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.

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5 comments

  • This insane argument point that “prices will go down’ is beyond the pale!

    Exactly what does anyone base that argument on?

    Just for beginners, it will be taxed. Alot. The demand has only grown, so why will ANY business offer it cheap? Its certainly NOT free to grow in quantity.
    Do businesses do alot of that now? Offering products at or near cost?

    The prices will be the same or even higher. The lawyers, accounts, and ad men will see to that.

    But to me, what will change is simply this; Far less morons with automatic weapons in peaceful forests. Far less fear among innocents who have a right to go for a walk in the woods.
    Far less reason for any foreign cartels to even be here. Yes, they will be replaced-eventually- by ‘legal’ domestic cartels, but I call that a fair trade.

    Just what I think is all………..

  • Kym,

    One of the greatest, most valuable lessons anyone can learn in this life is that: EVERYTHING IS ABOUT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

    I waited to see if you had the courtesy and decency to address the very issues you raised with me in your “Humboldt Grower’s Association on Al Jazeera” – so, when you didn’t I posted my response. Whoever these scum are you say I insult, well you’re welcome to them. They’ll serve your needs very well. You deserve one another.

  • Kym,

    One of the greatest, most valuable lessons anyone can learn in this life is that: EVERYTHING IS ABOUT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

    I waited to see if you had the courtesy and decency to address the very issues you raised with me in your “Humboldt Grower’s Association on Al Jazeera” – so, when you didn’t I posted my response. Whoever these scum are you say I insult, well you’re welcome to them. They’ll serve your needs very well. You deserve one another.

  • I thought the Humboldt Growers Association made the strongest case yet for locals to support 19 on KMUD’s Monday Morning Magazine this morning: it allows local control. Dale overstates his position and I’m bringing him along on lobbying at the state level for a family farmer tax release valve. He just forwarded me something on a two-tiered tax rate for small/large farmers that I’ve forwarded to county officials, HuMMAP and the HGA.

    Legislators have created special tax rates to favor small business.[1] An example works in favor of small brewers. The general Federal rate for large brewers is $18 per 31 gallon barrel, but brewers with less than 2 million barrels of annual production pay only $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels.[2] Even that example is a moving target, as 17 Senators are sponsoring S. 3339, which would set excise taxes at $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels and $16 for the next 1,940,000 barrels for any brewer producing not more than 6 million barrels in a year.[3] A similar rule benefits small producers of wine, those who produce no more than a quarter million gallons a year, who get a drastically reduced tax rate on the first 100,000 gallons.[4] Neither of these rules creates a cliff; the benefits phase out gradually..[5]

    [1] They have also resisted dominance of the beverage alcohol business by generally forbidding common ownership of producers, middlemen, and retailers. See the “Tied House” rules of 27 C.F.R. Part 6, 27 C.F.R section 6.1 et seq. .

    [2] I.R.C. section 5051. 

    [3] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.3339:

    [4] I.R.C. section 5041(c).

    [5] See, e.g., id. section 5041(c)(2), which provides for a gradually diminishing credit and thus and increasing rate as production creeps up past the quarter-million gallon mark. 

  • I thought the Humboldt Growers Association made the strongest case yet for locals to support 19 on KMUD’s Monday Morning Magazine this morning: it allows local control. Dale overstates his position and I’m bringing him along on lobbying at the state level for a family farmer tax release valve. He just forwarded me something on a two-tiered tax rate for small/large farmers that I’ve forwarded to county officials, HuMMAP and the HGA.

    Legislators have created special tax rates to favor small business.[1] An example works in favor of small brewers. The general Federal rate for large brewers is $18 per 31 gallon barrel, but brewers with less than 2 million barrels of annual production pay only $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels.[2] Even that example is a moving target, as 17 Senators are sponsoring S. 3339, which would set excise taxes at $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels and $16 for the next 1,940,000 barrels for any brewer producing not more than 6 million barrels in a year.[3] A similar rule benefits small producers of wine, those who produce no more than a quarter million gallons a year, who get a drastically reduced tax rate on the first 100,000 gallons.[4] Neither of these rules creates a cliff; the benefits phase out gradually..[5]

    [1] They have also resisted dominance of the beverage alcohol business by generally forbidding common ownership of producers, middlemen, and retailers. See the “Tied House” rules of 27 C.F.R. Part 6, 27 C.F.R section 6.1 et seq. .

    [2] I.R.C. section 5051. 

    [3] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.3339:

    [4] I.R.C. section 5041(c).

    [5] See, e.g., id. section 5041(c)(2), which provides for a gradually diminishing credit and thus and increasing rate as production creeps up past the quarter-million gallon mark. 

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