humboldt to San Diego with a pound of pot it depends on where I’m at on whether its legal or not. Kind of silly if you ask me. The every county has it own rules thing is a mess, then when you start adding city regulations on top of that it becomes a nightmare.

    Here if I decide to move to another county or city I just pack up and go and can take everything with me, I know exactly where I stand no matter where I’m at.

    If our federal gov. officials had a brain cell between them they would make it the same way. One group of rules and regulations across the board, SOP, standard operating procedure. Cities could use zoning ordinances for cultiation purposes just like they do for everything else.

    I try to live by the KISS rule, Keep It Simple Stupid! The feds should make that their motto when making this decision and any other decisions they make. Too many loopholes and too many oh by the ways make it too hard to figure out what is best for everyone.

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