Cannabis Workers, Local 420?
Trimmers worried about pesticides in the pot? Dispensary workers needing health insurance? Unemployed looking to find a new industry? Dan Rush, special operations director for the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 5, in Oakland is working with his Union to organize cannabis workers. The SanFrancisco Chronicle points out,
The 26,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose is believed to be the first union in the country to organize workers in a marijuana-related business. It is considering new job classifications including “bud tender” – a sommelier of sorts who helps medical marijuana users choose the right strain for their ailment.
The marriage of marijuana and Unions should increase the likelihood of this fall’s Tax Cannabis initiative passing. According to the LA Times, Richard Lee creator of the initiative explained, “It’s another validation of the idea that the cannabis industry is a legitimate industry that creates taxpaying jobs.” The Times says that Lee is “hoping that the local, which has about 26,000 members in the state, can help win the initiative an endorsement from the California Labor Federation.”
At the Ukiah forum I covered for the NCJ, Lee also asserted that Rush and the Unions have pull with the Democratic party. Lee stated that after Rush met with Democratic leaders and explained that younger voters would likely turn out to vote for legalization and that might influence the election in favor of the less conservative elements, Democrats turned around and spun that to the media.
Cannabis’ money has brought a lot of people sniffing around before. The idea of cannabis workers and voters is tantalizing a whole other group. Go Cannabis workers! Go young voters!
Be interesting to see how this plays out. I believe Dan Rush is going to be speaking at a grower gathering in Northern Humboldt next month. I’m looking forward to asking some questions.
Still the idea hasn’t quite hit the mainstream seriously. To many, the idea seems funny–marijuana workers (the ultimate outlaws) working union jobs. In fact, some people commenting in the Chron have clever quips–
Will they be holding joint sessions? Will they vote along potty lines?
Organizing stoners. Isn’t that an oxymoron?
I can see them striking now and the picture in my head is hilarious.
Tell me this is just a skit on this week’s SNL
This was a parody on SNL 30 years ago…
HAAAA HAAAA HAAAA….HOOOOO HOOOO….HAAAAA…. HAAAAA.
This story can’t possibly be real….way too funny
I just work for Quality Assurance, man!
“highly respected union”?
Could there be A MORE PERFECT UNION?
It’s like anarcho-syndicalism but w/o all those bummers and with cookies.
Let me guess, Cannabis Workers local 420?
the tax man cometh
Thanks to the lawyer friend who sent me the quips. Cannabis isn’t quite legit enough that he’d appreciate being linked to–maybe next year.