Tag Archives: cannabis

Sometimes Recycling Pisses Me Off

recycle-symbol-numbers-key
We have a lot of free newspapers and magazines around here, and most of them are hardly worth the cover price. I pick up the North Coast Journal because they cover local arts, barely, but at least you can open the NCJ and read about a local artist, see who’s playing this week, and who is showing where for Arts Alive.

local arts

Lately, the NCJ seems to have undergone a complete talentectomy, and now appears to be written entirely by interns with the aid of the janitorial staff, so I find that fewer and fewer features in the NCJ get past my “dreck” filter.

dreck mag

I didn’t notice Thadeus Greenson’s piece until I was getting ready to recycle it, and I should have just sent it to the shredder, but it pissed me off that this guy would compare medical marijuana patients, sick people who need medicine, to oil company executives bent on destroying the earth to satisfy their pathological greed.

marijuana v oil companies text

Anyway, the following letter appears in the latest edition of the NCJ

NCJ BANG

Dear Editor,

I just stumbled across Thadeus Greenson’s piece Behind the Brown Act in the May 8 edition of the NCJ. In that piece, Thadeus Greeenson compares local citizens, upset about a proposed ordinance that would prohibit them from growing their own medicine, to oil company executives bent on fracking.

fracking_gas flare

In an effort to match this level of hyperbole I ask: “What If homeowners in Willow Creek were complaining about Jews, and the distinctive smell of gefilte fish, not to mention the impacts of visible Mezuzahs and Menorahs? Would the county be considering an ordinance to treat Jews like any other destructive, polluting and extractive industry?”

arbeit-macht-frei camp

The ordinance in question would prohibit private citizens, living in residential neighborhoods, from producing the medicine they need. These people didn’t ask to get glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy or any number of other serious conditions. If the county won’t provide these people with free medical marijuana, the county should, at least, not bother patients who grow their own medicine, in their own yard, regardless of size.

Medical-Marijuana-Protester10

Whether it’s lawn mower exhaust, toxic fumes from dryer vents, smoky barbecue grills, or trucks left idling in the driveway, suburban residents constantly assault each other with foul smelling clouds of toxic gas. If medical marijuana patients have to put up with their neighbor’s leaf blowers and dryer fumes, those neighbors can also tolerate the non-toxic smell of marijuana.

smokey lawn mower

To stop medical marijuana patients from growing more than they need, and diverting the surplus into the black market, the obvious solution is complete legalization. Until then, we should understand why anyone involved with marijuana in any way, would be very cautious about revealing their identity, considering the long history of government persecution that marijuana users have endured, and the social prejudice against them that remains.

prejudice-child of ignorance-horz


I Help to Solve a Community Problem

ask not

The Garberville Redway Chamber of Commerce has graciously asked for letters from the community to help solve the problems we face here in Garberville. Eager, as I always am, to serve my community, how could I deny such a request?

how can i deny

Dear Garberville Redway Cahamber of Commerce,

g r c of c

We have a serious problem here in Southern Humboldt with all of the low-lifes, sleaze-balls, drug addicts, drug dealers, criminals and mentally deficient creeps hanging around town. This has been a huge problem for as long as I can remember. I thought there was nothing I could do about it. After all, they own most of the land for miles around, run most of the businesses in town, and now they’ve even taken over the county government.

assholes

I think the main reason we have so many greedy, small-minded, scummy people around town has been the long-running War on Drugs. For many years, most people in America thought that marijuana was a dangerous drug, and that prohibition was the only way to keep it away from children. People are finally waking up to the fact that marijuana prohibition does not protect children from a dangerous drug, but instead, pointlessly destroys the lives of millions of Americans, including children.

war-on-drugs

Southern Humboldt, because of its remoteness and the privacy offered by densely wooded parcels on steep, rugged terrain, became popular with the kind of people who saw the War on Drugs as an opportunity. For more than 30 years, Southern Humboldt has attracted the kind of people who would rather profit from the suffering of millions, than stand up for what was right. These people callously and cynically game the system, while posing as upright law-abiding citizens. Many of them built comfortable, middle-class lives for themselves, completely subsidized by hard-working American taxpayers, and paid for in the blood, money, jail-time and anguish of victims of the War on Drugs.

war on drugs

The black-market does not attract America’s best and brightest, so much as it attracts America’s greediest bottom-feeders. This, I think, is the single biggest problem we face here in Southern Humboldt today. I can imagine that a lot of good people have moved away from our community because of the underworld takeover of Southern Humboldt, and I bet all of the clandestine activity around here turns off most prospective home-buyers, except of course, the greedy bottom-feeders, who instantly feel at home.

bottomfeeder

I can see why people would not feel comfortable with drug-dealers as neighbors. In most of America, one drug-house in a neighborhood can dramatically reduce the desirability of that neighborhood to prospective buyers. Who, besides a drug dealer, wants to move into a neighborhood where every house on the road is a drug-house, and into a town where most of the traffic is drug traffic?

hidta

So, we have a real problem. The black-market marijuana industry has turned SoHum into a scum magnet. The more scum we attract, the more repulsive our community becomes to decent people who would make good neighbors. It’s a death spiral. This is how communities become drug ghettos.

ghettopoly

We have a high crime rate, epidemic drug addiction and suicide rates, rampant poverty and homelessness, all of the problems you would expect to find in an inner-city drug ghetto. Sure, there seems to be plenty of money around, and the people who live here look like honest middle-class Americans, but you don’t have to talk to them long before you realize that the fashionable clothes and late model cars are just a thin veil over rotten garbage.

rotten garbage fashion

Like rotten garbage, the whole situation in town smells worst towards the end of Summer, when an influx of part-time transient scum run afoul of our entrenched local scum. As a result, we have lots of scummy people being scummy to each other all over town. It’s as pathetic as it is silly, but the fact is, all of these scummy people need each other to do the scummy work they all came here to do.

scummy people

It takes 12-16 hrs of manual labor to trim every single pound of marijuana. Southern Humboldt’s entrenched local scum grow millions of pounds of marijuana every year. There’s no way local people could trim it all. The annual influx of migrant laborers is just another unsavory aspect of the whole unsavory black-market marijuana industry, for which Southern Humboldt is justifiably famous, but unjustifiably proud (and even more unjustifiably, rich).

humboldtl_marijuana_impacts

I think the only real solution to this whole wretched problem would be a collapse in the price of marijuana, brought about by abolishing marijuana prohibition. As long as the black-market in marijuana flourishes, this infection will continue to fester. The clandestine marijuana industry self-selects for greed, dishonesty, opportunism, and indifference to others, and no amount of economic benefits derived from that industry can make up for the impact that so many scummy people have on this small rural community. The sooner we starve the clandestine marijuana industry out of Southern Humboldt with cheap, mass-produced, legal marijuana, the sooner we can get rid of the parasites, traitors, and general scum that clandestine, black-market, criminal activity, invariably attracts.

Legalize cannabis good for the whole family

I love Southern Humboldt, and think it is a great place to live, not because of the people who live here, but because of the lack thereof. I wholeheartedly support anything we can do to make Southern Humboldt appear less attractive. I appreciate the Garberville Redway Chamber of Commerce for being so hostile and repulsive to people visiting our town, and our local business community for being so insensitive to the needs of young travelers.

garberville redway chamber of commerce

Between the unfriendly signs, lack of services, exorbitant prices and open hostility, no one in their right mind would mistake Garberville for a nice place to live. Now if we can just starve out the dope yuppies, and the business owners who cater to them, we can get back to the quiet, peaceful, rural lifestyle we all came here to enjoy.

peaceful redwood forest


How E-Cigarettes and E-Joints Can Save the World

ecigs changed my life

Lately, I hear a lot about e-cigarettes in the news. I’ve also noticed them popping up for sale in our local gas stations and grocery stores. Even though I’m not a cigarette smoker, anything involving both electronics and drugs, naturally arouses my interest.

arouse

I’ve only seen a couple of people using e-cigarettes, but I find them much less unpleasant to endure than regular cigarettes. I can see how e-cigarettes could do a lot to improve relations between smokers and non-smokers. E-cigarettes might even make the exiled smoker, the lone individual standing outside, under the eves, a thing of the past.

bad habit

The price of e-cigarettes seems like the sticking point for most smokers. I haven’t done the math, but the device costs more than a couple of packs of smokes, and the refills for it don’t come cheap either. It already costs a lot to smoke cigarettes these days, and most of my friends who smoke, hand roll, with the cheapest tobacco they can get, if they don’t pick up cigarette butts they find on the sidewalk. There’s another problem e-cigarettes might solve; no more cigarette butts on the sidewalk, at least if they can bring the price of e-cigarettes down to a price more smokers can afford.

cheap smokes

E-cigarettes look kind of cool too. The one I saw close up, had a blue LED that glowed bright whenever the smoker took a drag from it. I love blue LEDs.

ecig blue led

I’ll bet you can get them with color-changing LEDs. I’m sure you could bling them out in a million different ways. You could get them made out of 24K gold or platinum. They’ll have pink ones for girls,

ecig pink

..and black, or camo-colored ones for guys.

ecigs fancy

They’ll even have ones that look just like a classic Marlboro for old geezers who still remember what real cigarettes looked like.

ecig marlboro

Even so, I’m not about to take them up. First, I’m too cheap. Second, there’s really no “cool” way to announce that you have a drug problem, and third, I don’t need another drug problem. Nicotine and I never saw eye to eye. I tried it back when I was a teenager. I gave it a chance, and it didn’t do anything for me. If only these e-cigs had something I liked in them…

dont like

Now I understand that that you can get e-joints. That is, an e-cigarette loaded with THC instead of nicotine. A new shop just opened up on the plaza in Arcata that specializes in just such devices. I love good old-fashioned marijuana buds, but I think these new e-joints, or “vaporizer pens” as I’ve heard them called, generically, could be a real game-changer in the marijuana industry, as we move inexorably towards legalization.

vaporizer pen

Right now, the biggest bottleneck to scaling up the whole marijuana industry, is trimming. Currently, the market demands manicured sinsemilla buds, which require a lot of manual labor. It takes about an hour to trim an ounce of buds, a really proficient trimmer might be able to trim an ounce and a quarter per hour, either way, there’s at least 12 hours of excruciatingly dull, manual labor in every pound of marijuana bud, just in trimming alone.

trimming weed

Several companies make automated trimming machines, but thus far, none of them produce a product that can compare to hand trimmed buds. With the high prices of black-market marijuana, every gram has to be marketable, and a poor trim job can break the deal, so trimming machines have not become very popular with growers.

trimming machine

Sinsemilla buds also have a very limited shelf life, and must be handled with care. Like potato chips they can become stale, or get crunched down to worthless powder. The way I see it, e-joints can solve all of these problems, and more.

problem-solved

Back in the early “90s in Boston, when I worked for the Mass. Cannabis Reform Coalition, I met a guy, I can’t remember his name, who owns a patent for a method of extracting pure THC from raw cannabis herb.

THC extraction

He described a future world in which he was a multimillionaire, and everyone “smoked” these little electronic devices that would deliver a precise dosage of pure THC, along with whatever flavor you might enjoy.

ecig guy

At the time, I thought “Fuck that! I don’t want some corporation getting between me and my marijuana. I want to smoke the marijuana that I grow in my own back-yard, not some soulless corporate cannabis extract.” Today, I feel differently. Today, I think that guy is a genius. Think about it.

lemme_think_about_it

On the production side, the difference between e-joints and sinsemilla buds is like the difference between Heinz 57 Ketchup and fresh heirloom tomatoes. E-joints offer these advantages:
1. You can make extract from the whole plant, male or female, mature or immature. Growers wouldn’t lose the THC contained in shake, trim, leaf or stem. I’ll bet they could even extract clean THC from moldy bud. All cannabis contains some THC, so probably any cannabis could be made into “fuel” for e-joints.
2. Extraction would completely bypass the need for trimming, and greatly reduce the cost of production. A single industrial extraction facility could replace an army of trimmers.
3. Subjective qualities like aroma and flavor, as well as aesthetic flaws, like spindly buds or brown leaves make no difference in an extract. Manufacturers could produce a very consistent e-joint product, as consistent as a Budweiser or a Big Mac.
4. Cannabis extract for e-joints would be easy to store and transport, vastly simplifying national distribution.

e-cig-truck

On the consumer side the advantages are obvious:
1. No joints to roll
2. No lighter to burn yourself with
3. No smoke, which means no carcinogenic combustion products
4. No smell
5. No ashes
6. No roaches
7. No gooey sticky resin clogged pipes
8. No bongwater
9. No coughing
10. No raw throat
11. Most importantly, e-joints should bring down the cost of getting high. Around here I hear a lot of talk about “boutique growers” serving “marijuana connoisseurs,” but in the open market, a lot of consumers want a product of reliable quality at a reasonable price. Marijuana consumers have been denied that for far too long, and these e-joints just might be the ticket to a mass-produced, nationally distributed, recreational cannabis product with a price based on the economy of scale.

economy-of-scale

I might still prefer to smoke my own home-grown marijuana rather than the soulless corporate substitute, but e-joints, complicated little gadgets though they are, might simplify the process of getting high for everyone.

simplify simplify

My younger, hipper friends are all down with e-joints. They all have vaporizers already. They see e-joints as a major advance in stoner technology, the wave of the future. They say vaporizing is cleaner and healthier than smoking, and that it gets you just as stoned. I’m sure they’d all embrace e-joints, at the right price point, even here in Humboldt County.

humboldt-county-young people

Yes, I think these “vaporizer pens” could change the world. For one thing, it won’t be long before no one knows how to roll a cigarette anymore. Imagine it. People will have to go to The Haight in San Fransisco, which by then, (because nobody could afford the rent to live there anymore) will have been turned into a theme park for Hippie nostalgia,. It will be like Colonial Williamsburg, except that instead of having people in period costumes making tallow candles and shoeing horses, they’ll have actors wearing wigs, grannie glasses and tie-dye t-shirts, show people how they used to roll joints in the old days.

hippie rolling joint

By that time everyone will have an e-cig of one form or another. They’ll have e-crack, e-meth, and e-heroin. They’ll have e-MDMA and e-LSD. They’ll have e-Prozac for mom and e-Adderall for the kids. They’ll even have drug-free e-flavor for people who don’t take drugs but want to enjoy a refreshing calorie-free vapor-snack.

ecig smoker

Thanks to e-cigarettes the future will look like Humphrey Bogart meets Obi Wan Kenobe.

humphrey bogart obi wan kenobi

We’ll all have our own little rechargeable, chrome plated, illuminated pacifiers to fondle endlessly, and no one will have to stand outside to get their fix anymore. Doesn’t that sound like brighter e-tomorrow? Now I think I’ll just unplug my e-joint and enjoy a celebratory e-toke. ecig cartoon


The Humboldt Hash-Makers Fair

 

The Humboldt Hash-Makers Fair

hash marker-Faire

Today (written on Sat. Feb 15) in SoHum, an unusual event is taking place behind the Renner Petroleum Station between Garberville and Redway. I’m not there, of course, because it’s pouring rain, but today, SoHum’s hardier hash-makers have gathered in a rain drenched parking lot to experience the very first (so far as I know), SoHum Hash-Makers Fair. I’m helping them out with the name, but this is a real event.

real event

Officially, they call the event the Garberville Grass Concentrate Awareness Vender Fair, which rolls off the tongue like a mouthful of extra-chunky peanut butter mixed with epoxy,

peanut butter mouth

…but whatever you call it, right now, a bunch of very wet people are demonstrating the latest hash-making technology in a parking lot behind a gas station on the outskirts of town. I’m excited about this! I’ll bet the Garberville Grass Concentrate Awareness Vender Fair, despite the sticky name, is the only hash-makers fair in the entire US. I wish I could be there.

wish i could be there 2

I mean, I’m glad I’m snug and warm at home on this very rainy day, but I hope the show does well, despite the much needed rain. I think I would really enjoy the event, and imagine that it could become quite popular. I, like most American cannabis enthusiasts, prefer to smoke cannabis herb, rather than hash, but hash will do in a pinch, and if made well, hash can be delightful.

stoners delight

In fact, most cannabis consumers would rather have a small quantity of very good hash, rather than a big pile of really shitty weed. That’s why people around here make hash. In Europe and Asia, they make hash for ease of transport, for smuggling. Here in Humboldt County, hash is about recycling.

recycle1

Hash is about using the whole plant, not just the manicured sinsimilla buds. I’m into recycling and everything, but the real reason I think the hash-makers fair sounds fun, is the people it would attract.

attracting people

SoHum’s dope yuppies, the land-owning dope growers, don’t usually mess around with hash. They grow cannabis as a cash crop, and the cash comes from the flowers. Sinsemilla flowers are always in demand, anywhere in America, while hash is a harder sell, at least in the US.

hash selling prank

Dope yuppies need that cash flow, so they focus on producing those flowers, and don’t worry much about what happens to the rest of the plant. A lot of them don’t even grow or process their own weed anymore. Instead, they have sharecroppers, trimmers, and pot slaves to do it for them. They might never even see the weed from seed to harvest to sale. They just take the cash.

dope yuppies suck

Those sharecroppers, trimmers and pot slaves make all of the hash around here. That’s why the hash-making crowd is a much friendlier, funner and less stuck-up bunch of folks than you are likely to run into on any given night at The Mateel. The hash-makers I know around here are some of the nicest people I know, and they’re always eager to share a bowl really good hash, and the hash around here is outstanding.

wana-smoke-alpaca-bowl

These scrappy, resourceful artisans really appreciate marijuana. They hate to see all of that leaf and trim go to waste. They know there’s not much of a market for it, but they make hash anyway. A lot of these people take their hash-making pretty seriously, and produce top-notch hashish in a variety of forms, and by a variety of methods. Thanks to them, we seem to have entered a new hash-making renaissance, centered right here in Humboldt County, as evidenced by today’s fair.

Hash-Ad-small

Several of the companies demonstrating their wares at the fair, base their operations right here in Humboldt County, founded by former pot slaves who posses a passion for concentrated cannabis. I wish them all the luck in the world. I hope their hash-making start-ups succeed, and that the SoHum Hash-Makers Fair grows in the future.

hash bash-background-photo

Sure, I would enjoy seeing live demonstrations of hash-making technology. I’d like to see them haul out a couple of truckloads of shake and turn it into hash before my very eyes.

truckload of pot plants (flip)

Of course we’d all love to sample the finished product too,

girls-smoking-hash

…but this is just the beginning. Imagine where the SoHum Hash-Makers Fair could go from there. They could have an “Iron Lung competition” to see who could smoke the most hash without coughing, while the rest of us hack and spit like angry camels.

angry-camel

They could serve a variety of throat-soothing beverages. At the hash-makers fair, you’ll need them.

4269-29844

What about hash edibles? With the fair falling so close to Valentines Day, I’d think hash chocolates would be a natural. While the chlorophyll in cannabis herb clashes with the taste of chocolate, good hash contains no chlorophyll, and blends nicely with dark chocolate. Who wouldn’t like a box of hash chocolates for Valentines Day? …and what would compliment a nice rich hash chocolate better than a piping hot hashaccino? Mmmm coffee with hash. I’m getting stoned just thinking about it, or maybe I’m just thinking about it because I’m getting stoned.

cappuccino-chocolate-hearts-1280x800

How about belly dancing? Belly dancing and hash go together like coffee and chocolate. I’ll bet we have as many belly dancers in Humboldt County as we have hash-makers, and I’m sure there’s some crossover there. February might be a little cold for belly dancers, but a couple of good heaters should solve that problem. Do you see the potential?

belly dancers1

…and that’s just the beginning. Imagine what could happen if this fair got really successful. Maybe some of the companies that sponsor it could set up some big attractions.

big-attraction

For instance, the people who make equipment for cold-water hash extraction could bring a water flume ride.

water flume1

The folks who make kief tumblers could set up a Ferris Wheel,

ferris wheel

…and the company that makes butane extraction tubes could sponsor a fireworks display.

fireworks-

In fact I think the whole butane extraction part of the fair could be like Burning Man. They could have all kinds of wild fire-art displays that also make hash.

el-pulpo-keppel-4501

The whole butane hash oil extraction process seems more than a little crazy to me, but it’s all the rage right now. If you gave me a choice between extracting hash with ice water, and doing it by emptying an entire can of butane lighter fuel into my immediate environment, I’d choose the ice water every time. That’s just me.

hash butane

I’ll bet if you randomly took people off the street, handed them a brand new can of butane and told them to go sit in a room and empty the can into the air around them, then light a match, no one would be stupid enough to do it. Somehow, adding marijuana to the equation makes it seem like a good idea.

hash lab explosion

Some people hate to do anything unless there’s an element of danger involved. So, now we have a hash-making method for thrill-seekers and pyros. At least they could offer a safety course at the fair.

?????????

Think about it… fireworks, rides, belly dancing, chocolate, coffee, contests, hash-making and safety meetings. That’s a fair with something for everyone. I hope I see you there next year.

hope to see you there


Humboldt County is So “Alternative”

Humboldt County is So “Alternative”

so alternative

When I first moved to Humboldt County, I thought that no one should go to jail for gardening, least of all, for growing cannabis. I felt strongly about this. I went so far as to don a funny hat and carry a sign to voice my disapproval of the war on drugs, and specifically against marijuana prohibition.

thats me next month

I love marijuana, cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, grass, whatever you want to call it. I think it is a beautiful and sacred plant. I like growing cannabis, I like smoking it, eating it, drinking it and sharing it with friends. I felt that no one should be punished for their involvement with it, be they in possession of it, under the influence of it or involved in cultivating it. Today, I feel differently.

me

Today, I think Humboldt County dope yuppies should be sent to someplace like Guantanamo Bay, and water-boarded with their own nutrient solution. Specifically, every time I hear someone around here complain about the falling price of marijuana, I want to see them choking, spitting and pleading for their life while Dick Cheney personally holds the watering wand over their Saran Wrapped face, a solution of piss, manure and decomposing organic filth raining down their throats as they squirm and writhe in agony.

Waterboarding 5

I, like all good people everywhere, am overjoyed that marijuana prices have begun to fall, and that the bitter end of the drug war finally appears to be in sight. We still have lots of work to do. Pot prices remain outrageously high despite recent declines, and too many innocent people still get arrested for minor marijuana possession, but at least we seem to have won the battle for the hearts and minds of the American public. We still need to mobilize that support to overturn draconian prohibition laws, but at last, it seems, the momentum is on our side.

Marijuana-Legalization-564x750

Of course, we can’t expect Humboldt County dope yuppies to to help. They’re the disease. Don’t expect them to be part of the cure. Really, dope yuppies don’t care about the social costs of prohibition. They’ve all seen their friends busted. Half of them have been busted themselves. They know how traumatic that is on families. They don’t care.

bad cops

They know about all of the murders, the missing persons cases, the home-invasion robberies, the violent crime, and the hard drugs that come along with a reliance on black-market dealers. They never stop complaining about the homelessness and poverty, even though they cause most of it. They know Humboldt county has double or triple the murder rate, suicide rate and meth abuse rate of the rest of California. If they ever visited the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County library, which they don’t, they’d know that the roof leaks, they only have two computers, that barely work, and that the library has no wifi connectivity at all. Blinded by the money that the illegal trade in black-market marijuana brings in, they hardly notice the lack of social capital in their community.

blinded by cash

Instead, they blow their money on parties and status symbols. They already have one huge, expensive concert venue, and they can’t wait to build another one. They drive gigantic gas-guzzling trucks and clear the forest to build enormous Connecticut-style, middle-class, suburban homes. Once the narco-dollars started pouring in, they turned their backs on the greater community and began “keeping up with the Joneses”.

Keeping-Up-with-the-Joneses1

So, don’t worry about what happens to Humboldt County’s dope yuppies when prohibition ends. Celebrate, when the price of an oz of kind bud drops below $50, because some big, legal, publicly traded company wants to be the WalMart of weed. Enjoy it! Don’t fret about the plight of Humboldt’s pot farmers, because Humboldt County growers never gave a fuck about you.

I dont give a fuck lg

Not once have I heard a Humboldt County dope yuppie say: “Man, it really sucks that marijuana has to be so expensive for people.” or “With prices of food and energy rising so fast, how on Earth can working people afford the marijuana they need?” or even, “I’ll bet more people would survive cancer if medical marijuana didn’t cost so much.” Not once have I ever heard that sentiment expressed by a Humboldt County grower.

im-listening

They all know how great marijuana is, and they keep tons of it around the house for their own use. They’ve got cannabis tincture to relieve menstrual cramps, cannabis salve for muscle aches, and hash-laced chocolates for aphrodisiacs. They make cosmic brownies, cookies and goo-balls. They make juice, decoctions and tea from it, and they keep at least four or five different flavors of marijuana, and maybe two or three different kinds of hash around for their personal smoking pleasure.

cannabis_jars5

I don’t knock them for this. I’m with them. It’s great to have plenty of marijuana. Cannabis is wonderful. It’s good for a lot of things, and offers a lot of benefits to people who use it. It’s damn near impossible to hurt yourself with it, so it makes sense to keep plenty of it on hand.

pile of pot

Humboldt County growers take this for granted, but they know that having plenty of marijuana really helps reduce stress. They know about stress. Running an illegal business creates stress of its own. They have other stresses, just like anyone else, but they always have plenty of ganja, and they never have to worry about how much it costs.

money for weed

They don’t have the stress of trying to figure out how to squeeze $40 out of a $300 paycheck, to pay for an eighth of an oz of marijuana, roughly four Humboldt County joints, and then how to budget that three-and-a-half grams of cannabis over seven days. They don’t know what it’s like to skip the dinner out, the concert or the new shirt because a few puffs of kind bud makes that 40 hours of customer-service hell they endure each week, tolerable, but that’s how the rest of America lives.

retail-hell

That’s only half of the price that Americans pay for marijuana. The middle-class subsidizes artificially high marijuana prices by paying taxes that pay for cops, jails and prison guards. The working poor subsidize artificially high marijuana prices by getting arrested and going to jail. That’s why Americans want marijuana legalized: They’re sick of subsidizing the marijuana industry while they work themselves to death for less and less every year.

work to death

Americans pay too damn much for marijuana, and they’re tired of skimping on everything else just for a taste of the kind green bud. They’re tired of paying black-market prices, tired of dealing with black-market dealers, and sick of being treated like criminals, just so that a handful of smug, self-righteous, and self-absorbed dope yuppies can perpetually congratulate themselves for being so “alternative”.

im awesome

Yeah, Humboldt County dope yuppies are so “alternative”… the way a tick is “alternative”. Now plug in that fucking pump and hand me the Saran Wrap.tick


Ashtrays and the Evolution of Smoking Culture in America

Ashtrays and the Evolution of Smoking Culture in America

cultural evolution

I can’t believe how rapidly smoking culture has evolved, just in my lifetime. When I was a kid, my parents both smoked cigarettes… indoors. Damn near every table in the house had an ashtray on it, some had two. They had fancy ashtrays, for special occasions, and they had everyday ashtrays. They even had extra ashtrays in a drawer in case they had company.

ashtray

I remember that you used to be able to buy ashtrays in stores, and they had lots of different kinds. They had cheap disposable ashtrays stamped from foil,

ashtray pinup

nice expensive ashtrays that looked like they belonged on an executive’s desk,

ashtray airplane 1

glass ashtrays,

ashtray glass square

metal ashtrays,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ashtrays carved from solid rock,

ashtray stone 1

and an amazing assortment of ceramic ashtrays.

ashtray ceramic-asst

These things really existed. I distinctly remember ashtrays,

ashtray eye

avocado-green boomerang-shaped ashtrays,

ashtray avacado boomerang

round mosaic-tiled ashtrays, as big as a dinner plate, that weighed at least ten lbs,

ashtray mosaic

stacks of brightly-colored mod-looking ashtrays manufactured from some sort of polymer resin.

ashtray-stack

I know I remember ashtrays.

ashtray remember

You would see one of these things, and you immediately knew what it was. You wouldn’t dream of using it for anything else. Even if it was brand new, people would look at you like you had lost your mind if you decided to, for instance, eat pudding out of an ashtray.

ashtray eating pudding

The intended purpose of an ashtray was to provide a non-flammable place to rest a lit cigarette, a suitable receptacle for flicked ashes, and a surface onto which a cigarette butt could be safely snuffed out. Ashtrays came in a bewildering array styles because people wanted their ashtrays to match the decor of the rooms those ashtrays would inhabit.

ashtrays

Do you remember ashtrays? I know there are young people out there right now thinking “ash trays?”, like they never saw those two words combined before. They have no idea what I’m talking about. They’ve never seen an ashtray, not even on TV. If you wanted to show a kid an ashtray, where would you go? If you wanted an ashtray for yourself, where would you go to buy one?

ashtray free

The disappearance of ashtrays, coupled with the number of people I’ve seen sitting under the eves of their own homes tells me that very few people smoke cigarettes indoors anymore. If you can’t do it in stores, bars or restaurants, and nowadays people won’t even do it in their own homes, cigarette smoking seems to have become an exclusively outdoor activity.

smoke outside

I’m mostly happy about this. I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I have become much more sensitive to cigarette smoke. I can’t imagine living with someone who insisted on smoking cigarettes indoors today, but I also feel for smokers. It must be a drag to have to excuse yourself from a warm cozy room to go stand outside in the cold, rain, snow, wind, heat, whatever, with nothing but a coffee can full of sand for your butts, like some kind of exile. That’s harsh.

bad habit

At the same time, marijuana smoking has become much more accepted. As a result, you can find boutiques all over this country that cater to marijuana smokers. You’ll find these shops stocked to the gills with a dizzying array of new smoking products ranging from vaporizers and dabbing nails, to hookahs and bongs to bubblers, hand pipes and rolling papers, no ashtrays, oddly enough, but tons of other smoking accessories.

head shop

I don’t know what pot smokers are supposed to do with the ashes that result from smoking marijuana, but the free market has provided them with a million new ways to turn marijuana into ash. After that, pot smokers are pretty much on their own.

bong girl

From the look of all of this new smoking gear, nearly everyone who smokes marijuana, does it indoors. Half of the new vaporizers plug into a wall outlet. Not many of those out in the woods. Nobody takes a glass bong the size of a bassoon to go get high in the park. Giant, conspicuous smoking apparatuses like that, stay at home, in a room.

Two-Girls-with-Tattoos-Smoking-10-Foot-Bong

I’m sure that part of the reason people smoke pot at home is the legal environment. Because of marijuana prohibition, pot smokers have gotten used to smoking in secret, so they do it privately, behind closed doors. Even now that two states have made smoking marijuana a legal recreational activity, both Washington and Colorado still prohibit marijuana use in public. It seems that even as legalization takes hold, considerable social pressure remains to keep marijuana smoking an indoor activity.

smoking marijuana indoors

Today, we see cigarette smokers outside under the eves with their cancer sticks and their can of sand, while marijuana smokers sit comfy and warm in their blacklit bedrooms with their Rube Goldberg meets Dr. Seuss smoking contraptions,

bong2

and maybe an old saucer that they drop their ashes into, or perhaps a potted plant. I use an oyster shell, personally. I don’t know what other people do.

OysterShell

It’s got to be rough for people who smoke both marijuana and cigarettes. They smoke some pot, but then they’ll have to step outside for a cigarette. They’ll have to ask someone to hold their contraption, go stand under the eve, smoke their butt, come back in, enjoy a few tokes, then it’s back out under the eves again. These people need revolving doors, and when was the last time you saw one of those.

Revolving Women

It kind of reminds me of segregation. I know it’s not the same thing by a long shot, but cigarette smokers used to rule the world. They wouldn’t even ask, “Do you mind if I smoke?” before they lit up. The air belonged to them, and if you didn’t like it, too bad. Businesses put ashtrays everywhere, just to remind cigarette smokers that they were welcome to fill the establishment with foul smelling fumes, and free matches, bearing the company logo were always close by.

ashtray_pappas_ashtray

Now cigarette smokers stand out in the cold like dogs who don’t know how to behave indoors, while marijuana smokers sit on the sofa in climate controlled comfort, fondling their preposterous pyrex party pipes, looking around for someplace to dump their freshly cashed bowl. My how the tables have turned, but I’ll bet you won’t find an ashtray on any of them.ashtray on a turntable


Slightly Less Obvious Consequences of Ending Marijuana Prohibition

While we’re on the subject of marijuana prohibition:

Rand-Corporation

The Rand Corporation recently published the results of their latest study on the economic effects of legalizing cannabis.  To great fanfare, they predicted that if legalized, the price of pot will fall, while the number of users will rise. This prediction shocked people who were also surprised to learn of the Pope’s religious affiliation, and that bears shit right on the ground in the middle of the woods. Since this kind of speculation seems popular these days, I offer:

Slightly Less Obvious Consequences of Ending Marijuana Prohibition

california bear high

Farmers Markets – sales rise

Grow Shops – sales fall

With legal farmers growing cannabis in local soil fertilized with manure from animals that live on the farm, we’ll finally taste Humboldt County’s Terroir. But, we’ll no longer import enough potting soil every year to build a small island nation off the coast of Petrolia.

island nation

Head Shops – sales rise

Hair Salons – sales fall

With the prices falling and availability increasing, demand for marijuana rises, which means more people will need, pipes, rolling papers, bongs etc., and since pot is so cheap, I’ll also take a couple of those black-light posters, some incense, and a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. On the other hand, stoners hate getting their hair cut. The more pot you smoke, the more averse to haircuts you become. Anthropologists believe this well documented side effect of marijuana use to be at the heart of many tonsorial religious traditions from Rastafarianism to Sikhism. Business booms for makers of tams, turbans, and ponytail-holders, but barbershops take a beating.

dreads round

Grow lights – sales fall

Lava lamps – sales rise

As grow houses close down, makers of HID lamps, ballasts, and reflectors see sales tumble. As more of us discover the pleasures of cheap, plentiful marijuana, sales of lava lamps, plasma spheres and mirrored balls soar.

lava lamp rainbow

Custom Trucks – sales fall

Custom Bicycles – sales rise

As more people get stoned, fewer people want to drive large, loud or fast vehicles and a plethora of unique pedal powered and electric vehicles, conceived in a hashish reverie, and hand built by stoners, take the streets. Others will have to chop a lot of firewood to pay for that new truck. A lift kit only means they’ll have to lift that firewood that much higher. They’ll skip the custom bumper, wheels and headache rack because they might need to take a day-off sometime in the next six years.

custom-aztlan-bicycle

Energy – demand falls

Energy drinks – demand rises

As grow houses become a thing of the past, those electric meters won’t spin nearly as fast, but you can’t get your stoned ass to work without 300mg of caffeine in your system.

more energy

Unemployment – rises

Interest in work – falls

As grow shops, truck dealerships and hair salons lay-off workers and outlaw growers lose their source of income, the ranks of the jobless swell. However, thanks to the 80% drop in the price of marijuana, pot smokers will only have to work half as much to enjoy the same quality of life. Why work harder than you have to?

work

Reggae music – sales rise

Classical music – sales fall

Who am I kidding? No one buys music anymore.

record store closed

Pit bull popularity – falls

Cat popularity – rises

With pot legal, fewer growers need dangerous watch dogs to guard their grow or stash. Stoners, on the other hand, prefer a pet they can relax with, and no one knows how to relax like a cat.

relaxed cat

Costa-Rican real estate – sales fall

Costco – sales rise

Pot growers often used illegal profits to buy real estate in Costa-Rica, Mexico or Hawaii. With those profits gone, tropical real estate markets feel the pinch. But, with the price of an ounce of bud dropping to about $35, pot smokers can afford to buy Oreos by the pallet.

pallet of oreos

Incidents of arrest – fall

Incident of “I’m sorry, what did you just say” – rise

With pot finally legalized, the cops have one less tool with which to fuck people over. And…I’m sorry, what was I talking about?

what was I talking about


Murder v Money

 

Murder v Money

murder and money

In response to last week’s post about marijuana prohibition, I received a notable comment from Joel Meilke. I found the comment notable not because it was especially well thought out, or because it brought up a fresh perspective, quite the contrary. Joel’s comment was notable because it articulated the most common knee jerk reaction to any discussion about ending marijuana prohibition around here. Joel described Humboldt County’s tradition of almost weekly, prohibition related homicides and disappearances as “a conundrum”, weighing them against the amount of money the black market marijuana industry brings into Humboldt County.

mielke

I like Joel, I mean, I’ve never met him, but I enjoy his cartoons in the North Coast Journal, and he did post the very first comment in this blog, back in May of 2011, so I appreciate him as a reader, but money ain’t everything folks, and counting the dollars is no way to measure the effects of prohibition on Humboldt County. Joel lamented that the local economy might contract by as much as one-third without the massive government subsidies that pay for the arrest, conviction and incarceration of millions of innocent, mostly poor, mostly minority, and mostly young Americans across the country.

kids in prison

They say “Money talks”, and I’ve lived behind “The Redwood Curtain” long enough to know that most people here really don’t give a rat’s ass about what goes on in the rest of the country, and couldn’t care less about the people who pay for Humboldt County’s marijuana crop, so long as someone shows up with the cash to buy it from them. That’s why I wrote about the ways marijuana prohibition negatively affects us, the predominantly white, middle-class residents of Humboldt County, despite the influx of illicit funds it brings.

humboldt county line

Even so, last week’s post barely scratched the surface of the negative side-effects of prohibition on our local community. It would take many volumes to analyze to real cost of prohibition here in Humboldt County, but we all suffer the consequences of marijuana prohibition, and often in ways you might not consider.

consider this

For instance: Haven’t you noticed the proliferation of overpriced mediocre restaurants around here? Aren’t you tired of paying through the nose for disappointing meals out? If so, you can thank marijuana prohibition. How’s that?”, you ask.

disappointing restaurant

Simple. Drug dealers are the quintessential nouveau riche. They don’t mind being overcharged, so long as they get to flash the cash. Drug dealers spend money much more indiscriminately than working people. They also tend to value convenience more than quality, appearance more than substance and generally lack good taste. The restaurants in Humboldt County reflect that.

nouveau riche

Were it not for prohibition, we might have fewer restaurants, but we would certainly have better restaurants, and we would have cheaper restaurants. Besides that, the restaurants would have much less trouble finding decent help, and the people who work at the restaurants would have an easier time finding a place to live that they could afford, because half of the available housing would not be full of grow lights and pot plants. That’s how marijuana prohibition makes restaurants in Humboldt County suck.

bad-restaurant-experience

Fewer murders, better restaurants, cheaper eats and more affordable housing are just a few of the ways that ending marijuana prohibition would improve the quality of life for the residents of Humboldt County. Sure, less money will come into the county, but most of that money ends up in the hands of a few rich, greedy bastards who mostly use it to fuck the rest of us over. Besides, without the financial incentive that marijuana prohibition provides, a lot of those bottom-feeders would move out of the county to search for some other dark, murky slime-pit in which to lurk.

Bottom Feeder Food

So don’t worry about the economy. The economy will not suffer. The economy never suffers. Grieving mothers suffer. Crime victims suffer. Children who see their parents hauled away in handcuffs at gunpoint suffer, but the economy does not suffer. People who pay too much for mediocre food suffer. People who work for a living but can’t find an affordable place to live suffer, and people who pay too much for pot suffer, but the economy doesn’t suffer. Salmon suffer, the environment suffers, and the community suffers, but the economy does not suffer. The economy never suffers because the economy is not alive. The economy doesn’t feel a thing. No matter how much we suffer for the economy, the economy will never return the favor.

Bees and the economy cartoon 1

Remember, Reagan broke the unions to help the economy. Bush relaxed environmental standards to help the economy. Clinton signed NAFTA to help the economy. Bush II cut taxes on the rich to help the economy, and then we all bailed out the bankers to save the economy. How stupid can we be that we haven’t figured out that when they tell us something is helping the economy, that means it’s hurting most of us?

illegalization

So fuck the economy! If you want forests and salmon and a place to live, and you think there should be plenty of marijuana for everyone, then work to end marijuana prohibition. If you want overpriced mediocre restaurants full of nouveau riche drug dealers, murderers, and greedy slimeball bottom-feeders, because it’s “good for the economy”, I suppose there should be a place for you. Call it Hell, and go there.

acdc-acdc-funny-highway-to-hell-led-zeppelin-Favim.com-352202_large


An Open Letter to Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor, Estelle Fennel

I sent the following letter to my County Supervisor Estelle Fennel after hearing her make some disparaging remarks about some of her constituents.  I also submitted it to both of our local newspapers.  The Independent ran the letter, while The Redwood Times refused to print it on the grounds that they don’t print third party letters.

third party letters

The real issue is that the business owners downtown, especially the real estate agents, don’t want their customers to see poor people hanging around town.  Of course, they don’t want to admit that the real problem is declining wages and rising housing prices.  Instead, they want to blame the victims, and use taxpayer resources to drive poor people out of town, even though they constantly complain about paying too much in taxes.

pays lowest taxes

Dear Supervisor Fennel,

estelle-f quote zombie poster

As the county considers what to do with the area formerly known as “The Jim Demulling Memorial Grove”, I urge you to consider a few facts about Southern Humboldt that you seem to have forgotten:

forgotten foot

  1. Everyone in Southern Humboldt, without exception, urinates and defecates. Many, if not most of them, do it in a fashion that does not comply with county codes. As the former executive director of Hum-CPR, you actively lobbied to protect the rights of land-owners who choose to use non-standard and unapproved sanitation.outhouse-

  2. Most of Southern Humboldt’s adult population consumes alcohol on a regular, if not daily basis, and at least half-a-dozen business establishments sell alcoholic beverages in Garberville alone, to accommodate Southern Humboldt’s alcohol consumers.women-drinking

  3. Illegal drug use is not only tolerated in Southern Humboldt, it is celebrated as a proud and cherished tradition, and it has become the main driver of our local economy.humboldt weed

  4. Willits Towing and Recovery recently removed hundreds of thousands of pounds of of junk cars and other scrap metal from rural parcels in Southern Humboldt, cheerfully, and at no cost to rural land-owners, a quantity that dwarfs the amount of garbage begrudgingly, and disparagingly removed by Eel River Cleanup. As I recall, you yourself took advantage of a subsidized program to eliminate unsightly and hazardous waste from our rural environment, by bringing in over 100 discarded tires. Clearly this community tolerates people who do not take responsibility for their garbage.junk car

Were Federal, State and County laws strictly enforced, especially on the rural properties in Southern Humboldt, law enforcement would find flagrant violations of the law on nearly every parcel. While most of Southern Humboldt is poorly suited to agriculture, it is remarkably well suited to concealing ugly and illegal activity, a fact that has contributed greatly to its economic vitality.

unpermitted grow

As a public servant who represents a lot of ethically-challenged, full-time criminals, talk of “intolerable behavior” rings especially hollow. We tolerate a lot of ugly behavior here in Southern Humboldt, and a lot of people around here have grown obscenely rich as a result of it. That’s what makes this community special. I don’t think it fair to condemn the same behavior, only for those who endure poverty and have no place to go.

miss manners

If you have managed to find a way to speak respectfully with and about the rest of your constituents, you should be able to speak respectfully about the members of this community who lack the resources to secure for themselves, the privacy of a home in which to engage in the same kinds of activities as the rest of your constituents.

homeless-

If you want the poor and the young to have any respect for county government, you must first demonstrate that the county has respect for them, and their needs. As their representative, I urge you to refrain from using terms like “vagrants” to describe any of your constituents in the future. Instead, I hope you will work for a compassionate solution to the problem of greedy people, who lack compassion, intent on pressing their economic advantage against the poor and the young.

economicAdvantage_2

Sincerely, John Hardin

P.O. Box 2301, Redway, CA 95560


On The Money; The Economics of Drug Prohibition

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

The Economics of Drug Prohibition

ProhibitionRepealPoster

I’m sure that it comes as no surprise to you that dealers of illegal drugs enjoy large profit margins on the drugs they sell. American taxpayers insure these large profit margins through a massive government subsidy known as “The War on Drugs” which costs tens of billions of tax dollars annually. Prohibition is the generic term for the policy of using laws, and law enforcement, to keep certain drugs out of the open legal market. Despite over 70 years of drug prohibition, use of illegal drugs remains resilient, and demand remains, no pun intended, high.

 eagle_copy_final

The lion’s share of this massive subsidy, gets spent in efforts aimed at the nation’s most popular illegal drug, marijuana, and the plant it comes from, Cannabis Sativa. Government expenditures for the prohibition of marijuana alone include the cost of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating over one-million Americans every year, far more than the total number of people arrested for all other illegal drugs combined. It also includes eradication efforts aimed at killing cannabis plants wherever they grow, often with chemical herbicides. Economically, this huge outlay of taxpayer dollars functions to artificially inflate the price of marijuana, or cannabis, a hardy weed that would otherwise grow wild in every state in the union.

 cannabis plant

Because of prohibition, this prolific annual weed has become tremendously expensive for marijuana users and taxpayers, as well as hugely profitable for black-market dealers. Despite the high prices and risk of arrest, an estimated 10-20% of all Americans use marijuana regularly, creating a tremendous demand for it. This demand, in turn, fuels a multi-billion dollar black-market industry that operates in every state, county and locality in the US, insuring that every state, county and locality spends even more taxpayer money to battle this black-market activity.

 uncclesamm

Thanks to grassroots organizing by marijuana consumers and advocates, several states have passed laws legalizing the use and distribution of marijuana, mostly for medical use. As more states pass these laws, both the price of marijuana, and the subsidies, at least in the states that have passed these laws, decline as well. Since the passage of California’s landmark medical marijuana law in 1996, the first of these laws, the price of marijuana has declined by more than half, nationwide. As more states pass these anti-prohibition laws, we can expect the price of marijuana to drop still further.

 budget-potency-price

As police make fewer marijuana arrests, courts try fewer marijuana cases, and prisons hold fewer marijuana prisoners, taxpayers pay less for marijuana subsidies. While the Federal government has not budged on marijuana prohibition, and still spends billions on cannabis prohibition annually, many cash strapped states, counties and localities, even those that have not passed legalization laws, have de-prioritized marijuana prohibition to save money.

 state marijuana laws

As these marijuana price-support subsidies decline, marijuana prices continue to slump. This comes as welcome relief to the millions of Americans who use marijuana regularly, and to taxpayers who have grown tired of subsidizing untaxed black-market profits. Still, thanks to vigorous Federal enforcement, and backlash from law enforcement, who stand to lose a tremendous amount of funding, marijuana prices, taxpayer subsidies and black-market profits remain high.

 drug slavery

Although those who argue for marijuana prohibition argue that marijuana is a dangerous drug that no one should ever touch, very little evidence supports these claims. On the contrary, tens of millions of Americans use marijuana regularly, and like it. Not one person, in the history of humanity, has suffered a fatal overdose of it, nor has much evidence been found that marijuana causes long term health problems. Marijuana does not produce physical addiction symptoms, unlike alcohol, nicotine, opiates, many prescription drugs or even caffeine which all produce strong physical addictions that can be very difficult to quit. Even long-term chronic marijuana users can kick the habit without much difficulty, if they genuinely want to. This, I tell you from personal experience.

 negative effects of marijuana

Clearly, the reasons for continuing marijuana prohibition are completely economic. Without the massive taxpayer subsidies involved in prohibition, the marijuana black-market would collapse, eliminating a multi-billion dollar industry. Governments would reallocate tax revenue away from law enforcement, and prisons, eliminating thousands of high-paying jobs in those fields. While, no one really likes black-market drug dealers or narco-cops, or would miss them if they learned to do something productive with their lives, they form a significant part of our national economy.

 drug-prohibition

The pharmaceutical industry would soon feel the pinch as well. 100 years ago, half of all medicines sold in the US contained marijuana. Plenty of evidence shows that cannabis, or marijuana still works better than many prescription and over-the-counter medications for a host of conditions ranging from glaucoma and chronic pain, to epilepsy, asthma and nausea, especially nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. Some estimate that legal cannabis, or marijuana, could immediately replace 20-40% of all prescription drugs, working as effectively, with fewer side-effects, than the drugs it would replace.

 ronnie-smith-oil

Since marijuana, or cannabis, is a natural plant, it cannot be patented. Because cannabis cannot be patented, patients who need it, would get it from farmers, not pharmaceutical companies. This would cut deeply into the profits of pharmaceutical companies, but drastically reduce health-care costs for patients. Farmers wouldn’t complain either.

 happy-farmers-grow-like-weeds-photo

Further, recent medical research suggests that humans have had a very long, and symbiotic relationship with the cannabis plant. The presence of “cannabinoid receptors” in the human nervous system seem to indicate that the cannabis plant played a role in human evolution, and that our ancestors have ingested cannabis for millions of years.

 marijuana-brain

While it remains unclear exactly how these cannabinoid receptors contribute to human health, they clearly play an important role. Many, now common, ailments may stem from a lack of cannabis in our modern diet. Currently, doctors prescribe prescription drugs to treat these maladies, but the addition of a few green cannabis leaves into the diet, as other doctors recommend, might eliminate these diseases completely.

 cannajuicing

Beyond that, hemp, a high-fiber, non psychoactive, but also prohibited, species of cannabis, has a whole range of industrial uses from textiles and cordage to paper, plastics and building materials. Hemp, an agricultural commodity widely grown in the US before prohibition, could spawn a whole new hemp products industry. This new hemp industry might generate tens of thousands of new jobs in the long run.

 hemp for victory

New industrial hemp products would replace or reduce the need for synthetic fiber and forest products, thus eliminating the toxic pollution from manufacturing synthetics, and the habitat destruction that results from deforestation. While this potential new industry could create thousands of new jobs and spur growth in the economy, it also threatens the profits of some well established, and very influential corporations.

 cops banks dealers for prohibition

You can see that marijuana prohibition has much more to do with controlling “the economy”, than it does with dissuading people from smoking pot. If we could end marijuana prohibition today, black-market drug dealers, narco-cops, prison guards, pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies and forest products companies would all lose revenue. However, the rest of us would enjoy less expensive marijuana, better medicine, lower health-care costs, nicer clothes, cheaper paper and lower taxes, with less pollution or habitat loss. In other words, it would dramatically improve our quality of life. As Freewheelin’ Franklin of Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers famously said, “Dope  will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.”

freak bros


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