High Times Discusses 19's Impact on the Emerald Triangle
…how do you vote when the issue at stake pits your own (and your neighbors’) economic interests against the continuing human misery that is the status quo?
“Growers who are against legalization are harvesting bad karma,” Richard Lee says flatly. “When somebody else gets busted, that’s the subsidy that keeps prices high…
High Times editor (and incidentally editor also of High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine that I sometimes write for), David Bienenstock, addresses the issues facing the Emerald Triangle and all California growers with the possible passage of 19. He points out Lee’s and many marijuana activists’ position that voting to keep marijuana illegal is voting to put good people in jail. Yet, he also notes the possible economic disaster that could befall this region.
“If it goes totally legal, the mom-and-pop growers are going to be a thing of the past,” says Dale Gieringer, a co-author of Prop. 215 and the state coordinator of California NORML since 1987. “The price will go way down…”
Not everyone agrees with Gieringer that mom-and-pop growers are doomed. Some local growers’ groups such as Humboldt Growers Association and Humboldt Medical Marijuana Advisory Panel are working to prepare ordinances for both now under the medical model and for in the future with possible legalization. Many are hopeful to even thrive in the future if ordinances pass that protect small and local growers.
Furthermore, Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent letter in which he states, “”We will vigorously enforce the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law” may indicate a climate that will keep prices high even if California continues to lead the way in de-demonizing cannabis. The Rand Report just released estimates that California provides one seventh of US pot production. Legalization here is likely to increase the export of blackmarket pot from here to other states. Buyers from elsewhere will flock here to cash in on the ease of finding sellers and the high quality of pot that will likely result from more open markets.