How You Going to Vote on 64? (Humboldt Growers in High Times)

Bud in the rain [Photo by Ky

Bud in the Rain [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Conversations about Prop. 64 are getting even more heated. High Times asked me to write a column about how Humboldt growers feel.

But there was a clear split. About half for and half against (though I think the against side is somewhat larger.)

I tried to reflect the chasm in the article. One well-known local cannabis nursery owner wrote, ““When weed growers, organizations and businesses oppose legalization for whatever reason, we look like spoiled, entitled, greedy brats trying to protect our lucrative, free-for-all, barely-regulated, mostly tax-free industry.”

Take a look at the article and let us know what you think about 64. Also check out the comment section there and the comedy video one person posted. We’d like to get your reaction.



  • The biggest problem I see with both Prop 64 and Humboldt County’s most recent effort to regulate is that they incentivize bigger grows while driving out the smaller producers who are more likely to grow organically.

    In addition to potential negative environmental impacts, these policies will tend to concentrate the economic benefits in the hands of relatively few larger players while leaving a LOT of people currently in the market out of the game. Almost nobody who has a small backyard garden or a couple of lights in the garage will be able to continue to reap any economic benefit because even if they want to get totally legal and pay all the taxes, the barriers to entry are too high.

    In fact, the smaller and more responsible their growing methods, the harder it becomes for them when on top of everything else they can count on the local media to broadcast enough of their personal private information on the web that their risk of being violently robbed and/or risking loss any other employment are dramatically increased as opposed to the way things are now.

    All that said, it’s pretty stupid that cannabis is illegal. Obviously I want to vote for it to be legal, but I’m on the fence as to whether now and in this manner is the way to do it. I just wish it wouldn’t take yet another 5 years of back to the drawing board to get it right.

    • I’m with Netizen. It should be nullified & decriminalized.
      This quote from Kym’s link says more than people realize. “Look what corporations did to tobacco,” argued one commenter. “What is [legalized] weed going to look like in 50 years?”. The greedy tax raisers have now classified the vapor as tobacco, are banning it’s use, are taxing it out of business & are over regulating it out of business. This is a huge eye opener, because those who switched over from smoke to 95% less harmful vapor are being penalized, forbidden & robbed just like the smokers. The fda refuses to record the 2.5 million testimonials of ex-smokers who submitted their personal stories during the regulatory petitioning.
      The same will happen to mmj.
      The patients & those who want safer alternatives will suffer the hardest. The people will be put out, the gmo will take over.
      Nullify court cases, nullify in legislation, demand decriminalization.

  • I went back and forth on whether to support 64, but the pros out weigh the cons. In reading comments over the past months I really get a sense of people’s resistance that comes from local protectionism and plain old fear of change—both very human and very common responses to anything. I also found a vast number of people putting out disinformation and exaggerations about 64.

    Politically grower support or lack of it is insignificant. Voting against it out of some personal principle of fairness or justice is meaningless in the big picture. It may feel good for a minute, but then you’ll still have to deal with the changes that are coming. But then, I’ve known a lot of growers who have a history of pissing in the winds of lost causes, myself included.

    My personal views of legalization go beyond my home turf, my personal garden and even my state. I want legalization to spread across the country so that people aren’t going to jail for personal growing and consumption, or even getting stopped and searched by a cop and issued a bullshit hundred dollar citation, so that any adult can chose their medicine or their pleasurable intoxicant without fear of arrest and intrusion into their privacy.

    Prop 64 passing in California, along with recreational or medical initiatives in 8 other states, will release a wave of legalization across the country and into the federal government. With the exception of a few ultra-conservative holdout states, Marijuana Prohibition will finally die a well deserved death. That gives the passage of Prop 64 a historical added benefit to every citizen of the country.

    The rest of the fears people have about the details of 64 can be addressed at the state and local level. If people don’t want to allow big corporate vertical integration when the 5 year moratorium expires, then organize now and lobby Sacramento to ban it permanently before the moneyed corporadoes get their foot in the door. If some people can’t handle change and adapt to a regulated system then I’m sorry, but that’s life—adapt or perish, or ride it out a few more years in the black market that will still be here and take your chances with running afoul of the criminal justice system. Just don’t come bitching if you don’t like the consequences.

  • Turn out the lights...

    If there’s ever been a clearer example of Humboldt’s vote not counting in CA , I don’t know what it was about.
    All this debate and hand wringing is wasted effort, and will come to naught. The majority of Cali voters want legalized weed, and don’t know about or give two shits for Humboldt growers.
    I’ve enjoyed the conversation from both sides, but let’s be real.
    Good, bad, or indifferent, this is a done deal, people.

  • I voted no because it’s not right.untill they work it all out its a no.and I’d love nothing more than to vote soon as the gov. Gets involved were screwed.they end up owning us.naw

  • Yes on 64. Time to end the reign of the greedy growers.

  • I voted no but hell no corporate weed would suck .I would much rather smoke weed like mom and pop .there is no comparison .you put up 4 green house’s the the size of a foot ball field ,and have 10 other growers doing the same .who could buy all that weed I’ll tell you the only ones who can Philip Morrison could ,,and it would garbage ,so with that being said .even if it passed the mom and pops will find there nitch growing 75% organic home grown cared for and loved weed .I’m sure the connoisseur Wil know the difference

    • Vote Yes Lame Ass Growers

      All this talk day after day about busting growers and u vote no on prop 64? LAME. U r one of the biggest complainers about black market weed. Prop 64 would help solve YOUR problem. Voting no sense, but that is similar to many of your comments!

  • It is time to vote yes and end the illegality of this plant. If you wanted a better law why didn’t you work towards getting one on the ballot? Legalization is far overdue. No law is going to please everybody and we can work to better the situation down the road.

  • I voted “no” because I feel it’s a moot point to just legalize it in one State at a time. If I voted “yes” for California, it would just encourage the growers to expand all the illegal activity and environmental harm that they are doing now to our counties. They will just more easily hide here and grow for export out of California, or in California to those wishing to avoid the taxes, fees, and regulations. If law enforcement can’t handle all the illegal activity now, imagine how it will be when it’s legal.

    There is no point to pass any law that you can’t enforce. It just hurts the good people who want to abide by it.

    I just wish they would get it right and I would be all for it.

  • I want legal weed, but I also want to grow 10 plants in my back yard without anyone telling me how what where and why, I don’t care how much anyone else grows or whose doing what. Just leave me alone to smoke my weed.

  • I’m voting no as i’d like to see the medical community truly be able to get on its feet over the next few years and then vote in recreational.
    People producing marijuana medicine will be taxed 40% of income as of now. This may change if no medicine company can turn a profit at that rate.
    I fear the true medicine and small farms will be lost in the mix of big biz with recreational legalized.

    People have been arguing that an acre is too big here; the average size farm in CA is 347 acres. If we think water wars are getting bad now, wait til the whole central valley is pot!! A slow start is best with each county deciding how they want to handle it. Please everyone remember it’s harder to change a law than to not vote it in. The language is so important and has to be well written. Prop 64 is not. One of our reps Mike Mcguire is voting no as well and he’s been very involved. The last legalization prop was shot down for that reason.

    And remember the quote in this article is from someone who owns a nursery and stands to make money from the passage of the prop. I don’t feel like anyone’s being pretentious babies, we are trying to protect ourselves. Lots of folks in humbokdt have been involved in social and/or environmental justice work and have seen the BS that most of the system shovels. You can’t trust it. We already voted in medical marijuana years ago and there was never any clear legalities, the cops made it up as they saw fit. People have been arrested and had everything of value confiscated since then, even with legal paperwork. Who’s to say this prop will end up being any different once it is enforced?? It’s no wonder so many folks are hesitant. Hell you can see right now that our govt is breaking 100+ year old treaties that are federally legally binding in dakota, so why would we believe the state and feds will actually honor what we vote in? Past history and actions say they wont.

  • Does anyone know if it is true that you will only legally be allowed to sell medical pot and not allowed to give it away as you like? They seem to want to monitor each plant seed to packaged product.

    • i looked into this and you will be required to license etc. to give it away. its clear. under prop 64 it will be illegal to give marijuana away for free without paying the government to grow it.

      • That is incorrect.
        Prop 64 forbids licensees from giving any product away.
        Home growers can give away less than an ounce. But having it on your person could be an open container offense.

  • I’m with the Gazoo just leave me alone to smoke my weed which is what I’m doing right now in the privacy of my own home .god bless the 215 .I’m perminatly disable ,and in pain every day without my medicine that I grow myself I would have no quality of life.

  • I voted Yes on 64, and have not heard any argument to make me sorry. There is a saying from somewhere that goes “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.” I feel that the complaints I’ve heard about Prop 64 are examples of this. “Oh, but I can only grow 6 plants” for instance. Now you can’t grow any. Lets get real. If you grow 6 plants with no 215, outdoors in the sun, you are going to have all the marijuana you need for the year. As for the corporations, they are coming. People against this should write to the Feds and tell them not to reschedule cannabis because Schedule 1 is what’s holding the corporations out of the field. The future for growers in the Emerald Triangle is in desirable strains which are not as productive as the mass strains that will be grown in the valley, and therefore can be sold for more per pound. Boutique growing. The idea that somehow we can use the law to prevent people from growing over 2000 (5000? 10000? square feet) is a non-starter. Lets get pot legal, get penalties down to misdemeanor or infractions, get the records of people who have been busted before legalization expunged or reduced to misdemeanors. Prop 64 is a miracle of legal drafting, and it will avoid the many years it has taken for Prop 215 to really be put into effect. This is the reasoning that led me to vote for prop 64.

    • Well said. I’m voting yes.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      If not now, when? As you say: don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. It’ll be OK with the police when they get to write it. So sorry for them. Too bad. So sad.

    • Ed, very many counties will not let people grow their six plants in the sun.

      The law allows localities to put “reasonable regulation” on home grows; under current medical cannabis precedent and practice, that means a county like Shasta can ban outdoor cultivation, and require that, to avoid running afoul of the local ordinance, cultivation take place in a code-inspected accessory building with a concrete foundation, rigid walls, locking doors, odor filtration, and an alarm system.

      While 64 “bans banning” the six plants, it looks probable that a lot of people won’t be able to exercise their new right under the law.

      With home cultivation a dead letter, and much of the valley and foothills excluded from the legitimate market, 64 doesn’t look “good” enough to be the enemy of the “perfect” from where I’m sitting.

    • Ed ,
      the California ag commissioners in there aug meeting have already mentioned there will likely be gmo on pot strains to tolerate the more extreme conditions of the valley.specifically one of ag commissioners stated the modifying ” north coast strains” to grow in valley ,Is very likely…

      August 2016 CDFA State Board Meeting /1:28 in comments to the board start with Steven deangelo of oaksterdam.

      • If big weed goes gmo its all the better for legal mom and pop weed. Anyone who is inform enough should not ingest gmo anything. But then it has to be labeled as so and that is whole different fight.

    • A “miracle of legal drafting” . I don’t believe in miracles.

  • no, for all the obvious reasons. if there was a bill to completely decriminalize marijuana i’d take time out of my day every day to drum up support for it.

  • I care far more about consumers getting arrested for no good reason than I do the money grubbing growers. YES on 64.

    • You rather have Money grubbing corporations do it. I rather let the middle class make the money. The county should go after environmental law breakers and make them clean up their properties while they still have the money. The growers did not trigger the drought. I have spoken with fish and game off and on for the last year. The environmental harm has been exaggerated by the media because it sells the corporate agenda. Most growers have to have huge water storage. There is not enough water to steal come mid summer.

      • My chief concern in voting YES on 64 is not you money grubbing growers, corporate or otherwise. Most of you growers sure seem to have a difficult time understanding that.

  • Tough luck locals. Statewide this will pass 70% on Nov. 8th and those of the isolationism/monopoly will fall with the winds of change. I voted no knowing full well it was futile. Live long and be prosperless.

  • Was that ironic?

    “Prosperless” I mean.

  • I vote to put a end to the out of state green rush idiots that have plagued this industry. Never have I been happier about a corporate takeover in my life. Yes on 64 and put these criminals out of business and hopefully in jail.

    • Linda b,
      The green rush is not ending in my opinion it’s just getting started up!Humboldt county has and will continue to implement the cheapest tax on marijuana farms and allow the largest grow sizes in the state (i.e. Honeydew farms the first permitted pot farm in humboldt was awarded a seven acres in size farm ).Is there Any where Else in the state of California your corporation will be so welcomed with such a favorable climate of opportunity with low tax rates based by sq foot and largest allowances in production?only in Humboldt county my fellow Americans .only in humboldt.
      Other counties in california may follow in similar allowances if humboldt can survive the administrative costs of regulation and show other county’s a new revenue source…I am not talking about micro business as defined by prop 64 as a 10,000 sq ft permit .I am referring to one acre and over permits…

    • Linda b lets wait and see how happy you are when the corps take over. Less money for the middle class equals more misery one way or another.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Dope, you are what you smoke.

    Ban weed, bring in attack helicopters and light them up.

    After dozens of growers being hit from attack helicopters every day, they will stop.

    They Will stop or get bombed.

    Vote no, increase the penalties, get camp real helicopters, and run the growers up to Oregon if they need dope so badly.

  • So what happens when the government takes over like alcohol,tobacco,guns etc.i still feel like they’re not looking out for us.I still think what they want to charge per.sq.ft. is wrong.needs lots of improvement.most of you make sense,but we have waited along time for this and I’d like to see it right.☆

  • This is a bad law that gives a lot away and has little protections for the environment or users. VOTE NO.

  • To ( vote yes on lame ass growers) if you read my comments you would see that I complaine against10,ooo plant grows that the Mexicans ,and the bulgarians who grows that rape the land leave garbage ,so let’s legalize it ,so
    humboldt will be one giant grow. ..I’m for the mom and pop 215 grow .,so if any body’s comment is lame your is . .

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      I just want an end to dope growing and would vote for using all weather attack helicopters on grow scenes.

      Hcso needs four and those four helicopters could each fly six sorties each day, sometimes more when grow scenes are neighbors.

      Rockets, cannon fire, and gun runs over dope grows, taking no prisoners is the only solution to this nonsense.

      After a few dozen grow scenes resemble Apocalypse Now the growers will run scared.

      I hope the next president will get attack helicopters in the hands of law enforcement and defeat the growers once and for all. All growing would stop in a couple weeks after the growers realize that law enforcement means business and will wreck your scene, leaving burning wreckage behind.

      The only way to stop the growers is with force, rockets, bombs, and paranoia.

  • Honeydew Bridge chump if you want all the above meaning your comments to come to forwishen we need to election a sheriff that uses bufford pusser tactics to defeat the mega mega grows witch will play havoc on the wild life and our environment .the mega grows will run rampent water will be stolen out of every sream ,creek ,puddle ,pond etc ,so what’s the worser of evils .you think we have trimmergerents now garb ,and redway will be inundated with filth .so vote no on 64 .I’m a native ,and those are my thoughts on 64.try to save what left of humboldt . Been hear 56 yrs ,so I’ve watched all this all unfold .I wonder what Ernie branscomb think s about 64

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      All weather attack helicopters running sorties around the clock, taking no prisoners, burning every grow scene until they run in fear is the only answer.

      If Camp could run 24 sorties a day the growers would run away after a few days of air attacks.

      Word would travel fast, trucks carrying soil could be engaged on roads, herbicide and rockets would defeat the growers in hours.

  • It seems to be working well in the other states that have said yes to legal pot.
    This is California after all and let’s get on board.
    I’m voting yes to keep folks out of jail.

    • California’s very large outdoor production makes it different from CO, OR, and WA.

      We are on the cusp of approving a policy that will exclude vast areas that are already producing a hefty proportion of the state’s cannabis from the possibility of legitimacy.

      “Local control” has been a sacred cow through this process, and there has been little discussion of the fact that this is an issue of statewide concern: cannabis is produced mostly in the north, but most consumers are in the south.

      Other states have tried to control the cannabis market using “seed to sale” tracking, to apparently mixed results.

      How much harder will it be to seize the market in California, where indoor cultivation is a tiny fraction of overall production, and where much of the outdoor cannabis comes from counties determined to be “dry”?

      The system won’t work unless those dry-county growers are eliminated, so we may well be looking at a mere retrenchment of prohibition, with the twist that the war on weed will now be funded by….taxes from legal weed!

      We have to do better. I’m voting no.

    • Prop 64 is not keeping anyone out of jail. It is also a total lie that it is going to get one person out of jail.

  • So many comments and so little space to answer.But, we’ll try anyway to keep this interesting. Violence begets violence. The Bulgs,mexs,cams,rusos,mongs all have access to big boy weapons so if an attack, as you wanted, does occur on both sides, then the military now gets to enter the picture. We get to have our very own isis in Humboldt county.
    Not a good choice, but I think on the same lines as FORCE goes a long way.
    Passage is almost guaranteed , as I mentioned earlier, so get a game plan for the “what if it does legalize”. You as a farmer should have already game planned this idea now rather than later. If you’re in the NOT game planned group, your destined to always trying to catch up. Those that signed up with the County for farms are on the good move side. If you were too paranoid to trust anyone and missed the boat, you will lose out. I hear they extended the paperwork time into December,2016. Do it!!!
    I agree with Honeydew. This crap has exploded and destroyed the communities, surroundings, identity, and singularity. We now have everyone feeding in the trough without an idea what the hell language their talking in. This is wrong!! Where’s border control, where’s ICE, where’s enforcement of frigging visas???
    News Flash-Change and adapt. The need for the smoke is beyond everyone meeting the public’s demand. If its constantly smuggled into the country year after year, the market is still wide open. So little ole Humboldt has lots of opportunities to expand and expand and expand. Go for it! Sign up and be ready for the gold rush scramble.

    • I am honestly asking “how did the growers destroy the community”. I have lived north of Eureka for 22 years. My community (I have raised 2 kids here) has not been affected. One thing a can understand , if I lived in the hills and a mega asshole moves in next door . Other than that I feel people have become more fearful but that seems to be par for the american course since septerber 11 2001.

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        You sound like someone okay with your children doing drugs.

        Many people would like the war on drugs fought and finished with as little collateral damage.

        Helicopter attacks on grow scenes would finish the growers in a couple weeks.

        How many lives would be saved by fighting the war on drugs properly?

        Four attack helicopters and one fighter bomber would finish the growers in no time.

        I hope the next president will finish the war on drugs.

  • Unfortunately the bus already passed like it or not end the greed of weed culture so many in humbolt propagate. Legalize and regulate

  • Until there is a real conversation on how this has been a failed policy on so many levels for more than 60+ years will we move this country in the right direction. Look who put forth these policies and the people that have expanded this policy and their underlining agendas. Prohibition has been a horrible “social experiment” and has harmed much more of the population than cannabis has ever harmed in its entire existence. Its a plant and how anybody thinks our government should regulate a plant in who, where and how someone can grow or use it beyond me.

    It really isn’t a bunch of greedy growers who want to get rich off a continued black market. Let’s be honest about who is really being greedy in all this. It is the government. Prop 64 will raise millions if not a billion dollars in tax revenue that you will be turning over to the government agency to spend as they see fit as they create a bureaucracy to use up every bit of it up to get more the following year. Where do you think all this money comes from? It doesn’t come out of thin air, it extracted from the “tax payer”. This Prop is taking money from the people giving it to the government and we are talking a lot of money that will only continue to fuel the governments misuse of public funds.

    I’m completely in favor of legalization but this Prop 64 isn’t about that if you read the 62 pages. We are treating a plant likes it is plutonium and needs to be tracked at every step and over regulated because it so “dangerous/deadly” if it falls into the “wrong” hands. We need real conversations at the root of these failed policies not band-aids and plastic surgery to make things like we are moving in a direction that is consistent with personal freedoms.

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