10 comments on “Island Mountain and the Truth About the War on Drugs

  1. So what is real farmland? Wasn’t all farmland once some other habitat? In my opinion, growing weed on old log landings is a perfect compatible use with timberland. Being its temporary, those grow sites can be log landings again once the trees are ready to be harvested again. Its true that agricultural practices can have impacts on wildlife and other resources, but everything humans do has impacts. Dont knock the dope yuppies for attempting to clean up their act. Its gunna happen no matter what – people getting rich and trying to keep prices high – that is. And Id rather have that here than phillip morris in the central valley. I largely agree with your points, but I also think there is room here for a industry. I like you want that industry to be sustainable and result in affordable weed. But one thing you can be sure of is that there will be an industry – somewhere.

    • Entirely too much land has already been converted to farmland, and we should not expand the footprint of agriculture anywhere. A lot of farmers would like to grow herb. With flat fertile land, tractors, and easy access to markets, those farmers will put Humboldt’s dope yuppies, who buy fresh soil every year, grow on slopes too steep for mechanized farming methods, and haul everything in and out of remote forestland, out of business in a year or two. Why sacrifice forest habitat for drug dealers who have no chance at competing in the open market.

      I don’t believe that dope yuppies are cleaning up their act at all. The evidence shows that they are compounding and multiplying their impacts to wildlife by dramatically increasing production. Instead, the dope yuppies are attempting to clean up their image, while sweeping all of the ugliness that defines the black market, under the rug. If they want to truly clean up their act, they owe this community a hell of a lot more than a sleazy PR campaign.

      Speaking of big tobacco, my Mom lives in Virginia. She takes free art classes at the Reynolds Homestead. They have a cancer research hospital funded entirely by RJ Reynolds, and numerous other services they could never afford without the generous support of RJR. Big tobacco knows how to buy friends. Dope yuppies just take advantage of people. They expect everyone to kiss their ass, just because they have all of the money around here, and they expect the non-profits around here to serve them exclusively. RJR still sells a pack of cigs for less than a dollar. Taxes make up the rest of the price smokers pay. I’m no fan of big tobacco, but compared to drug dealers, tobacco execs seem like saints.

      The truth is, few of our local dope yuppies know how to run a legitimate business. Most of them keep no books, have no idea what their profit margin is, or even how to calculate it. They got into this business because they couldn’t cut it in the real business world. They only succeed by cheating. They have all of the trapping of successful business people, including the fat bank accounts, but lack the skills, acumen, and moxie that it takes to compete in the free market. It’s time to stop subsidizing incompetence, dishonesty and greed. Instead, we should make sure that no one has to pay exorbitant black market prices for good green herb ever again, by ending the War on Drugs forever.

  2. Peeking over the horizon beyond the Emerald Triangle could be a useful exercise, at least from my Central Valley perspective. Every dirt farmer in Fresno County knows better than to establish large-scale monocrop farms on marginal land with no established water supply, and yet we have seen a dramatic increase in “farming” both on the Valley floor and in the foothills and bone-dry rangelands. (The quotes are reminders that many criminal operations can and do co-exist in areas with state-compliant growers and collectives.) Fresno County’s solution — a total cultivation ban — is nonsensical and counterproductive, but at least it limits pointless debate on whether large-scale farming can be harmful to the environment. Why that should be questioned in counties that a) are more politically progressive, at least on paper, and b) have a greater wealth of natural resources to protect, is more than a little confusing.

    The Central Valley is not your enemy. We’re going to have large-scale farming, someday, but for now the North Coast has a huge advantage in climate and local political capital, though the latter could crumble easily enough. Put your own house in order, and the growth of the green economy in California can only boost your fortunes and everyone else’s. Circle the wagons or engage in us-vs-them debates, and cannabis farming will sink to the lowest common denominator. Finally, beware of bills like AB 266 that stress “local control” over effective state oversight. Can’t have it both ways, people.

  3. You have some good points, but sure are hating on some weed growers. The positive comments on RJ Reynolds are shocking, and the free market isn’t as good as it sounds. The reason so many people are growing in Northern California despite the lack of flat land and machine worthy growing area is the climate is perfect for cannabis. The environmental problems associated with farming are not limited to or caused by the plant being farmed, but the result of greed. Greed seems to be a human condition, and the excesses of the cannabis industry reflect this, just as any large scale, industrial endeavor does. Our culture worships money, and material things… at the expense of the environment. As for your comment about “real farmers” should grow cannabis, I think you might have some confused idea about what a “real farmer” is. Maybe you have some romantic idea about a guy in overalls driving a tractor in the midwest. Plenty of people around the world farm without the use of heavy machinery, and on land that is not flat. It is possible to do both of these things in an environmentally friendly manner. The flood of people trying to get rich by growing mad amounts of weed, and harming the land in the process, is a depressing thing to see. In states where it is legal, large scale indoor operations are the norm because the climate isn’t conducive to cannabis. These operations contribute to global warming, and it seems no one cares, because the dollar is the bottom line. As far as cultivating opinions and ideas based on broad, sweeping generalizations… possibly from information gained by biased media…. never a good idea.

    • you could fertilize a lot of weed with that load of BS, The reason so many people are growing weed in Northern CA is that it is easier to hide illegal activity here than elsewhere. I know the difference between a farmer and a drug dealer. A farmer makes an honest living doing honest work. Drug dealers take advantage of unjust laws, and oppressed people. All of that stuff about climate is just BS. Cannabis is very hardy, and will grow well under a variety of conditions. Breeders could easily develop cannabis strains that thrive in different growing conditions. You can grow great pot outdoors from Alaska to Florida, and no one would spend the money to cultivate it indoors if not for legal restrictions, even in states where it is legal. The real fear (among drug dealers) is that cannabis is too well adapted. It will grow everywhere. It will colonize disturbed soil anywhere a seed falls. Cannabis is a beautiful herb, but it is not hard to grow, and it is not rare. It offers many benefits, and no one should be denied it, no matter how poor they are, and anyone making a living off of it in the US today is a Drug War profiteer. If you spend a lot of time around drug dealers, you probably expect everyone to be as greedy as them, but they are special. Most Americans feel that we are all in this together, and they play by the rules. If the rules are bad, then they work to change then rules. Well, cannabis prohibition is one of those bad rules. We’ve worked hard for decades to change those laws and the time has come to put the drug dealers and the narco cops who have been taking advantage of us, out of business. No one deserves it more.

  4. “I’m no fan of big tobacco, but compared to drug dealers, tobacco execs seem like saints”

    I love you John, but really? Ganja is not in the same pantheon of drugs as nicotine. If you talking drug dealers, nicotine is beast. Think about how ‘big tobacco’ has handled the selling and marketing of their product. You really think that hospital would be there is they weren’t forced to fund it? They know how to win support, perhaps, but their trillion dollar PR campaigns are a necessity for a century of lying. Sure ‘Big Ganja’ has lead to elevated prices – but they aren’t selling a lie. Or a drug as dangerous as nicotine.

    We are pretty much on the same page, I like to have these kind of discussions. Don’t want to come across as defending ‘dope yuppies’, however I will give credit to a group who would ‘do the right thing’ if they could. And I think beyond the cynicism that most of ‘them’ would voluntarily if they new how to. Either way, regulation is coming and it is going to take a serious bite out of the gross profit – just like it did in the timber industry. And much like timber, it will take years to get everyone into compliance. Will ganja go the way of ‘big tobacco’ with GMO corporate weed in huge mega farms in ‘farm country’? Probably. With that thought, you cant blame our fellow Humboldans from wanting to keep a piece of that here, with people being able to grow sustainable, organic, kind, weed right here at home. But yeh, make a living not a killing!

    • Tobacco and cannabis are both plants. I think they both have the right to exist, and people have the right to cultivate them. Dope yuppies and tobacco execs are both drug dealers, and they both take advantage of people, their proclivities, and the law. Tobacco execs have at least come to the realization that people hate them, and that they need to buy some friends if they want to continue to sell cigarettes. Humboldt’s dope yuppies don’t even recognize that they’ve been ripping people off for decades. They don’t recognize that all of the money they’ve made comes from people who work shitty jobs and pay rent, and do without things they really need, so that they can afford pot. Poor people deserve good weed, and they shouldn’t have to pay high prices for it. Any arrangement between gov,t and growers to keep the price of weed high is just prohibition under another name. Face facts. Prohibition is an ugly way to make a living, and without prohibition, it would be easier to make a living from dandelions than from cannabis. I’d still grow my own weed if it were completely legal. Nothing wrong with growing weed, or tomatoes or tobacco for that matter, but if you expect the government to keep it expensive by controlling other people’s access to it, that’s just evil and wrong.

      I don’t buy the argument about GMOs and mega-grows. First, how do you know that cannabis is not GMO? I’ve heard that cannabis was one of the first plants to be genetically modified at the Rotterdam Institute. Many, if not all, of the popular Indica strains may have been genetically altered at some point. I don’t hear people complain about mega corn fields, or mega soybean fields. We enjoy low prices on food because of the economy of scale. Why not have big farms of low-priced cannabis? What about all of the people who get murdered in the black-market cannabis industry? We lose at least a dozen people every year in Humboldt County alone in cannabis related murders. Hard to see how GMO mega-grows could do more harm than that. How much blood did you smoke this year?

      There are worse things in life than losing a job. Whether you are a cop or a drug dealer, if you lose your job because the people have finally said “Enough is enough” and brought cannabis prohibition to an end, just suck it up, because it’s over, and the good guys won.
      Forget about the money. Celebrate the fact that for the first time, people can smoke herb without fear, and without skimping on necessities. Everyone should know that cannabis is harmless, effective, and cheap enough that anyone can afford it. That’s the beauty of cannabis, and I’m tired of seeing its beauty sullied by greedy pimps who only see it as a way for them to make money.

  5. No law enforcement activity should ever be aimed at growing the weed but much more stringent law enforcement activity should be aimed at environmental destruction without confusing people about its purpose. Weak kneed hippies were quiet as the thugs began to move in years ago, neither wanting to involve “the man” nor organizing to confront the thugs and move them out. Forest rapers like Charles Hurwitz were publicly protested against but the big trucks and guns boys were tolerated. Last year a neighbor across the river from me was stealing water right out of the river and all Fish and Game or California Water Quality Enforcement could do was get him to stop (we think) with no punishment. The level of corruption has risen in the 33 years I have been here to a really sickening high. And the level of denial on the part of some old time growers is astonishing. We need complete decriminalization of pot, marijuana, cannibis, weed or whatever the fuck you want to call it and we need to run the environmental rapists out of town. I would not expect any help from law enforcement types with either issue.

    • I agree Jerry. That’s why I want to see giant grows all over the central valley. i want to see the price of pot drop to nothing. That’s the only way to get the greedy scum out of the forest. Let real farmers cut their balls off, and we can watch them bleed out and die. Good riddance to bad garbage.

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