Putting a CAPP on Diesel Doping
When many local people hear the term “Diesel Doper,” they spit out stereotypes of greedy, short-sighted kids. An anonymous commenter on Eric Kirk’s SoHum Parlance disgustedly described how, “[O]ne of the younguns told me the goal of many of his buds is to buy the biggest truck, find the littlest girlfriend and by [sic] her a set of tits.”
However, the reality is many of these so-called ‘Diesel Dopers” are hard-working, good hearted people with questions about the source of their income. On Wednesday evening, a group of Salmon Creekers opposed to growing marijuana indoors with diesel generators met to discuss how best to reach out to this group and move them towards improved environmental practices and, hopefully, eventually, away from growing marijuana this way altogether.
In the Seventies, many people moved to Humboldt County, California with the goal of living off the land and escaping commercial society. They began planting marijuana first for themselves and then as a step towards a sustainable agricultural product they could sell in the city for enough money to support themselves. As marijuana eradication efforts grew more intense, pot growers began to move indoors. There, the farmers hoped to hide their illegal activities from being seen in flyovers by law enforcement helicopters and spotter planes.
The first operations rarely made much money as buyers were reluctant to purchase the new product. Indoor pot went for much less when it finally sold. Eventually, though, the uniformity of indoor pot began changing the minds of big buyers. Today, the ability of the indoor grower to control the plant’s environment allows for greater and quicker adaptability to the buyer’s desires. Want purple pot? The three month turnaround and climate control offered by indoor growers allows them to quickly provide what their consumer wants.
Experimentation at producing a more intense quick high was also facilitated by the 3 to 4 month indoor cycle. Prices for the new kind of pot skyrocketed. Today a typical outdoor pound goes for $1500 to $2000 less than an indoor pound. As a result, many outdoor growers in the rural areas of Humboldt County began purchasing diesel generators and growing indoors.
Ironically, many indoor growers actually cultivate a few outdoor plants for their own smoke or purchase open air “herb” from their neighbors. Citing flavor, a gentler high, and a belief plants grown outside are more medicinal than ones grown under lights, they express dismay that their buyers aren’t better informed.
The group of Salmon Creekers concerned about Diesel Doping is hoping to unite these concerns with a better understanding of what environmental damage happens as a result of growing marijuana with the use of generators. To that end, they have formed a group called CAPP (Citizens Against Pollution Pot). (UPDATE: This name is still in flux– under consideration is also Communities Addressing Pot Pollution)
A fact sheet about environmental damage is being compiled by one committee while another is looking into how best to consolidate with other watersheds that have similar concerns. Members are researching how best to get the message out to the right people and water samples are being taken in the Salmon Creek area to reassure members that no diesel spills have polluted their own water sources. One of the goals of the group is to disseminate information on roughly how many pollutants are released into the atmosphere per pound of marijuana grown indoors with a diesel generator. Another is to quantify the carbon footprint of diesel growing versus outdoor growing.
David Booth’s KMUD Environmental show will focus on the Diesel Doping issue the 3rd Tuesday in June 7 to 8 pm.
Tune in and let’s get the dialogue flowing.