Some Humboldt Growers Anger Their Consumers

Over the weekend, the Cow Palace hosted The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, which is the first time such a show in the United States allowed on-site pot smoking. Fifteen thousand people attended most of them eagerly awaiting the day marijuana is legalized.  Yet a group of people purporting to represent Humboldt Growers urged them to vote against the Tax Cannabis initiative which is on this Fall’s ballot.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle,

The event hosted a panel discussion Saturday on how legalization would impact large California growers. A contingent from Humboldt County argued against the ballot initiative, complaining it could devastate a key local industry.

“Radical” Russ Belville, the outreach coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said that if California’s initiative passed, he expected home-growers to enter the market and drive prices down.

But he was unsympathetic to the group from Humboldt County.

“To that end, I would say, ‘Tough,’ ” Belville said. “We should have to put people in prison so you can continue to make a living?”

Chat rooms and comments on articles across the net are showing an ever widening and bitter split between growers and consumers as the cannabis consumer increasingly feels that the Humboldt growers are  greedy people willing to sacrifice the lives of others so that they can make money.

Sadly, the perception is sometimes true but at least as often, it is false. Too bad that information isn’t getting out to the smokers.

In the coming years as legislation on cannabis issues is pondered, growers will need those same consumers to be on their side.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

13 comments

  • I think Russ Belvile’s comment is absolutely compelling. I have heard it used in arguments with growers opposed to legalization and it invariably ends the discussion. However, I think the initiative will fail. Just a feeling.

  • I think Russ Belvile’s comment is absolutely compelling. I have heard it used in arguments with growers opposed to legalization and it invariably ends the discussion. However, I think the initiative will fail. Just a feeling.

  • Why?
    Why would someone get up and say they are speaking for us? I know people are frightened of what may happen in the future, but saying that it should be kept illegal so that our young men end up spending their lives in jail for growing a plant just doesn’t make sense. Not for us and certainly not for the consumers. Wow. I’m a little sad.

  • Who? Is the question.

  • Who? Is the question.

  • I’ve been in touch with the SF Chron reporter who wrote that, he said he hadn’t himself heard the Humboldt “contingent” on Saturday, but heard tell of it when he came to the Expo on Sunday and brought it up with Russ Bellville. I’ve also written to Russ from NORML, who, although he rightly sees NORML as a consumers, not a growers, lobby, came around to say this:

    “I think they can find a way to be the Napa or Sonoma or weed. They can put a premium on their brand.

    But I don’t buy into the mass-produced crap deflection. Boone’s Farm isn’t putting those Sonoma wine makers out of business. In fact, if the market is flooded with crap, all the better for the connoisseur brands from Humboldt.

    I will try to be more approachable in the message, but I can never side with someone complaining that not locking up people for pot is hurting them financially, no matter which side they are on.”

    I’m keeping up with local news at http://www.canorml.org/emerald.html

    Ellen

    • Ellen,

      Thank you for that update on the Cal Expo and that link (Darn it. Why didn’t I think of calling the reporter!) I’ve bookmarked the link–it’s nice to be able to see what is happening at our local NORML!

  • I went to the Expo on Sunday. It was both good and disheartening. Good, because it is good to see how mainstream and normal cannabis consumption is, both medical and recreational.
    One speaker I went to hear is an insurance agent, who is pioneering coverage for medical grows, for grow operations, and who will soon be offering a crop insurance for outdoor growers. The times are changing, rapidly, and positively.

    Disheartening, because the emphasis was on indoor. Indoor is the ‘brand’ and many vendor displayed indoor cultivation products, but nothing oriented toward sun growers. I did not see the words ‘organic’ or ‘sustainable’ or ‘natural’ anywhere (though I did not go to the smokers/consumption area, where I understand someone was promoting organic edibles).

    FWIW: It was a very young crowd, mostly under 35 I would say. Mostly white. I saw very few African American or Latino attendees. And oddly, I counted only half a dozen people with dreads there. Everyone was positive and many were intrigued by the notion of making a living in this new industry.

    And industry was the operative word. Mike Aberle, the insurance fellow, said it very succinctly when I asked him about the November initiative, “This isn’t a black market being facing legalization, this is an industry about to be regulated.”

    Thank you Ellen for your dedicated pursuit of a true story with the Chronicle, and for the wonderful work you do with NORML. We have to change the message coming out of Humboldt. The initial media impact of the 3/23 meeting has been negative and fear based and that is what is being picked up as a common knowledge though I do not believe it represents this community’s true feelings.

    The negativity of the message that ‘outlaw growers fear legalization’ does not represent the diverse support for legalization in this community, nor is it fair to the creativity and organizational skills of people here who will find a way not only to survive but to thrive.

    Ellen told me recently she wants to spin it to ‘Righteous growers support legalization’ and she’s absolutely right on.

    I’m looking forward to the meeting tonight.

  • I went to the Expo on Sunday. It was both good and disheartening. Good, because it is good to see how mainstream and normal cannabis consumption is, both medical and recreational.
    One speaker I went to hear is an insurance agent, who is pioneering coverage for medical grows, for grow operations, and who will soon be offering a crop insurance for outdoor growers. The times are changing, rapidly, and positively.

    Disheartening, because the emphasis was on indoor. Indoor is the ‘brand’ and many vendor displayed indoor cultivation products, but nothing oriented toward sun growers. I did not see the words ‘organic’ or ‘sustainable’ or ‘natural’ anywhere (though I did not go to the smokers/consumption area, where I understand someone was promoting organic edibles).

    FWIW: It was a very young crowd, mostly under 35 I would say. Mostly white. I saw very few African American or Latino attendees. And oddly, I counted only half a dozen people with dreads there. Everyone was positive and many were intrigued by the notion of making a living in this new industry.

    And industry was the operative word. Mike Aberle, the insurance fellow, said it very succinctly when I asked him about the November initiative, “This isn’t a black market being facing legalization, this is an industry about to be regulated.”

    Thank you Ellen for your dedicated pursuit of a true story with the Chronicle, and for the wonderful work you do with NORML. We have to change the message coming out of Humboldt. The initial media impact of the 3/23 meeting has been negative and fear based and that is what is being picked up as a common knowledge though I do not believe it represents this community’s true feelings.

    The negativity of the message that ‘outlaw growers fear legalization’ does not represent the diverse support for legalization in this community, nor is it fair to the creativity and organizational skills of people here who will find a way not only to survive but to thrive.

    Ellen told me recently she wants to spin it to ‘Righteous growers support legalization’ and she’s absolutely right on.

    I’m looking forward to the meeting tonight.

    • Liz,
      Thank you for that info direct from The Expo. I wanted to go badly! Aberle’s comments strike home to me. There is an industry out there and the growers opposed to legalization are like the Luddites trying to break the mills of industry. They didn’t win. Growers need to find a way to work with the changes that are washing over us or they will drown.

      I loved the meeting tonight. What a great mix of growers and business interests as well as caring community members.

  • As a long time resident of Mendo. my sympathy goes out to folks worried about their future incomes here,bottom line is it is past time to Stop filling our courts,jails,and wasting billions of tax dollars on eradication measures that failed miserably.The opportunities in a legal market are countless for those of us that are the entrepeneurs of our culture.

  • As a long time resident of Mendo. my sympathy goes out to folks worried about their future incomes here,bottom line is it is past time to Stop filling our courts,jails,and wasting billions of tax dollars on eradication measures that failed miserably.The opportunities in a legal market are countless for those of us that are the entrepeneurs of our culture.

Leave a Reply to Jory Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *