Good News isn't Sexy: The Untold Story of How Many Growers are Willing to Sacrifice
The first story out of Humboldt County about the possible effects of the Tax Cannabis initiative painted growers as anti-legalization (and, of course, some are). However, a large number–over half in my experience–are pro legalization. HuMMAP (Humboldt Medical Marijuana Advisory Panel), an organization of growers and business people, consists almost entirely of people who–for various reasons– see the need for California to legalize cannabis as soon as possible.
But HuMMAP and other growers have failed to get media to present the reality of what is happening here in the Emerald Triangle. No matter how many times reporters are presented with pro legalization growers, their story is always on the ones who are anti legalization. Here is the latest:
Some people continue to oppose [legalization], including pot growers from Humboldt.
This may seem perplexing to some, but the answer is mostly because growers with such attitudes in Humbolt are insanely greedy, selfish, and evil people. One Anna Hamilton, a radio show host who frequently smokes marijuana, stated that “the legalization of marijuana will be the single most devastating economic event in the long boom-and-bust history of Northern California.”
In other words, Humboldt has an economic advantage because of criminalization. If marijuana becomes legal, there is the possibility of competing sources, free markets, and cheap weed for everyone. I.e. People like Hamilton believe that the government should continue to imprison millions of people, ruin their lives, substantially decrease their ability to find employment, and feed gang crime because they want to make more money.
I personally have heard Anna proclaim to rooms full of growers that if you can’t support legalization because of the fear of economic devastation, you must at least abstain from voting because otherwise you are voting to put good people in jail. I personally have heard a room full of growers shouting “No” to the question ‘was it acceptable to put people in prison to keep pot prices up.’ But because the only reports coming out of this area are from reporters eager to sell the sexy, ironic story of how marijuana growers don’t want to see it legalized, the truth of our area is distorted. I did an interview with Channel 5 news in which I told them over and over that the story they were missing was of how many growers were willing to face the possible sacrifice their lifestyle and culture for the greater good of society. Did that part make the evening news. No, instead the story they aired (in which every person they interviewed was pro legalization in one form or another) implied that growers were completely anti legalization.
Growers are facing the possible drop in prices from thousands per pound to hundreds per pound (or less). Everyone with a paycheck should pause for a moment here and picture their paycheck with the decimal point moving one decimal point to the left. Say you make $4000 a month now and after legalization you would make $400. Ouch! To have over half of the growers willing to say, “Legalization needs to come even if it hurts me personally” is a testament to the overall decency of human beings (and to decency of growers in particular.)
It isn’t sexy. It isn’t ironic. But it’s true.