Mendocino and Humboldt–Twin Sisters with a Marijuana Twist

Mendocino and Humboldt share concerns and certain way of looking at life.  They are truly beautiful twin sisters–sharing similarly beautiful natural surroundings, social mores and political concerns.  But every once in awhile I’m reminded that there are still some differences.  Until last year, it seemed that Humboldt Co. supervisors could barely say the word marijuana much less discuss how to deal sensibly with its number one economic foundation (this has changed.)  Mendocino, on the other hand, has been on the forefront of openness.  Supervisor Dan Hamburg of Mendocino grows it on his property for instance.  According to the Ukiah Daily Journal yesterday, the Mendocino’s Grand Jury though excited by the monetary possibilities is a little worried about this relaxed atmosphere.

“Given the fact that Mendocino County has gained worldwide attention for the apparent ideal conditions for the production of marijuana,” the grand jury report states, it would be smart for the county to try to control the over-the-counter sales of medical marijuana here. It would also, the jurors point out, help raise needed county revenue…

The grand jury recommended that the county pass such an ordinance … collecting fees…

The grand jury also believes that not all members of the Board of Supervisors are qualified to address this issue.

“The grand jury believes that this issue is a far-reaching topic worthy of serious and immediate attention by the BOS. In order to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, the grand jury feels that members of the BOS, who may have in the past, or may be currently involved in the production of MMJ, recuse themselves from any vote on this matter,” the report ends.

Mendocino may truly be the only county in the United States where this kind of concern could exist.

Humboldt has a long way to go to catch up…..

(As a side note to Mendocino’s Grand Jury, as long as there is no direct conflict of interest, I wonder if supervisors who grow grapes are considered more or less able to discuss issues that involve the wine industry….?)



  • Side note, Kym? “(As a side note to Mendo’s Grand Jury, as long as there is no direct conflict of interest, I wonder if supervisors who grow grapes are consider more or less able to discuss issues that involve the wine industry….?)”

    The difference is obvious. One is legal and the other is illegal making such individuals criminals, whether prosecuted or not. At least some people in these communities understand the far reaching testicles of corruption’s effect.

    • Joe, tell me you didn’t really write…”the far reaching testicles of corruption’s effect.” That image is scarring my brain…

      • Fiance here…..lmao! I wasn’t going to mention that sentence..but since you did…….ROFLMAO!

      • Don’t laugh, “testicles of coruption” have been known to cause far more reaching problems than marijuana!
        Most of the world’s over-population has been the direct result of those testicles… Not to mention many poor girls that given up their quiet life due to the beguiling influence those corrupting attachments.
        Some young men skirt the edge of insanity because of them!
        It’s NOT a laughing matter!

      • My dad always used to say, “The troulble with ‘riding a high horse’ is that it’s such a longs way to fall when you slip”.

  • I hope this is the year marajuana becomes legal, medically and recreationally. The time has come.

  • I wonder why it seems so hard for people to wrap their head around the fact that if done according to state and local laws, groing marijuana for medical use is NOT illegal.

  • I know this is a serious post, but I cannot stop laughing. Thanks & xoxox!

  • I’m enjoying the floor too.

    Like many identical twins, Mendo is the slightly older and more mature of the two of us. This causes all kinds of fascinating comparisons and effects, because as you say we’re so very similar too. I first noticed the subtle differences between us during the Headwaters fight, when so many angry warriors came up from Mendo, where their old growth had been exhausted in the 1980s. Her embittered tree-huggers knew it *could* happen here, and were already fighting mad.

    Closer to market, things happen in Mendo first. Everything gets there sooner. Their original hippie protection society, United Stand, was created in 1974 in response to hippie eradication programs started by the building department. Ours started next year, after our imitative eradication program kicked in. Their K1 alternative owner/builder program was created shortly before ours was. Most recently, the Mendo Medical MJ Advisory Board (MMMAB) divided into commercial collaborators working with the Sheriff, against less-commercial non-collaborators more concerned with civil liberties than with commercial licenses. I recently realized Humbolt’s HuMMAP and HGA are playing out a very similar dynamic to Mendo’s, again a year or two later.

    But there’s one big fat fundamental dissimilarity between the two counties: Mendocino is truly decentralized and rural; Humboldt is very centralized and, to use the Census Bureau’s word, micropolitan. Our Humbolt Bay micropolis from McKinleyville to Fortuna contains more than two thirds of the population of our county, and all the county’s elected representatives. The vast majority of our land area, just like our Second District locally, is sliced into hinterlands separately represented by the 4 cities near the Bay, plus Jimmy Smith representing their south suburbs.

    This is a big but not always defining difference. Consider this last similarity: a year before Mark Lovelace was elected in Arcata’s indoor-pot backlash, John McGowen got elected Ukiah’s Supervisor in a similar backlash election. Both backlash Supervisors were then entrusted with creating policies for the economy they ran against. In both cases, as a MMMAB member observed to me, it was a simple case of “City mice vs country mice.” Even in Mendocino, country pleasures and freedoms seem to annoy micropolites. But it’s much harder for us to create civil discussion of the differences, because we can’t elect rural representatives. Decentralized Mendo always will. And they’ll always know what the market is yearning for before we do.

    Thanks, Kym!

  • Whats it matter what the rest of the states say? States rights, constitution, all that good stuff. Did you forget Ernie?

    • Nope, I know all about states rights. They superced federal rights. I passed the eighth grade.
      I also know that there is NOBOBY sitting in a fedral prison that has completely followed the proposition 215 guidlines. Can you think of anybody?
      I don’t have a dog in the marajuana cultivation fight, nor do I have a stand. I also fully believe that if somebody needs marijuana to cure a hangnail that they should be entitled to use some.
      I will use it myself if they ever run out of good beer, but until then it is perfectly safe.

  • I’m certain that Mike Thompson, a winery owner, has never recused himself from voting on regional, state-wide and federal commerce-related issues crucial to the continued success of the CA wine industry. Nor have many straight politicians bowed out of decisions related to other straight constituents since they might also stand to benefit from ‘straight-friendly’ legislation. I can understand the conflict of interest concern by the Mendocino Supervisor. However, appropriate disclosures by the Farmer/Supervisor made publicly would keep a knowledgeable voice at the table and would benefit the discussion. Far too many important regional farm-related decisions are being made by elected officials who have no large-scale farming and global distribution experience. A knowledgeable voice at the table will improve the regulatory outcome, not corrupt it. Respectfully submitted, @JackieWellbaum

  • well said, i think on any kind of issue its best to have all sides represented.

  • Fiance here:

    They just might want to be careful as to what they admit to in public.

    Just sayin’!

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