"To the Connected Shall Go the Spoils."

The best analysis of the Emerald Triangle outlaw culture that I’ve read so far is found in the November/December issue of The Washington Monthly. It’s detailed and nuanced but incredibly readable.  Excellent research is interspersed with delicious anecdotes that those of us who have lived here forever will recognize as true to the spirit of the place.

“My neighbor over the hill and her husband, they were struggling to make a living, and he had got a contract to grow some worm beds. … And Jill said, ‘Don, do you think it would be okay if I put a couple of marijuana seeds in the corners of the beds? That wouldn’t hurt the worms.’ And Don said, ‘Well, yeah, I guess so.’ That year, I remember he wanted to buy a tractor. Just a little tractor that could plow the fields and move stuff around. It was 700 bucks, and he was trying to get the 700 bucks.

“The next scene was, this pot came out and it was amazing. We called it ‘Brand X’ because nobody had anything like this, at least not in our neighborhood. So Jill was over there and I was talking to her and she said, ‘I’m gonna sell this stuff for $15 an ounce.’ I said, ‘Oh Jill, that’s a ripoff.’ I was half joking, half serious.

“Before that season was over, she was getting $600 a pound. That was a lot of money.

“All of a sudden the next season opened at $900 a pound. Then it was at $1,200 a pound. That was ’77. We couldn’t believe it. … If you could make that kind of money just putting a few plants in the ground, this is going to be a miracle: we can make a living, and pay the taxes, and buy the kids presents for Christmas. It was good, you know?…

“And the next thing, coke infests the ridge here. An ounce for a gram was the trade. That was the deal. And that was the beginning of the end of our innocence.

“By ’79 it was getting to be a drug scene rather than a family scene with a little marijuana in there. I was at a New Year’s Eve party at one of the houses down here. And all of a sudden instead of us getting stoned, mirrors are laid out and there’s lines all over the place and everybody’s just tootin’ up. Next thing we know we’re standing there and the sun’s coming up. The next day I was over at Don and Jill’s, and Don said, ‘You know, a year ago I was struggling to get enough money for a tractor. And we tooted up my tractor two or three times last night. Just tooted it up our noses.’”

Beyond the stories though is the analysis that explains how big corporations are already pushing the mom-and-pops out of the market.  It explains how those with political acumen and connections are pushing lawmakers to create a world friendly to them.

Ultimately, what will happen to Mendocino or to Oakland is likely to be decided only minimally by “pure” market forces. Even more so than other industries, the marijuana business will be shaped by lawmakers—and to the connected shall go the spoils.

This is a must read for those connected to the marijuana industry in the Emerald Triangle.

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21 comments

  • Kym,

    Thanks for the link to this interesting article. I try to read your website daily, since the links, the content and the comments are right there—dead on; your site is one of the best cannabis positive sites on the net—with a compelling human interest angle in almost all of it.

    All the angst going on in Northern Cali is just a view into the future for the rest of the country as cannabis prohibition ends. Everyone is so focused on what will happen to their local county/area’s economy that they don’t realize that this same thing is playing out everywhere across the country (Canada and the world for that matter—I have travelled to 20 countries and top quality sinsemilla cannabis is a major crop EVERYWHERE.) So the vote in 11 days in Cali will have a reverberation effect throughout the world. Spain and Thailand are already treating it as legal; looking to export product and promote 420 tourism.

    Hopefully, the vote is over 50%! But whatever it ends up being: Fuck the Feds! They can threaten and pontificate all they want—the bottom line is they don’t have the resources to do anything and their days are numbered for continuation of cannabis prohibition…the cat is out of the bag; the horse is out of the barn and there is no going back. Viva legalization!

  • *anecdotes

  • *anecdotes

  • Legal weed as legal as cucumbers growing in your backyard, no permits, no inspections, no taxation, & no spreading ass government filth making money off the people’s industry they waged war on and took countless lives…….fuck bullshit props on the ballot!

    Legal weed not government weed!

    Fuck the government for being the ass-wipes they are!

    • I’m with you in spirit I guess…if the news were real it would say “further complacence smiled upon!…more baby steps added to the cirlcular nowhere!” Instead we get gentrified words put in our mouths and people wondering “if they’re gonna finally make marijuana legal!”. The polls are a complete lie, people want “marijuana legalized” by a landslide and always have. Why is it that after prop. 19 we would still be saying the same thing? If the news were real it would say “they’re only going to give you as much as you’re willing to pay for, as usual.”

  • Legal weed as legal as cucumbers growing in your backyard, no permits, no inspections, no taxation, & no spreading ass government filth making money off the people’s industry they waged war on and took countless lives…….fuck bullshit props on the ballot!

    Legal weed not government weed!

    Fuck the government for being the ass-wipes they are!

    • I’m with you in spirit I guess…if the news were real it would say “further complacence smiled upon!…more baby steps added to the cirlcular nowhere!” Instead we get gentrified words put in our mouths and people wondering “if they’re gonna finally make marijuana legal!”. The polls are a complete lie, people want “marijuana legalized” by a landslide and always have. Why is it that after prop. 19 we would still be saying the same thing? If the news were real it would say “they’re only going to give you as much as you’re willing to pay for, as usual.”

  • Excellent article, i can always count on you kym to find the best of the best out there and consolidate all for me on this neat little blogspot…..thank you!

    I’m incredibly excited for ‘on good year’ to come out, as i am interested in this years grow season.

    What has a LB been averaging this year?

    With such a big bumper crop(everyone doubling up) surely there must have been a detrimental impact on price.

    and all you growers in humbold, how do you deal with people not wanting to drive past willits?

    Here i am once again GLUED to anything and everything emerald triangle! nov 2 is gonna be interesting!

  • Excellent article, i can always count on you kym to find the best of the best out there and consolidate all for me on this neat little blogspot…..thank you!

    I’m incredibly excited for ‘on good year’ to come out, as i am interested in this years grow season.

    What has a LB been averaging this year?

    With such a big bumper crop(everyone doubling up) surely there must have been a detrimental impact on price.

    and all you growers in humbold, how do you deal with people not wanting to drive past willits?

    Here i am once again GLUED to anything and everything emerald triangle! nov 2 is gonna be interesting!

  • oh and kym, maybe you can write a story on it(or not)

    but just how bad was the mold this year? your blog and the blog that is ‘one good year’ are about the most factual and best i have found on the net, pertaining to your area. on his blog he wrote about the chaos that mold was having over garberville(the town so very close to my heart) explaining the throngs of people in town buying supplies to try and ‘fix the problem.

    on the topic of mold, i spot some on some ak-47 just the other day while in the dispensary. i promptly brought it to there attention, and unfortunately barely received so much as a second look from the lady, maybe she didnt here me…

  • oh and kym, maybe you can write a story on it(or not)

    but just how bad was the mold this year? your blog and the blog that is ‘one good year’ are about the most factual and best i have found on the net, pertaining to your area. on his blog he wrote about the chaos that mold was having over garberville(the town so very close to my heart) explaining the throngs of people in town buying supplies to try and ‘fix the problem.

    on the topic of mold, i spot some on some ak-47 just the other day while in the dispensary. i promptly brought it to there attention, and unfortunately barely received so much as a second look from the lady, maybe she didnt here me…

  • T screw mold we got depo/forcing now.

    Quick guide:

    Take 1/8th the space planned to flower in.
    Throw a black, breathable garden blanket (exactly as used on tea crops for hundreds of years) over it two or three weeks before normal initiation of your strain. You don’t need zero light, you need it to be sort of dark like moonlight, so don’t use plastic bags and shit.

    Days before all these clowns get mold you chop on a sunny ass day and laugh when yours is cured while they try to pitch wet. Alright you don’t need to laugh that is kinna smug.

  • T screw mold we got depo/forcing now.

    Quick guide:

    Take 1/8th the space planned to flower in.
    Throw a black, breathable garden blanket (exactly as used on tea crops for hundreds of years) over it two or three weeks before normal initiation of your strain. You don’t need zero light, you need it to be sort of dark like moonlight, so don’t use plastic bags and shit.

    Days before all these clowns get mold you chop on a sunny ass day and laugh when yours is cured while they try to pitch wet. Alright you don’t need to laugh that is kinna smug.

  • dep by june 1 to avoid mold, black choppers in the sky, and the ass-hat culture that wants to grow more and sell for less- public schools have bred a generation of clueless chumps about how money is made……anyone under 30 is a complete dumbass.

  • dep by june 1 to avoid mold, black choppers in the sky, and the ass-hat culture that wants to grow more and sell for less- public schools have bred a generation of clueless chumps about how money is made……anyone under 30 is a complete dumbass.

  • I’d buy cigars with weed already in them.

  • I’d buy cigars with weed already in them.

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