Writer Urges Residents to Contact Supervisors Asking Them to Eliminate Industrial Marijuana Operations in Rural Residential Lands and Support Small Farmers

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Peter Childs

Peter Childs, writer of the following letter. [Image cropped from a photo by Kim Sallaway]

Permit me to deliver myself of a considerable amount of pent-up feeling regarding the whole cannabis issue.I’ve seen it all, having lived in SoHum for forty-five years.  Phase I, the Age of Innocence, when hippies sat naked in the sun with a toke under their skin, thanking God for the wonderful life amidst natural surroundings that we’d somehow been able to find in this still beautiful place.  Under such circumstances we certainly weren’t going to buy herb (which we all smoked); we grew it, and it didn’t take long for us to take some down to our friends in the city; they got fine herb and we got a little money, which we could dearly use.  Win-win.Then Phase II.  Somebody swung down the pike in the Seventies saying “Pull out the males!”  Which we did, and sinsemilla made its appearance.  The power of the herb skyrocketed and so did the price, which was the watershed moment; the beginning of the madness that now engulfs us (how enormously ironic that we were the ones who rubbed the bottle!).   People started flocking into the hills, not at all for the reasons why the “originals” came here but simply for the money, and all the ills associated with the pursuit of money for its own sake came into play, culminating in the current zoo.  Originally there had been nothing but Moms and Pops; now large grows popped up all over the place (the place being our home paradise in the hills), and they came with a full slate of negative impacts, from illegal grading, siltation of streams, discharge of poisons into the streams and land, generator noise (truly distressing to those of us who love peace and quiet), lights doing to our night eyes what the generators do to our ears, sucking an inordinate amount of water out of our streams, trashing our roads, and on and on and on.  These grows should have been eliminated then and there; they should never have been allowed in “rural residential” areas but there was, aside from blanket (and overall ineffective) raids by CAMP, virtually no enforcement.  So people realized that they could get away with just about anything, and they grew up a storm.  A greenrush (or Greedrush).

Then Phase III.  There developed a general awareness of the fact that the public had nothing against cannabis and that this was leading to not just overt public acceptance but legalization, which meant that the gold mine would open not just for growers but for a whole new industry including dispensaries, testing facilities, etc. and for local and state governments as well through the massive fees associated with legalized operations at every level.  Naturally Humboldt County, being situated at the head of the spear, felt obliged to maintain that leadership by setting up a legal framework for this new industry.  It was a massive (actually impossible) task, and the Board, the Commission, and Staff are to be congratulated for the enormous amount of work that they have put in and continue to put into the project; it’s a substantial achievement.

But from the start of this process us old farts at HUMMAP have insisted that the way HumCo should handle things would be to eliminate grows over (say) 2500 sq. ft. and to ensure that the only product we would produce would be that for which we were already world-famous; genuine top grade organic sun grown Humboldt County sinsemilla, grown by many small farmers; emphatically not by industrial sized operations, which we realized from bitter experience were far more harmful than helpful to the interests of the people or the land of Humboldt County.  Nobody should have been allowed to grow on land that they did not own and on which they did not reside.  To which rule there could be exceptions; e.g. there are areas in the county where larger grows could be considered appropriate (so long as they don’t poison the land and make it impossible to convert back to the kind of food production that was so important in the thirties and could well be again).  Let others knock themselves out in this mad circus of harmful commercial activity; let them, if they lack the wit to do otherwise, ruin their rural residential neighborhoods, drain their streams, and turn their lovely rural county into a money-mad industrial scramble.

The Board heard us out and said “You make sense.”   Then they listened to the next layer of constituents, who wanted to grow big.  They said “Those old hippies are good people and they dream sweet dreams, but they’re not being realistic.  This train is roaring out of the station and if we don’t get on board we’ll be left behind.”  The Board said “You make sense”.   Then the people who wanted to grow huge made their sensible case, and the Board did what Boards generally feel obliged to do since they represent all, not part of their constituents; they compromised, the result being the CCLUO.  So we have a legal framework of sorts, and the new Industry is trying to take shape.

Which will, in my not particularly humble opinion, lead directly to Phase iV, when the other forty states snout up to the trough, the basic law of supply and demand comes into play in a big way, the price goes through the floor (it’s already well on the way) and the whole thing collapses.  God only knows what Lorillard and Reynolds have been doing in the corridors of Washington, but we can be sure that they haven’t sat on their hands.  Already there’s a shadow entity patenting cannabis strains, which could be enormously significant and harmful.   I’m reminded of how us kids would put fifty fireflies in a cream jar on top of a barber pole in our bedroom at night, so we’d have a little lighthouse.  In the morning, in the cream jar there’d be a bunch of legs and wing casings, and one Bad Bug.  I think this scene will evolve in much the same way, with a few big players and a small chance of a boutique market surviving where Phase One types can continue to exist.  But I’m not holding my breath; the odds would be much better if HumCo had focused on and protected a strictly Mom and Pop system.  The passengers who bought a ticket on this train like to think that it’s going to be a smooth ride but I predict otherwise; there will be (just as, for example, with climate change) unforeseen problems ahead on this track.  Just as with the logging, fishing, and other boom-and-bust economies, the bottom line is proving to be money, not long-term vision and effective protection of the resource base.

Meanwhile, we “original” hill dwellers weep.  The problem grows have not been eliminated; they’ve been legitimized.  Our roads are being trashed and are now downright dangerous to drive on (aside from the constant stream of big fertilizer trucks, water trucks, etc. the industrial level of employees involved with these grows has tremendously increased car traffic on our narrow dirt roads).  Our creeks and rivers (water trucks) are being drained, our lands polluted.  Directly in what used to be my pristine view there are four large greenhouse grows stacked up on the hillside; four big scars on the hill (care to bet on whether or not the grading was permitted?), much of the graded material is probably now in the creek below, and they have roaring fans that, over a mile away, make it sound as though I was back in New York City when I open the sliding glass door of my bedroom at night.  Not to mention the grow(s) ninety degrees from there, where there’s a steady generator hum, and where they’re regularly transporting tanks of water from that property to a different grow scene.  And someone just stole my main toolbox from my barn (never a problem until recently).  Our local Facebook page lists ten incidents in the past month of tires picking up greenhouse screws on the road (and that’s just the ones listed).  We expect little enforcement; there are just too many grows.  Unless the County wakes up to the possibilities in doing it with paper rather than brute force; if problem grows can be identified then fines can be levied and liens placed.  But it would seem that Staff is far too busy working on legalization to put much effort into enforcement.  And even if substantial action were to be taken along those lines, there are far too many large grows that will be legal under the new rules; industrial operations will be allowed to continue in rural residential lands where, as I’ve already observed, they should never have been allowed in the first place.

Many of us feel that the County made an enormous (although understandable) mistake in failing to see how sketchy the future is of this whole “industry” (which rests entirely upon the artificially high price created by illegality) rather than having the vision and courage to focus on and protect top grade, dispersed, wholly organic Mom and Pop production, thus maximizing our chances for an economically sustainable and environmentally viable future.

Another thing: in view of my experience working with County government over the last four decades it’s difficult for me to ignore the substantial feeling on the part not just of officials but also of others, that we shouldn’t be living out here in the hills.  Some environmentalists (ironically our natural allies) think that the very presence of humans on “resource lands” necessarily degrades them (never mind what their cities did to the land on which they sit, how our logged-over hill lands have improved under our stewardship, or our natural right to the pursuit of happiness), and they’ve been a significant force working to harm our interests.  Regarding the official attitude: when United Stand began its work nearly forty years ago the Chief Building Official publicly announced that he felt it was his duty to “use the codes as a tool to rid the county of the riffraff”.

I think that this attitude has improved but it certainly hasn’t disappeared; quite recently Planning Director Kirk Girard, when asked directly “Are you trying to get rid of us?” replied “Yes!  We’re trying to get you out of there so we can gentrify the county on the Marin/Sonoma model and bring some real money into this county.”  So we do occasionally get the feeling that our legitimate concerns are, shall we just say, being overlooked, and this whole marijuana issue is an excellent example.

I think it’s time we each put in our two cents’ worth to the Planning Department, Planning Commission, and the Supes at the Sept 21 meeting and/or by email to Steve Lazar at the PD (slazar@co.humboldt.ca.us).    It’s also a good idea to send your comments to each Supervisor (rbohn@co.humboldt.ca.us,  efennell@co.humboldt.ca.us,  mike.wilson@co.humboldt.ca.us,  vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us,  rsundberg@co.humboldt.ca.us)

Peter Childs

Planning Commission Public Workshop – Cannabis Ordinance Review

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Humboldt County Planning Commission will be holding a public workshop to review proposed draft revisions to the County’s Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance (CCLUO). The workshop will include the opportunity for the Planning Commissioners and the public to comment on the proposed draft ordinance, but no action will be taken.

Date:

September 21, 2017
Time:
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Time Details:
beginning at 5:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible
Location:
View Facility
Board of Supervisors Chambers
Address:
825 5th Street
Supervisors Chambers – First Floor
Eureka, CA 95501
Contact:
Email:

 

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90 comments

  • I think the turning point was here:

    ” and it didn’t take long for us to take some down to our friends in the city; they got fine herb and we got a little money”
    every other “phase” is just more of this

    • fuckwalterwhite.com

      Exactly!

      • you all are kidding right? look at the numbers, the ‘back to the land’ folk made a dead zone flourish culturally and do just fine economically in a place that would have stayed a dead zone after the last tree was cut…and that is just cold economic reality, because down here there is not one bone of a saw mill left,

        its funny to laugh at you as you cry because you lost a cultural battle. soz dude but you got lied to, and you feel like a fool for believing the lies. so you are acting out and trying to make people cry cuz you didnt think for yourselves sooner. nothing more, nothing less going on here. go tell your troubles to Nancy Reagan.

        they won, you lost. except you won too, economically, for the years the gig was good, and youre gonna start losing on the same track they are….greed is killing the goose that’s been laying the golden egg. and you’ve supped on that egg as well as they have.

        you’re too self centered to see it now, but wait two years. that’s when the dead zone will start to reappear

        • Yo-I think we did come “back to the land” & when we came here we knew, or learned how to live on a minimum amount of everything. I’m sure we old hippies still know how to make delicious rice and beans, with our homegrown kale, onions,garlic, tomatoes,peppers & whatever is around our homestead. When there’s more time than money, that’s when folks tend to help each other more, rather than running around spending money like fools. We may even hafta go back to driving old VWs! Bugs, not vans! Whatever it takes; we didn’t have pot money when we came here and I’m pretty sure we can make it here after the transition happens. Maybe Humboldt will be known for its natural beauty, creative intelligent residents, and incredible organic sustainably produced food and dairy products- along with all things hemp& cannabis. Music, Art, Yoga, Dance. World class Humboldt State U. Oh, and a stunning Coastal Zone… We have so much more here than Worldclass weed! ( And we will always have Worldclass weed!) we’re just gettin started Folks… Sit up & pay attention…the answers are still blowin in the wind! Sit still& Listen

          • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

            Hey, old hippies:

            I suggest you start the “Old Hippie Skilled Nursing Commune”. There are plenty of broke and wrecked out old folks who get minimal income and need a place to go.

            Remember, the low income apartments in every town from Oroville to Garberville are full of folks from Oakland, so we will need a place to congregate and groove together until the end…..

            I continuously suggest that everyone who finds themselves in an untenable situation will need to go forward, and not just sit around wishing for the old days to return. The old days will not come again, no one cares how things were in 1971, and the people who figure out the next “phase” and prepare to live it, will survive in Humboldt.

            If you can’t get what you need here, you may have to leave…

            • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

              But, on the other hand, traditionally, whining about the past, complaining about everything: this is the true “Humboldt way”, so maybe it’s just part of your “process”…

              You do one thing, you do another… Go forward, no fear – it will be good for you!

            • Tiny house Revolution

              Time to read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal Vegetable Miracle. If you live here for the right reasons, you will most likely be able to sustain the transition. Downsizing is sensible& tiny houses are the new “big” thing. Especially for seniors! Year round small gardens that produce an abundance of kale, onions, potatoes, lettuces can feed the family, along with bulk bags of rice& beans- get creative! Smile at everyone you meet. Try fasting from complaining- and especially making ugly comments on this good website. Help out & be a good part of our new path. You, and others will be much happier that way. Is there anyone out there who would rather seek to be UnHappy? Use your personal power to help create good.

          • One thousand claps of approvial. 40 years ago I & many others moved here as a rebutal to city life. Heck, Lots of young city people moved here & made it work . Pot sales were an afterthought !
            My point — Many old timers moved here out of respect for the land . OUR COUNTY SUPES ARE BEING BRIBED BY THE REALLY BIG MULTINATIONAL COMPANYS FOR THERE OWN GREED !!! We are a hardy bunch — did we not buck the system all our adult lives ?
            UNITE OR WE ALL GET KILLED !!

          • Thank yoi 4 all you said ! Sincerly , rather old hippie here .

        • Some of us kind of liked the dead zone, it was quiet.

          • That’s good, and true, but you aren’t the ones squalling and being disrespectful as one man tells his truth to the community at Large. It’s the “ism” of being able to speak anyway one likes to a person of the growing community that set my earlier tirade in motion. Below someone says “let’s try to hear each other” and nothing could be more important. This is going to hit us all. Seeing big grows go will not disappoint hardly a soul, but economic busts come with their share of trouble too.

            • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

              We can predict a bust, (which is not gonna happen since the area’s population is growing) or we can move on into and adapt to the NEXT reality.

              I personally will not miss ANY of the drug culture, especially the tweakers driving around all night!

              There will be a huge influx of retiring persons, and others wanting to leave the population centers. We are seeing this phenomenon from SF north, in Lake County and Mendo especially. These folks have money and want peace and quiet. If we develop services, and provide goods, we will attract a large population of newcomers.

              Remain positive, embrace change, and evolve! Fear, at this point, is a wasted emotion. SOMEONE will still want your fine Cannabis… It is pretty difficult for me to believe that nobody was expecting this eventuality…

        • thank goodness you came here and saved me from myself and my dead zone..it was horrible when I could leave my house and go in any direction..as far as I wanted cross country,,it was horrible when I knew everyone in town./s

    • No ,it was when 4 acres became a taxable reality !which was when the supervisors only saw dollar signs.Alex and honeydew farms is the new blueprint as the industry dies for small medical producers.Sorry folks .

    • No ,it was when 4 acres became a taxable reality !which was when the supervisors only saw dollar signs.Alex and honeydew farms is the new blueprint as the industry dies for small medical producers.Sorry folks …

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    Lame.
    Sell to your pals in SF. “Win-Win”
    Nice confession letter to your decades old crimes. OK for you to break laws to get your desires. Just break some more laws and move to another hill to fulfill your wishes until the huge world follows you there too. Tell us about your crimes in 45 years again.

    No,the County should not support small pot farms. They may let it slide like the 70’s,but not SUPPORT.
    County should SUPPORT other types of small business to fill all the empty storefronts in tourist district or the Eureka mall or smaller towns. The author is so cool with it when he was in heaven,I’m guessing he has no clue about who was offended by his weed over the decades.
    Head in the clouds still.
    “Be the change…” Well, he was,and look what it got him.

    • Well said.
      Not only break the laws to get their desires, but literally lobbied and protested in destructive force to take down all other legal businesses that made our counties proud and some prosperous.
      Bring back the small logging operations, tourism, fishing, adventure guides, rent-a-pony’s, and maybe we’ll talk more about the “small” growers growing pains.

      • But some laws are just, and some are not.

        • True. I must admit, I favor the old school law, by the likes of William Blackstone who was a firm believer in the Common Law. In the 1940’s Common Law changed into various renditions hardly recognizable and highly unfair to the Common people. They changed it into Legislative laws.
          What does this mean? This means that today, instead of a guilty person paying restitution to the party they harmed or who’s property they harmed, they now pay restitution to the lawyers, legislators and other public officials.
          Under common law, if a guilty person refused the offer to pay restitution, he would be outlawed. Becoming an outlaw meant he was outside the law. He was no longer protected by the Constitution.
          Why was that a scary and awful sentence? Because it meant that every person had the power of authority to make him wish he had paid his restitution to the Widow Jones or whoever. The Sheriff was under no obligation to restrict retaliation of any kind. Many outlaws became enslaved in hard labor camps.
          Today, there are millions of laws that make criminals out of every citizen. Every citizen is forced to pay retribution to the officials or be enslaved, imprisoned, under the involuntary servitude loophole.
          Some laws are just? When groups of citizens strip away the rights of other citizens in order to prosper themselves, it is not a just law. It is tyranny.

      • Letsalltrytoheareachother

        Do you not understand that our main timber company was illegally obtained by big corporation MAXXAM who then cut as fast as they could and dumped the company.
        The steelworkers union members from washington state came to humboldt to tell the PL workers what happened in their town when MAXXAM got hold of their company. Ran it into the ground and left them all with no work. The bosses at PL wouldnt let the workers leave the mill to go home until the steelworkers left. No not the early 1900’s, this was 1999/2000, in that older era the striking workers were just gunned down on the edge of humboldt bay.
        Its not pot growers or hippies who ruined the PL, its the F’d up rules that let these things happen. From what older loggers told me at the time, the company was family owned and wanted their kids and grandkids and on to have the trees there to be able to follow in their footsteps. No it wasnt perfect, but way better than what happened.

        Its happened in every industry, from agriculture to fishing. Do you not remember how all the crabbers on the west coast went on strike this last year to support our local folks in getting a better price? Same type of thing.

        It maybe hard to understand what peter is talking about unless youve seen it, experienced it.
        What he’s saying is that they grew very few plants back in the day as it wasnt about getting rich. Thats what they were getting away from. People back then grew 5-10 plants very responsibly. They live(d) off the grid and hiked all their supplies in. Backpack frames that held a 5gal propane tank were common.
        They did it to have more time with their kids and community. They created their own society of sorts, they taxed themselves rather than relying on the county. They built schools, radio station, community center and a lil festival called reggae on the river to support the community center. Every vendor at reggae for a long time were local non profits, from rural schools to volunteer fire depts, some of whom made their entire years budget selling food. Everyone at the food booths were volunteers. The lifestyle afforded the time to volunteer, and by the time i moved there, it was almost a given that you would. Like a family supporting each other. Their are endless artists and musicians who benefitted, cancer treatments and surgeries covered for people through benefits.
        He’s not wrong in that the powers that be hated this, im a child of the 70″s and clearly remember the bumper stickers, “dont steal, the govt hates competition”. They didnt like these folks not paying taxes to them. Thats probably why the camp raids started at all.

        That generation of people are still some of the most hard working folks ive ever met, even into their 70’s. They grow amazing organic herb and taught a lot of people to do the same. Everyone had food growing too, everyone. A lot of folks lived as simply as they could and used the pot money to make land payments and pay property taxes.

        This is just my experience and perception. Its not like that everywhere.
        Putting a focus on what folks did 30-40 years ago is not the point here. Its legal now so stop acting like it isnt, please, and direct your angst toward the real issues peter is bringing up here about the potential of a takeover of our economy and community by people who only see dollar signs, a takeover that could resemble a bigger version of what MAXXAM did to PL and our county.

        • Your post was heartfelt.
          The Mom and Pop loggers and landowners have been saying the same thing for forever, but falling on deaf ears. Where is your apology or empathy for them? Not found.
          It was the loggers and regular mills that first called out the wrongs of the Maxxam type companies. Yet it was EVERY logging truck, every logging permit, that was attacked by “back to the land” hippy protesters.
          I have no empathy for you. I only have empathy for those who wish right for all in their communities. It is only when we come together to uplift the good and protest the awful that we can heal. Protesters assume all small logging operations are Maxxam type. It’s only right that all small logging operations assume all growers as Maxxam type. What goes around comes around.
          If you want peace and liberty, then push for it for all, not just for selves.
          Public apologies to the small businesses who folded due to the EPIC protesting would be a good start. Tourism, logging, fishing, … a long forgotten list. Another public apology to the small businesses who folded due to over regulating, the people found jobless and homeless due to stupid micro managing of their own lives, would be another start.
          I appreciate your post, but until I hear the same heartfelt note for all those who lost their businesses and homes, due to hype and over regulating, I cannot consider it as a valuable asset to my opinion folder.

        • more popcorn, por favor

        • Examine your judgements and remove greed from your lexicon . Wealth is neutral neither bad nor good.

          Dollar sign? Says you.

          “A lot of folks lived as simply as they could and used the pot money to make land payments and pay property taxes…”

          When u could secure a mortgage for 40 acres with 5k down $1000/acre….Or less…. Look at real time real estate values and associated costs. Do the math.

          Just trying to survive here.

      • People obey the laws they agree with and ignore the laws they don’t. How many of the sanctimonious law and order commentors drive over the speed limit or follow closer than the legal limit? How many do home improvements without a permit? How many use cash to hide otherwise taxable purchases?

        • And pay for their transgressions if caught? No, your comment is the result if making so many decisions to have a life devoted to disobeying the laws. Not little infringements but continuous wholesale self indulgence. You can’t see the difference between a person who violates the law because of being self centered or oblivious but recognizes the value of laws themselves and one who dismisses the laws and rights of everyone around him if it interferes with his wants.

          Besides for every person zipping by at excessive speed, there is a line of others pretty much adhering to the law.

  • Because a GREENHOUSE screw is far more evil and easily distinguished from ordinary screws that any dummy not just a grower could accidentally lose

    Little long winded. Not sure what your solution is. Prohibition isn’t effective. Even if u get the larger farms “banned” you and I both know they aren’t going away.

    I must address your weakest complaint
    ….”ten incidents in the past month of tires picking up greenhouse screws on the road..”

    Is there PROOF they are picking them up on the road and not in their own driveway ? Or somewhere else?? Flat tires across a large group of neighbors cannot possibly all be linked to the same source. That’s not logical .

    But people draw all sorts of conclusions with no facts to back it up! Like most of the cry baby posts on the internet.

    “Holy shit I got a flat!”
    “Someone was in ‘my’ lane!!”

    Better rush to your digital devices and complain. “Boohoo slow leak. Please like my post as I have no life or creative outlet other than dissing my community and acting the part of enforcer.

    Boring .

  • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

    Ooh! May they can protect independent booksellers and shops from online retailers like Amazon while they’re at it. Oops, too late!

  • Another old hippie crying because his “lifestyle” is under threat. Boo hoo. Legalization is here and if mom and pop drug dealers (which is what these so-called “farmers” really are) can’t compete, then they’ll go out of business. I’d like to see local growers continue to contribute to the local economy but they’re going to have to do it by capitalizing on the Humboldt County brand and by producing superior product, not by crying to local governments for special protections. Come January industrial growers will establish themselves in the Sacramento Valley and other places where overhead costs are lower that they are here, and local growers will have to compete in this new environment , or fail. Time to get growers out of the hills and onto land zoned for agriculture or industry. The few who can compete will thrive; the many who can’t or who just want to maintain their played-out 60s adolescent “outlaw” lifestyle will have to get new jobs. I hope that they will be able to teach their children to pursue the useful grown-up careers that will really contribute to this area’s economic life, instead of being drug dealers like mom and pop.

    As another poster said, I’d rather see our local governments stepping up to support new industries and small businesses that will fill our empty storefronts and provide real jobs for local people, focusing on our massive and community-destroying problems of homelessness, drug addiction and crime, and dedicating themselves to developing real economic growth, than coddling the old hippies, outlaw wannabes, and out-and-out criminals that infest our hills, damaging our environment and social fabric with their selfishness and greed. But since so many of our so-called leaders are in the pockets of the growers, we’ll need to kick them out and get some real leadership before that can happen.

    • if the Feds don’t stop it lol. Right now, I see some big ones all over the country getting popped by Feds, and Feds are getting big grows here in our own state. I won’t buy from some big industrial company, that has no quality. I will buy from my own community first. At least I know it’s real and no chemicals. Mom and pops will survive, because it’s all good quality stuff. And no one want’s some out of Towners, or those who come out of the country who have no business growing here in our hometowns to start with, those people are not helping our communities by taking that money back to their country or their home out of state, then, they go and abuse the land and poison the drinking water, because it’s not their home so who cares how the land they grow on is treated, they don’t give a shit. Then you have locals who have been here their entire lives who use the money they make at these businesses, to help keep our community alive. I think it should be that you have to be here for at least 20 years before getting any kind of permit, but the funny thing is, once those big farms get permits that makes you legal in your county, but gives the Feds your where abouts. I am not a grower, and I Don’t even work in it. But I will never buy from anyone outside of my hometown/county. I will never buy from something that’s like a Monsanto.

    • We have been attempting to do economic development since the ’50’s, with little or no success. It seems that what we call planning is just political interference with the real movers and shakers, whoever in hell they are. Hershey’s wanted to put in a plant in the ’60’s but local politicians, funded by the timber industry, thought that pulp mills made more sense. Most every attempt to do anything is opposed by someone. Eureka funded the Mad River project to bring water to the peninsula for economic growth and now Eurekan’s can’t afford to water their lawns. Every good deed never goes unpunished. We are a microcosm of humanity at its worst and its best. As long as we sanctify greed, we will experience boom and bust and the attendant horrors that brings us. As an anti-intellectual society, we preach education. As a Christian society, we sow hypocrisy. Do what we may, Mother Nature will bat last, as she always does, no matter who refuses to believe it.

      • sloth manifests as ignorance

        um, your facts need educating.

        The timber companies, not Eureka, funded the pipe to the peninsula as well as the water supply infrastructure still supplying water to the entire Humboldt bay communities.

        when those pulp mills went out of business, then water prices had to rise to cover costs that used to be covered by the pulp mills.

        those timber companies would likely have loved Hershey’s deep pockets to help fund that project. but hersheys didnt show up til a bit later, and they were looking at mckinleyville, not the peninsula.

    • Get a petition together, I and a lot of my friends will not only sign it, but back you up in public meetings.

    • All we can do is hope there is someone that will run against the Stupervisors when their terms are up.

    • You shouldn’t post about marijuana if you know nothing about the culture and the economy. “Industrial grows?” Do you think the weed consumer just fell out of bed yesterday that they would buy and use pot that was laced with herbicides and pesticides because it’s cheap? Most consumers are knowledgeable and have a refined taste for good quality marijuana. There will always be a market for cheap “industrial grow ” weed, but there are ten of millions of pot consumers have established standards on what kind of pot they purchase and consume. Sorry to burst bubble, but you needed it.

      • fuckwalterwhite.com

        Yeah right.
        Just like the weed now is soooo clean and pure,because the smokers won’t buy weed with pesticides on it-Or do they?
        BS! Stoners are just as cheap as anyone else. Some go to farmers mkt,but a lot go to Costco.

  • He doesn’t make any actionable suggestion as to how we should stop the mega grows.

  • Steve Lazar- I spoke to this guy once. I said to him then, “This system seems to eliminate all the mom & pops. Shouldn’t there be some requirement, something like, you have to have lived here for a certain amount of time? Oregon, has a 1yr requirement.”
    His response, ” That would be unfair & unconditional, everyone has a right to be a part of this.” Looks like $ talks, while bulls*** walks away empty handed.

    • I don’t even want my permit. Wish they would take their time to review my application. Don’t want to be partners with the county.

  • A return to Phase 1 sounds good to me. After 45-50 years, I am truly liking still sitting naked in the sun with my toker &and being thankful to still be living simply in this good place. If there are new, fresh, young ” back to the Landers” wanting to take up that Gauntlet, let them come now. We have cabins, barns,etc, for housing the Rare Breed that isn’t coming here to exploit&and get rich quick. Remember how fun and romantic it was to live in a converted chicken coop? If us old schoolers don’t need to charge outrageous rents, many good Eco minded folks can have a good life here. Every neighborhood needs people to hire to do all the long list of country chores, not to mention that virtually every business in town is hiring! Just like it was in the 60s! This area is ripe for making a good living creating “regular” type jobs that will pay better here than anywhere else! House cleaning, Bakery, Soda Fountain, Yard Service, Mechanics, Electrician, small Engine repair, Carpenters,Teachers… Make those jobs into fun services that make up the everyday fabric of small towns everywhere. And our small town will become fun & magnetic to good folks again. Maybe even the tweakers will somehow wake up and be willing to wash cars or dishes-something that will be appreciated&uplifting to their self worth. Still a Dreamer! Join up!

  • Good letter Peter.

    The other commenters don’t care to make a distinction between the Greed Grows and Mom n Pop, gee, I wonder why…

    “Planning Director Kirk Girard, when asked directly “Are you trying to get rid of us?” replied “Yes! We’re trying to get you out of there so we can gentrify the county on the Marin/Sonoma model and bring some real money into this county.”

    well, fk that, who decided that and when?

    Who is the fk is ‘WE’?

    It is greed whether you grow houses, Home depots, or mass amounts of weed.

    • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

      The problem with capitalism are the capitalists with the means to out-capitalize the capitalists. Words like greed and exploitation don’t carry the same connotations to capitalists as they do to back-to-the-landers. Like it or not, America is firmly entrenched as a capitalist nation.

      IOW, as sad as it is, mom & pops are on a losing trajectory. Ever since California chose to allow large grows (& not protect the individual boutique farmers who pioneered this industry), economy of scale favors the largest operators along with the middlemen, the dispensary owners, and the bureaucrats.

      • Remember that True is True, and there will always be a market for the Best, price be damned. Maybe Kirk G is gonna classy up Humboldt for the ” new” cannabis yuppie types that will want to come relax away from metropolises & use their recreational buds to truly relax & re-create. Then they will maybe return to their cities & be agents for positive organic transformations in world affairs. Humboldt is still magical and real. Only the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one… Back to Basics, which is truly fulfilling. Always was and always will be- Remember The Good Earth by Pearl Buck?

        • yes, the Cannabis Estate Grow with huge tax deductions with their mansion and all the toys right in the middle.
          That is exactly what wine country is like too.

  • I am having a hard time supporting my family with the industry dropping. I am a mom and pop. Some of the county supervisors make money from these big grows and others in top positions in the county also. The local store owner is one of the county supervisors. He makes money off of all the grow supplies these huge grows buy from him. Turkey bags, soil, water., and so on. If the mom and pops don’t survive, my family will not have enough $ to live month to month. I will have to sign up for food stamps and cash aid to support my family until I can figure out another way to support us.

  • The absolute best part about this transition period is the collapse of the socialistic drug culture model from the tax dodging “hippies”. Say goodbye to the Mateel and Kmud. Good riddance.

    • Sure don’t look that way, since all the Mateel shows, Reggae included, are doing just fine. And KMUD isn’t going anywhere. Things may down-size, but expect more of the same. Sounds like it’s way past time for you to move. ; )

  • “Waaah. My cash cow croaked coz weed is legal now” Is what im getting from this stoned drivvle .

  • I think he makes good points. The fact is we don’t have large agricultural lands in this county to mass produce anything, but we do have caché for producing high quality product. So what he is saying is using What we have (our reputation, and our natural beauty) to place ourselves in the best position going forward. We are never going to be able to compete with Central Valley for cheap ag land and getting it done on a big scale. So we should focus on small high quality farms. Makes sense to me.
    And you anti-marijuana people should just stick to watching Fox News and not make your stupid comments here. It’s tedious to wade through your useless comments to get to someone who has something interesting to say.

    • Good comments Emily.. The tediousness of the untuned in. Look around here…watch a beautiful Indian Summer sunset… Stop driving and running around and tune in to our Ancient forests. Then you will start to see the River, and feel compassion for our good old Mother Earth. Let it change you into who you are meant to be…a positive force for the good of all. Heal yourself and all that is around you. Even a little bit of this energy is transformational.

    • Not be interested in anything but your own opinion is being oblivious and results in errors of judgement. Of course, it also confirms the worst beliefs of the effects of pot.

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    I believe wholeheartedly that this fine product will be grown, in the future, on large farms, like any other row crop.

    The large amounts of money that small farmers used to make in Humboldt, that is over. You all were only getting about 20-25% of what you used to get, anyway! It was all very nice, but you are done, unless you can come together, brand, and market as a high end niche product.

    It is amazing, to me, as a former smoker, how many grow so well. You may be good at it, but you won’t last in competition for major markets.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t think so. The forces of economics will play out – good luck!

    • So tell me the next part.

      Weed is grown massively in the Central Valley. The price takes a huge drop which is happening now. Humboldt can’t compete in the weed business like so many other industries before it. A few, but far from most, can eke it out. I believe this model is predictable and very likely. Then what?

      Humboldt growers give up, sell their land, and move out?
      Humboldt growers double down only to grow more?
      Humboldt growers still grow– and sell viably on the black market because it’s advantageously tax-free?
      Humboldt growers simply stop the generators, lights, fans, and destroying the environment?

      I understand what’s happening now, what’s going to happen in January, but what will be forthcoming for Humboldt? I doubt Humboldt growers and the County Board of Supervisors don’t see what’s coming around the corner. Does it all end with a bang or a whimper?

      • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

        It ends piece by piece. Hopefully without too much drama. Humboldt County, meanwhile, will only be around to sieze, permit, and most probably , tax. Too bad it’s so much too late!

        If you want a future in Cannabis, you will need a new vision, a new approach.

        Think like a businessperson, not like a drug dealer!

        • If I wanted to be an industrial Cannabis grower, I’d move to Nevada, where the market will be, and buy some land with decent water rights.

  • I will support this if we include eliminating growing operations in city boundaries.

  • Weed industry in Humboldt is dying and will be dead soon , bye bye

  • I understand where Peter is coming from. He has valid points. No, it will never be the same, but at least they can keep the grows where they belong. They should only be allowed on AG and U parcels. Why in neighborhoods? So what if the parcels in your hood are 40 acres. The impact is huge. There are only 9 parcels where I live, everyone grows and it has caused major problems. Our roads used to be nice with very little maintenance. Now they are the worse roads to drive on. It used to be quiet, now its sounds of empty trailers bouncing down the road, generators and people ripping around on quads. Then the trimmers come. Leave gates open, toilet paper, beer bottles, cig butts and trash on the side of the road. People driving down your drive way looking for the trim scene. True, the good ole days are gone, but the days that are here don’t have to suck.

  • The mom and pop operations can only survive if 1) they become compliant with prop 64 and get registered; and 2) the Track and Trace system is robust enough to prevent large, unpermitted grows from being able to sell in the soon-to-be-legal dispensaries. There is no way for small growers to compete with industrial operations on production of a commodity, which is what weed has become.

  • Mom and Pop operations is a euphemism for making lots of money with small grows while disregarding wants the lame world of law abiding citizens if they were so uncool as to object. You all created your market and philosophy of life that opened the opportunity for industrial grows.

    You now object to what other people do and want others to follow your lead on how to stop them. However you will start yelling again if actions to strangle the large grows impinge on your wants too. You are not a suitable advisor for anything except how to have what you want and let the rest of the world take care of the nitty gritty of life like paying taxes.

  • Unless your activitly SERVING OTHERS in your life – it is greed! Greed of free time, greed of individual thoughts, greed of growing weed alone without the need for community. Greed is passive and love is active. Serve other and build a community based on active community service- that’s my solution. It’s more complex if we make it more complex. Love All-Serve All!

    • Interesting theory. I know wealthy offset the guilt by allocating up to but usually no more than 10% of earnings to Charity of some sort. Allows them to sleep better at night and hold up an argument when confronted with the societal guilt you’re touching on. Tax-write-offs would be the real motive in my opinion, ha. What’s your definition of “Active Community Service”?
      I’ve heard similar theory’s that all ISIS needs is a Hug.

    • Well maybe my mortgage company, the electric company, the water company, banks holding my car notes and my credit card company would start being less greedy so I can love more.

  • I’ve also lived here 45 years and watched Peter and 1,000 other SoHum “low-impact”, “back to the land”, “rural lifestyle”, “homesteaders” pack CR to cry foul over erratic code enforcement…NOT ONE advocated to codify any aspect of their lifestyle or they wouldn’t be facing industrial pot today.

    Congratulations, you got what you wanted; you teamed up with the development/speculator property rights zealots and won your elected and appointed reps that immediately began a deregulation-fest by throwing out the General Plan’s Principles leading the HumCPR newsletter to proclaim their “windfall” for development.

    I attended dozens of planning commission and supervisor meetings during this turbulent period and literally none of the SoHum residents would join longtime commissioner Denver Nelson’s recommendation for water carrying capacity certification prior to any new development in our headwaters.

    This is exactly how it played out in rural SoCal 75 years ago when salmon still ran up the Santa Ana. No one wanted THEIR WATER regulated…and Drop by drop, the water was sucked out for all the same things we see today…private trout farms, orchards, vineyards, commercial gardens, Olympic pools, pot, plus lots of roads, phosphates, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, it was greed then and it’s greed now.

    Despite the same events repeating throughout the world, decade after tired decade, even as the 6th largest extinction event in life’s history on earth is clearly visible locally with our pristine tributaries, (like S.F. Trinity), now choked with algae, and none of you are willing to change one damn thing.

    Hurry, hurry, and sell that land and those once-illegal structures before the inevitable!

    Shame on all.

    • Howard; thank you for signing your name. I respect that.

      So I have to respectfully say that you’re pretty far from the mark with regard to those of us that I referred to a “Phase I types” in the article, although there’s a good deal of truth in your complaints about many who came later.

      1) We weren’t complaining about “erratic code enforcement”; we were objecting to Uniform (one size fits all) Building Codes that said that we couldn’t use recycled lumber, or that our houses could be bulldozed if we didn’t have our electrical outlets spaced just so, when we weren’t planning to have any outlets (I had kerosene lanterns for the first fourteen years, until solar panels came along). The Building Department showed no sympathy (remember the quote from the Chief Building Official about “ridding the county of the riffraff”).

      2) You say that “NOT ONE advocated to codify any aspect of their lifestyle”, and that “none of you are willing to change one damn thing.” The truth is, we worked long and hard to do exactly that; to codify our houses by writing a more realistic section of the building codes; the AOB ordinance (and we worked a lot harder to get it passed). We formed United Stand in order to change a lot of damned things, and we’ve continued in that effort for nearly forty years.

      3) We were far from alone in our objection to how the building codes were created, and how they were administered. The 1988 hearings on the dreadful Code Enforcement Program made that perfectly clear; thousands of County residents from every walk of life came together in those hearings and shot down the plan completely (actually, we didn’t; it has at least nine lives, but that’s another story).

      4) In recent years we did indeed work with CPR, for which we have been roundly excoriated by a number of people much as you did above. I’ve been personally accused of “ruining the county” because I was (gasp!) associating with the enemy, namely the conservatives, who did acquire considerable power in a rightward shift on the Board and the Commission (there were reasons for that shift that were very similar to the reasons why Trump got in but that’s far too long a story to tell here).

      CPR is the Coalition for Property Rights. When you fly the flag of property rights is it surprising that realtors and developers flock to that banner? I’m very much aware of the dangers of unregulated development; of how it has affected our environment, and I make no bones about that with my friends on the “right”. I’ll stick up for my friends on the “left” in their alarm about the terrible danger we’ve placed ourselves in by our disregard of environmental realities, and of the need for effective regulations to rectify this situation. But I’ll damn well stick up for CPR too when they’re right, and they’ve been right about a great deal. They claimed from the outset that they were concerned with protection of property rights and, whether or not you think that their support for large landowners, developers, etc. is appropriate, they have stood up all along for the rights of small property owners too. And those small property owners’ rights have been threatened on multiple fronts; CPR has stood with us consistently in our efforts to be treated fairly.

      One matter that we (United Stand) worked closely with them on was the preservation of Section 1500 of the General Plan, which was being not just ignored but threatened with complete removal from the Plan. CPR agreed with us that democracy was not just a matter of words but of putting principles into practice; they realized that the entire purpose of Sec. 1500 was to maximize the ability of the citizens of Humboldt County to do just that. So they worked with us to preserve it, and it would be dishonest and disrespectful of me to fail to recognize and appreciate that. We found a bridge between “right” and “left”; an important matter on which we agreed, and in working together we got to know each other and understand each other much better than if we’d followed the usual course of simply demonizing each other. I think there’s a lesson there for all of us that we would do well to heed at this time when we’re so badly divided.

      So I think you’re partly right and partly wrong. Just like the rest of us, I reckon.

      • I agree wholeheartedly that using alternative materials and methods should be allowed but it hardly represents a “lifestyle”.

        Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty your receptacles are free at last! I’m sorry the struggle was “so hard”!!! (Was someone’s home actually bulldozed or was that hyperbole??).

        Once again, I attended many years of meetings, Planning Commission, supervisor and housing elements, and NOT ONE SoHum participant EVER ONCE rose to advocate water carrying capacity certification for any new land use in our headwaters…AND YOU STILL CANNOT DO IT TODAY despite our knowledge of climate change and record biodiversity collapse!

        It is in this truly unbelievable failure that your deal with the Devil is now due with your elected reps unleashing of industrial pot, the same old “trickle-down” economic ideology unchanged from industrial logging.

        Once the “Water Wars” become violent, rural Humboldt will concede that water is more important than structures…a lesson repeatedly ignored throughout human history, with no small regret for everyone’s greedy desire that kept them from advocating for appropriate regulation…before it was too late.

        It’s too late.

        You wrote: “CPR agreed with us that democracy was not just a matter of words but of putting principles into practice; they realized that the entire purpose of Sec. 1500 was to maximize the ability of the citizens of Humboldt County to do just that.”

        And with Sec. 1500 “saved” the supervisors proceeded to unilaterally alter GP language and principles without any of the numerous workshops and element hearings it took to form them.

        Democracy my ass.

  • Trillium Hummingbird

    AND who ever thought it was a good idea to sell bud for $5000/pound, back in the 70’s? Whatever did you all think would happen?

    When bud was 15X more expensive than gold, how many decided that they needed to invade the fragile land?

    I am sure that nobody ever expected the incredible craziness that we have developed in just the last 5 years!

    Whining about everything, will solve nothing. We need visionaries, people with some sense, not a bunch of goddamn stoners sitting in the lotus position watching the sunset!

    It amazes me that people can’t let go of the past! Imagine a future where you exist in Humboldt. How will you contribute?

    If you have nothing to contribute but cannabis grown dirty, you maybe should be on down the road to your next act of slash and burn diplomacy, your next drug deal, the next thing, or perhaps a return to whatever-the-fuck you used to do, before you decided to come to the 24/7 drug Disneyland currently occurring in Northern California! Please take your guns, your meth, your fucking pickup, and your entourage of druggies with you!

    Thanks very much!

    • Pot never sold for $5,000 in the seventies. It sold between $750-1600 thru the ’70s. It was 1990’s when it sold for $5,000 +.

    • Tiny house Revolution

      Trillium- when watching a sunset, no matter whether sitting in a chair, a lotus position, lying on your back on the grass, or ?, it is calming and helps add to the sum total of peaceful energy, rather than complaining& adding to the sum total of non peaceful energy. Each of us makes choices all day every day as to what energy we contribute to our Earth. The Earth has a big slow wavelength, but the “real” world is jacked up on caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Watching a sunset, toked or not, is always a good way to slow down & realize how much we need to simplify our lives. The same sun and setting sun shines down impartially on all of us. Please embrace a sunset as often as you can. It has so much to impart to our hearts and minds. And as one great person says, “The more you know, the less you need.”

      • Trillium Hummingbird

        Thanks for the happy vibes, little hippie! I have a very tiny home, and the redwoods make me very happy! I love my hospital, my family, my trilliums and my hummingbirds. Sunlight heals us, Humboldt can nurture many.

        I don’t need drugs to get high, either!

  • The market does not want old school sun grown crosses anymore period. We need to compete with large scale indoors now. The consumer base in LA and the Bay Area will purchase an indoor dried flower over an outdoor grown bud 10 to 1. Thast the reality and thats what we have to deal with in order to remain relevant in the market place.

    The days of Mom and Pop are unfortunately over. You can’t force the consumer to like something. You guys at HUMMAPS need to realize this. NO ONE WANTS THE TYPE OF PRODUCT that comes from the type of farming you propose. So go ahead, make more problems, sue the county, but your only hurting yourselves. Rather than showing “MOM AND POP” how to re tool the small farm to produce what will sell, teaching them how to band together into “Co-ops” so they have some weight you pidgoen hole them into growing a product that has little to no significance or value. Way to go!

    • Can you imagine drinking wine that was made from grapes that were grown indoors, when you could choose to drink wine grown from outdoor fresh air organic grapes? And the price is the same? Hmmm

    • One thing to note is that the “market” has not been operating freely. There has been no advertising of the advantages of one type of way of growing over the other. Sungrown may indeed fail in the marketplace or indoor might or more likely both will find their customers. Heirloom tomatoes don’t sell to the same customers as the generic tomatoes do either but they both have a base.

  • It's blue pie dingle panty hose

    Old school knowz.

    Sd. Og. Fuels all uniform dank and frosty are saleable and indemand.

    The boutique crosses and ranch genetics are too random and to the frustration of mom and pop are generally viewed with suspicion in the open market.

    Besides the outdoor sunbud is quickly becoming valuable for one thing only : hash & concentrates

    • Anything that’s chem-free should be the GoldStandard. Period. Hash& concentrates especially. All the newbies have no clue how many things can go wrong in a greenhouse/indoor environment. Again, can u imagine an indoor Wine industry?

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