Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Step in the Right Direction

step in the right direction tip toe

I read recently that HumCPR has agreed to purchase a number of shipping containers that they intend to convert into emergency temporary housing, and that a HumCPR member has agreed to host this emergency housing facility on his property in Eureka. It’s about time Humboldt County landowners stepped up to the plate on this issue, and even though this is a baby step, it seems like a baby step in the right direction, for a change.

baby steps change everything

 

Until now, I’ve seen landowners take a mostly punitive approach to poverty and homelessness. They’ve used their political power to pass a regressive sales tax (Measure Z) which unfairly burdens poor and working families, and then made sure that the county uses that Measure Z money to harass Humboldt County’s poorest citizens. Eureka’s new, grossly unconstitutional, panhandling ordinance is another example of local landowners pressuring county government to directly and intentionally violate the human rights of people who lack the resources to defend themselves within the system.

measure z homeless-family

Landowners should remember that the right to free speech, which includes the right to ask for help, the right to assemble, the right to protest, and to seek redress for their grievances, are inalienable human rights. These rights, among others, are not bestowed by any government. Human rights precede the Constitution, and they supersede all government regulation. Every human being on Earth was born with these rights, and every human being has a right to fight for and to claim these rights using any means necessary.

any means necessary malcolm x

Property rights, on the other hand, are a contrivance of government and have no meaning outside of it. Your right to own property only exists so long as the government which grants those contrivances enforces them. Government enforcement costs money, and it costs substantially more money when large portions of the population do not consent to be governed and actively resist government control.

libertarian circular reasoning

It costs a lot of money to send a cop out into the street to harass poor people. It costs even more to arrest, book and charge someone for violating an unconstitutional city ordinance. On the other hand, any poor person can take revenge for these violations armed with nothing more than a rock, a pack of matches or even their own excrement, and are completely within their rights as a human being to do so.

destroy cop car

As long as landowners use government to oppress the poor and deny them their basic human rights, landowners should expect the poor to make war against them. In fighting this guerrilla war against oppression, all private property becomes a fair target and violence is completely justified. As long as Humboldt County landowners pursue a punitive approach to poverty, this guerrilla war will continue to escalate. As the government sends more cops to violate people’s rights, more people withdraw their consent to be governed, and instead seek to undermine government control, destroy private property and claim their inalienable rights by any means necessary.

oppression creates war

Landowners cannot win this war. That should be obvious, by now, to anyone with their eyes open, but the sooner they recognize this, the better. Landowners can only lose this war. Every time someone calls the cops on people for hanging-out, talking to their friends, sharing food, smoking, imbibing, asking for help, trying to sleep, or any other ordinary activity of normal life, for which poor people endure endless harassment, they create enemies. Every time they create an enemy, they escalate the war. Every time they escalate the war, it costs them more money to protect themselves and their precious private property.

poverty mandela

 

As this war escalates, frustrations rise on both sides. The more landowners and merchants express this frustration, in conversation and in public forums, the more they lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the community. It’s nearly impossible to complain about poor people without sounding like a complete boor, and few people who attempt it, pull it off gracefully.  Nobody with any class wants to hear you complain about poor people, any more than they want to hear you complain about (insert racial epithet here). This kind of talk does no good whatsoever, and it turns people off. On the other hand, it’s hard to criticize someone for helping the poor, even a little bit.

help poor mother theresa

So, I won’t even try. Instead, I’ll take it as a rare sign of intelligence. Maybe local landowners have finally come to their senses, and realized that it makes more sense to solve the problem than it does to fight the war. Here’s hoping we see more steps in this direction in the future.

each step in the right direction


An Open Letter to Willie Nelson

Dear Willie,

willie nelson norml

I write to you today on behalf of marijuana smokers across the US, of which I am one, and on behalf of my community here in Humboldt County, California. I write to you because I read recently that you intend to market, or at least license your name to, a brand of cannabis products. I’m glad to hear it. I wish you enormous success on your new endeavor, and look forward to trying your weed.

WilliesReserve-

I know that you’ve been working for legalization since at least the Carter administration.

willie nelson jimmy carter

I’ve been working for it for a long time too.

me

Now that it looks like we have finally done it, here in California, the people who profited so much from marijuana prohibition, politicians and black market drug dealers, are working together to keep marijuana expensive through excessive regulation and taxation.

babylon bucks

This policy of high taxes and anti-competitive regulation insures that the black market for cannabis remains strong because cannabis in the legal market stills costs more than it does on the street. The black market for cannabis is destroying my community, not to mention some of the last great forests in the lower 48. We have grown pot for a long time here in Humboldt County. However, the recent dramatic expansion in cannabis cultivation here, has had serious impacts on spotted owl habitat, endangered Coho salmon and the Pacific fisher, not to mention the quality of life for the people who live here.

endangered in Humboldt County

The black market economy has had a corrosive effect on my community. The black market for marijuana has the effect of devaluing all other forms of work. Kids here expect to grow up to become drug dealers, like their parents, and they start young. This creates special challenges for our public school systems. Violent crimes, like home invasion robbery, murder, and violent assault have become commonplace in our small rural community, and we have some of the highest suicide and drug overdose rates in the state. Despite the supposed “economic benefit”of the black market marijuana industry, it produces a very deep kind of poverty in this community.

get the fuck out

Sure, there’s more money around town, thanks to the black market, but that money mostly goes into the pockets of the very worst people, and the promise of black market money brings more of these greedy bottom-feeders to Humboldt County every day, where they chop down trees, poison wildlife and convert local housing into grow operations in order to coldly exploit marijuana prohibition in the rest of the country. Believe me, the money that the War on Drugs has brought to Humboldt County has done more harm than good, and the harm the black market marijuana industry does to this community is expanding at an astronomical rate.

pot farms destroys forest

 

Humboldt County became a popular place to grow marijuana because of its remoteness, and because of the cover the forest provided. Today, drug dealers from all over the country come here to grow weed, but thanks to our work to legalize cannabis, they no longer need to hide under the forest canopy. They know that here, the county government loves their money, the Sheriff will ignore them, and that we have the infrastructure to supply them with all of the soil, fertilizer and grow supplies they need. However, the land here is steep, heavily forested and very poorly suited to agriculture. Marijuana farmers use incredibly wasteful production methods, and our remote location makes everything here more expensive. There’s no reason you couldn’t grow pot that was every bit as good as we grow here, for a hell of a lot less money, somewhere else.

cannabis-farm

That’s why I’m writing to you today, Willie. We have turned the tide in the War on Drugs, and we have forced the politicians to change the laws, but politicians and drug dealers remain as greedy as ever. We can’t let them continue to rip-off pot smokers. Pot smokers deserve deserve a break after all of these years, and it’s time for the legal business community to serve cannabis consumers with safe, reliable cannabis products at prices that put black market dealers out-of-business.

drug-prohibition

Pot is not difficult to grow. I’ll bet you could grow a hell of a lot of it in Texas, and I’ll bet you could grow it cheaper there, than we can here, even if you have to haul your water all the way from Louisiana. This nation needs weed, Willie, and Americans need reliable cannabis that they can afford. Thus far, the licensed legal growers in Washington, Colorado and Oregon have not begun to quench this nations’ thirst for cannabis. As cannabis becomes more reliable and accepted, the demand will likely rise as well. Also, as the price of cannabis falls, the demand will increase as people devise imaginative new ways to use cannabis. What that means, Mr. Nelson, is that this nation needs an enormous amount of weed, and we are counting on you and your company to produce it for us.

willie_nelson_better america

I know that you might feel tempted to smoke another joint and think about this for a while, but my community needs relief today. We need to stop this disease now, before it wipes out the last wild salmon, before it drives the spotted owl to extinction and before the last Pacific fisher dies of rodenticide poison. What’s more, we need to drive this insatiable greed out of our midst before we lose any more of our community to the War on Drugs.

no drug causes the fundamental ills of society

You have the opportunity to make a LOT of money for you and your investors, create jobs for American workers, and make marijuana affordable for the people who need it most. At the same time, you would save our environment, my community, and put violent drug cartels and greedy criminal gangs out of business. We should have done this back when Carter was president, but we absolutely need this ASAP, PDQ and NOW!

asap pdq now

It shouldn’t cost as much to sit on the front porch and smoke a doobie while you strum your old guitar, as it does to go out to a bar and have a couple of beers. American workers should not have to work an extra day each week, just to pay for the pot it takes for them to enjoy a joint at the end of a long day at work. Americans need the stress relief that cannabis provides, and they don’t need the extra stress of ridiculously high, prohibition-era prices, when they can barely keep a roof over their head and food on their plate as it is.

american workers struggle

When we started fighting for the legalization of marijuana, it wasn’t because we wanted drug dealers to be able to legitimize their illegal profits. We worked to legalize marijuana because we love marijuana and we don’t think that anyone should go to jail for it. The American people deserve marijuana, and after all that marijuana smokers have been through because of prohibition, we deserve safe, reliable, high-quality marijuana at a price we can afford. I hope you can make that happen, Willie, before it’s too late for my community.

Make-it-happen-

Sincerely, John Hardin

jh at bfr crop

 


Thank You Jentri Anders

jentri anders writing

I noticed that Jentri Anders chimed in with a comment a couple of weeks ago. I’m flattered that Dr. Anders took the time to read my column, and write a comment, even if she only did it to promote her book. I’m happy to recommend Beyond Counterculture: the Community of Mateel, by Jentri Anders to everyone, and to every pot farmer hoping to cash in on “the Humboldt Brand,” I can assure you that Beyond Counterculture is worth it’s weight in gold.

beyond counterculture

My column advocated using the archetype of “The Hippie” as a marketing tool, to propel the Humboldt Brand to commercial success in the newly emerging legal market for cannabis products. The Hippie is a marketing goldmine, and Jentri Anders staked our claim to it when she wrote Beyond Counterculture. Someone has got to reprint that book. We should treat Beyond Counterculture like the bible, meaning that we should point to it, thump it, wave it in people’s faces, and even illiterate people should carry it piously wherever they go. If you can read a little of it, and remember a couple of quotes, so much the better. And, finally, when the economic storms ahead have proven me right about this, we should erect a bulletproof statue of Jentri Anders on the Town Square in Garberville.

jentri mountains

Beyond Counterculture describes the hippie phenomena in the formative years of the “back to the land” movement in Southern Humboldt. This book, written as a scholarly work of social science, explains what hippies were, how they got that way, and describes what they were doing here in Southern Humboldt, before the marijuana industry took over. She portrayed hippies positively, because she could see what they aspired to, and understood what they were attempting. In other words, she was one of them. Even if hippie culture has gone extinct here in SoHum, we still have its fossilized DNA in the form of Beyond Counterculture.

dna1

By no means, is Beyond Counterculture about drugs, and it’s been a long time since I read the book, but I’m pretty sure there’s a page, early on, where she acknowledges that many of the subjects in her study reported that they had been influenced by their experiences with psychedelics. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Big Deal! Hippies took acid. Everyone knows that. At the time, however, psychedelics were perceived as a serious threat to national security. People took these drugs, and whatever they experienced, shook their belief in The System, and made them want to try something else.

drop acid

Psychedelics, including, perhaps especially, marijuana, became a threat to political control, which is why Richard Nixon declared war on them. Meanwhile, corporate interests co-opted the psychedelic movement, reducing it bright colors, flashing lights and hypnotic images drained of meaning. Products and price-tags replaced psychedelic values and ideas and what once looked like a social revolution, collapsed into fad and fashion.

psychedelic fad

The hippies were probably doomed from the beginning, for a lot of reasons, but the black-market demand for marijuana changed the dynamics of Southern Humboldt, as people discovered that big piles of cash could influence them even more than psychedelic drugs. Dr. Anders describes some of those changes in her book, including how the War on Drugs, and the emerging black market for California sinsemilla that it fueled, undermined the hippie experiment going on here.

cash and buds

Of course, in the ensuing years, wave after wave of stupid, greedy, ethically challenged social parasites invaded SoHum to exploit the injustice of cannabis prohibition. Still, SoHum remained one of the last strongholds of hippie culture, and you could still find old hippies around here as recently as the turn of the last century. Some say there’s still a few hippies out in those hills, but they say that about Bigfoot too.

bigfoot hippie

The story is all that matters now. Once upon a time, kids got so high they thought they could change the world, and they came here to do it. They tried to live differently. They gave us solar power and micro-hydro, organic gardening and permaculture, straw-bale and cobb buildings, geodesic domes and tree houses. And, they gave us California sinsemilla. Although much of the hippie experiment failed on its own, hippies succeeded in scaring the shit out of the government, who crushed them brutally. That really happened, and it really happened here. Jentri Anders’ book, Beyond Counterculture: The Community of Mateel testifies to it.

hippies garden

Why is that story important? Try to imagine, I know it won’t be easy for a lot of you, but try to imagine what it is like to be someone who likes to get high, but doesn’t want to make a career of it. Around here, when people see cannabis, they see dollar signs. They see profit, because that’s what greed sees. People get so used to equating cannabis with money, that they forget that the people who buy the stuff, value it differently.

hippie values

Cannabis, along with other plant and fungal agents, alter our perception. When we see things differently, we sometimes feel differently about the things we see. When we feel differently about things, we may choose to act differently, based on how we feel about what we see. That’s what made hippies into hippies in the first place. The pot has only gotten stronger since then, and it continues to alter consciousness in the same way.

terrance mckenna quote

Sure, people have gotten dumber in the ensuing years, but the dominant culture has gotten uglier, harder and crueler as well, so even though today’s kids have been brainwashed more thoroughly than their grandparents, they know, even more painfully, how bad the dominant culture sucks. In our hearts, we all know that the dominant culture is killing us, and it’s killing the planet. We’re all still looking for a way out, and “The Hippie” remains a symbol for that quest.

hippie-movement-is-alive-and-well

That’s why “The Hippie” continues to inspire young people in a way that dope yuppies do not, and that’s why “The Hippie” remains a marketing goldmine for cannabis. No matter how stupid, ridiculous and foul smelling you find hippies, they’re a lot more attractive than the marijuana industry, believe me.

hippie girl cute

Industrial agriculture is just too ugly to look at, and too boring to care about. Once we make the transition to a legal market, even the mystique of our outlaw status disappears. Legalization eliminates the last exciting, illegal and subversive aspect of the marijuana industry, while it sheds light on this whole festering disease that hid in the shadows for so long. No matter how you look at the marijuana industry it all boils down to this: the greed, the boring and the ugly. Nobody wants to see it or hear about it.

no-one-wants-to-see-this

So, don’t remind people that it’s all about pounds of weed and piles of cash. Instead, you’re selling a lifestyle, an aesthetic, and an attitude, steeped in history. Beyond Counterculture: The Community of
Mateel, preserves that history, so that Humboldt’s dope yuppies can cash in on it today. Thank you Jentri Anders.

jentri anders today


My Doctor Got Busted

doctor-handcuffs

 

I’ve never understood people’s fascination with pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve been prescribed narcotic pain meds, and found their effects nearly as unpleasant as the pain they were meant to relieve. The only pharmaceutical drug I ever remember enjoying was something called a “pink lemon stat.” At the time, roughly 30 years ago, I played bass in a hard working rock band.

bass bass bass

We played two or three gigs a week, and I waited tables at a restaurant to pay the bills. Our guitar player had an overweight girlfriend who had a prescription for 90 of these beans every month, to help her lose weight. She shared them with her boyfriend, and he shared them with the band. Half of one of those pills would keep me energized all night.

pink pills

One weekend, however, after playing gigs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, plus an after hours jam after the gig on Saturday, and then working the Sunday Brunch shift at the restaurant, I remember walking home after work. The whole world seemed impossibly gray, bleak and depressing. I knew I couldn’t bear to feel that way for long, and I never, ever want to feel that way again. I never took any more of those little pink pills after that.

bleak

At the other end of the spectrum, I discovered cannabis and psychedelics as a teenager, and my relationship with these mostly plant and fungus based compounds has been entirely positive. Although I am not a doctor, I recommend them to everyone, despite the fact that you cannot get any of them from a pharmacist, and your insurance will not cover the cost.

psychedelics holy shit

This is how I see the world of drugs in America: All of the good drugs are listed under “Schedule 1” and prohibited to everyone, including doctors and scientists. You can buy all of the bad drugs you want, at the pharmacy, so long as you have a note from your doctor, and the worst drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and sugar are heavily advertised, ubiquitous, and all but crammed down our throats. As cruel and perverse as it seems, the logic behind our nation’s drug policy is impeccable, in that it maximizes the potential for harm, and the profitability of all drugs.

DrugWarWorks

Other people might see it differently, and apparently, I’m in the minority here in Humboldt County. It seems that here in Humboldt, our enthusiasm for prescription drugs nearly eclipses our passion for cannabis. We don’t have big colorful festivals to celebrate our love for prescription drugs, but according to a great piece by Ryan Burns at LoCO, we consume the equivalent of 14 Vicodin tablets per day, for every man woman and child in Humboldt County, “including babies and people in comas.”

heroin_party_

At that level of consumption, it’s a wonder we’re not all in comas. I also read recently that we have more active prescriptions for pain meds in Humboldt County that we have people, by about 20%! I guess Oxycontin alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Does it really hurt that much to live here? Or, do local doctors nurture our enthusiasm for narcotics by prescribing them as freely as I recommend weed?

why_does_it_hurt_so_bad__

Recently, my doctor, at least the last real doctor I saw at Redwoods Rural Health Clinic here in Redway, made the news because of her enthusiasm for prescription drugs. Dr. Wendi Joiner pleaded “no contest” to DUI and drugs charges, and had her license to practice medicine suspended. A state medical board disciplinary investigation determined that Dr. Joiner had written 33 prescriptions, for a wide range of drugs, to a fictitious patient.

dr wendi joiner

A few years ago Dr Wendi Joiner left Redwoods Rural to take a job in Marin County, but in December of 2014, a State Trooper pulled her car over in Sonoma County, and that’s when things began to fall apart for Dr. Joiner. When the cops pulled her over, she appeared intoxicated and failed a sobriety test. In her car, they found two full, and one mostly empty bottles of booze, a whipped cream dispenser, charged with nitrous oxide, along with NINE CASES of nitrous oxide cartridges, or “whip-its,” AND over 100 prescription pills, ranging from Norco and Xanax, to Ritalin. Apparently, perhaps ironically, she had no weed on her.

traffic stiop

The article I read, suggested our good doctor was using the nitrous oxide to inhale the other drugs. I still cannot imagine how that would work, but maybe she knows something I don’t. She is, or at least was, a doctor, after all. Either way, she had enough drugs to get a lot of people really fucked-up, even without the novel delivery system.

you like drugs

The Whip-its surprised me. First, because, being a doctor, you’d think she could get her hands on one of those nice refillable nitrous tanks, rather than waste all of those stupid disposable metal cartridges. Second, I remember seeing lots of those spent whip-it cartridges on the side of the road, all over SoHum, back when she worked here, and not so many since. I would have never guessed that she dumped them.

whippits

I remember noticing a Burning Man sticker on the back of her Subaru in the parking lot, which told me a little about her, but for all of her, now famous, enthusiasm for prescription drugs, she did not seem particularly interested in practicing medicine. I recall she spent most of our time together in the exam room looking at her cell phone. I also recall that she did not look well.

dr stares at cell phone

She was relatively young and slender, without any major deformities. She should have been attractive, but her hair looked particularly dull, and her skin had no glow. I attributed it to overwork, because I assume all doctors work too much, but everyone else I know who looks that way, has health problems. I hope she gets the help she needs, but unfortunately, doctors seem to be much better at creating these kinds of problems than solving them.

steve martin little shop of horrors


The Humboldt Brand

humbolodt brand

At the Supes’ meeting recently, a witness put it like this: “When you tell someone that you are from Humboldt, the first question they ask you is, ‘ Do you have any cannabis.’” I can attest that this is at least partially true, but I think it belies our poverty, more than it speaks to our strength. Often as not, when I tell someone I live in Humboldt, they say something like: “Oh yeah, I’ve been there. Ain’t nothin’ but pot farmers up there. What do you do for culture?”

culture is your brand

Sure, we’re famous for our weed, but mostly because the black-market marijuana industry has choked-off and snuffed-out everything else around here. That said, why should people care more about their pot coming from Humboldt County, than they do about their corn coming from Iowa? Drug dealers always want to tell me where the pot they’re selling me comes from, but as a cannabis consumer, I’ve never really trusted street dealers, so I’ve never put much stock in their stories. Really, as long as it looks like weed, smells like weed, and get’s you high like weed, who gives a fuck where it comes from?

who gives a fuck seriously

Ask yourself, “What is it about the name ‘Humboldt’ that cannabis consumers will pay a little more for?” Pot smokers sure won’t pay extra to help kill off the last wild salmon or poison the last Pacific fisher. We won’t kick down our hard-earned cash to help put sub-literate rednecks in brand new trucks, or send dope yuppies to Phuket for the Winter, at least not if we have a choice, and can pick up a sack of Willie Nelson Weed, or Marley’s Marijuana for less. Those things could just as easily convince people to boycott the Humboldt brand, rather than patronize it, but we’ve got one thing that makes the name “Humboldt” a goldmine for marketing cannabis. Can you guess what it is?

guess gandalf

 

I’ll give you a hint: Like the salmon, they come back, year after year, despite the abuse we heap on them. I refer of course to the bipedal primates colloquially known as “Hippies.” Hippies. Marijuana created hippies, and hippies made marijuana famous. Marijuana turned people into hippies back in the ’60s, and it continues to turn people into hippies today.

HIPPIES 12

All you need to do to become a hippie is smoke weed and not cut your hair. That’s it, and millions of Americans do it every year. Some of them stick with it for quite a while, until eventually, they crumple, under unbearable economic pressure, and settle for the grim life of a dead-eyed cubicle rat. Still, they keep their hippie identity with them, in a box on the dresser, where they also keep their marijuana.

hippie box

Hippies have a long history in Humboldt County, and considering how shameful the rest of the history of this county is, we really should promote it. In the ’60s, hippies from San Francisco came to Humboldt to escape “The Man” and corporate exploitation, by getting “back to the land.” Those hippies learned to grow their own marijuana, and they grew better marijuana. With this better marijuana, Humboldt’s hippies took over the domestic marijuana industry.

hippies grow pot

Growing marijuana is a proud hippie tradition, like organic gardening, long hair and promiscuous sex. Along with the burgeoning marijuana industry, hippie culture flourished here in Humboldt County, and Humboldt’s hippies came to define hippie culture, especially in the areas of owner built homes, alternative energy and restoration ecology. That’s why so many hippies come to Humboldt, and that’s why “The Hippie” holds the key to Humboldt’s future.`

shut up hippie

I know you don’t want to hear this. The county already paid big bucks for this information, not that long ago, but nobody wanted to hear it then. The county hired a PR consultant to help define the county’s image. Those consultants introduced their presentation to the Supes with the old hippie anthem, White Rabbit by the San Francisco psychedelic rock band The Jefferson Airplane. You could actually hear the floor drop out from under them with each note. No one wanted to hear it. I don’t know what people wanted to hear, or expected to hear, but like it or not, those consultants earned their money, and we ignore their advice at our own economic peril. Really, if you don’t like hippies, you should get out of the marijuana industry, because without hippies, there is no marijuana industry, at least not in Humboldt County.

hippies smoke weed in a circle

It’s time to face facts. Hippies created this industry. Hippies drive this industry, and hippies hold the key to the future of this industry. As an enduring popular American archetype, The Hippie comes in second only to the cowboy. Think about that. Even though cowboys themselves have mostly disappeared from the American West (which is a good thing, because cowboys smell even worse, and cause a lot more problems than hippies) the archetype of “The Cowboy” still sells billions of dollars worth of cowboy hats, cowboy boots, belt buckles, tobacco and firearms, just for starters, every year.

cowboy stuff-vert

Next to The Cowboy, The Hippie is the biggest marketing goldmine in America, and the single most essential component of the hippie lifestyle is marijuana. Every hippie carries marijuana, just like every cowboy carries a gun. If you live in Humboldt County, you better learn to love the smell of hippies, because that is the smell of money, and Humboldt County will only remain synonymous with marijuana, so long as it remains synonymous with hippies.

Classic Humboldt Honey Poster.

Classic Humboldt Honey Poster.

Hippies have driven the economy of Humboldt County for decades. It’s about time we showed some appreciation. We absolutely must associate the Humboldt brand with hippies, and we need to make Humboldt county, especially Southern Humboldt County, as hippie-friendly as possible. Not only should we cater to the hippies who visit here, we should encourage everyone who visits to become a hippie for the day. We’ll sell tie-dye T-shirts, granny glasses and peace sign medallions galore.

buy-hippie-clothes

To attract hippies, and earn their patronage, we’ll want to cultivate a vibe around town that feels about half-way between a Rainbow Gathering and the Oregon Country Fair. We’ll need hippie-friendly campgrounds, clothing optional swimming holes, and vegan eateries because we don’t just want hippies all over America to demand Humboldt Grown weed; we also want them to come here to see it grown, and buy it fresh from hippie farmers. We want hippies to come here because hippies will still pay retail price, even after the big wholesalers have beaten the living profit-margin out of you.

beaten up

People around here like to say that the “back to the landers” had “hippie values” although nobody seems to remember what those were. Well, we better Google them, because we need to preserve, celebrate and venerate our hippie traditions and heritage here in Humboldt County if we want to remain economically viable. I know you don’t want to hear it, but we need those dirty hippies, and we need them now, more than ever.

dirty hippies


I Know Where the Bodies are Buried

'And then there's Jeffries... He's been with the company longer than anyone. You know where all the bodies are buried, eh, Jeffries? Ha Ha! Keep up the great work!'

It seems that I have become a lightning-rod for for a whole lot of negative truth about about the marijuana industry in Southern Humboldt. This negativity has accumulated over years, and gone unnoticed, probably because it got buried in piles and piles of groundless positivity. People really value positivity here in SoHum. We preach positivity. We expect positivity, and we want positive vibrations all around.

positive vibrations

I hate to break it to you folks, but as a musician and a radioman, I can tell you this with some authority. There is no such thing as a positive vibration. Every vibration needs a little positivity, and a little negativity, in equal proportions, one right after the other. That’s what makes vibrations vibrate, and all of the positivity in the world won’t do anything if it isn’t grounded.

ungrounded symptoms

When you focus too much on the positive, you let a whole lot of negative stuff slip by without noticing. It doesn’t cease to exist because you didn’t notice, and it doesn’t go away, It builds up, year after year, until, eventually, KABAAM. It hits you, week after week, every Monday morning.

kabaam

From my perspective, I was just looking for humorous angles on life in Southern Humboldt. This is a funny place; it seems to me, and I wanted to find out what makes SoHum so funny. Then I stumbled upon this yawning chasm of irony we call the marijuana industry. The marijuana industry is the biggest snow job I’ve ever seen in my life. To me, as a humor writer, it looked like fresh powder.

fresh powder

It was fun for a while, to carve that slope, and we had a few laughs at Savage Henry, and in the first few years of Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do, but eventually I realized why the snow is so deep here. The snow is so deep here because this is where the bodies are buried. I knew that I was just skimming the surface of a mountain of bodies, and those bodies are the casualties of the War on Drugs.

drug war casualty rachel hoffman

It’s not funny anymore. This is a crime. I don’t care how comfortable you are with it, or how badly you think you need it. Marijuana money is blood money. People all over this country pay for your decadence, greed and smugness, not to mention your land, home, vehicles, vacations and drug habits with their lives, and with their blood. Here’s an example:

heres an example

A friend of mine used to have a pretty good job in the HVAC industry. He worked hard and took pride in his work. One day, on the job, a duct slipped, and a sharp piece of metal sliced his hand and arm open. The wound bled severely and required medical attention. Since this accident happened at work, it became a Workman’s Compensation claim. Workman’s Comp. required him to submit a urine sample which revealed that he had smoked a joint sometime in the previous three weeks or so. As a result of that urine test, Workman’s Compensation denied his claim, and the company he worked for, fired him. This happens to millions of Americans, who never get arrested, but pay a truly inhumane price for cannabis.

casualties demoralizing

Not only did my friend pay too much for the weed he smoked, but he got stuck with a hospital bill that his boss should have paid, lost his job, and had his reputation as a worker smeared. That’s what happens to honest hard-working people who smoke pot, all over the country. It’s that suffering and oppression that keeps the price of pot so high, and it’s that suffering and oppression that puts money into dope yuppies pockets. The price of pot is not determined by how good your weed is; the price of pot is determined by how badly the government treats the people who smoke your weed.

tommy-chong-mugshot

The War on Drugs is a real war, and it’s a real war against the American people, especially American workers. It’s been going on for decades and there’s goddamned mountain of bodies to prove it. I mean it when I say, “We’ve all, already, paid way too much for marijuana.” You don’t want that blood on your hands. Good people should not want to be involved in this kind of business.

drug-war_victims

If you love marijuana, and want to make a career of it, that’s great. I encourage you to go for it in a big way, but don’t do it in one of the last large contiguous stretches of wild habitat in the lower 48. Find someplace flat, and focus on efficiency. Figure out how to grow the best bud at the lowest price. I wish you only the best of luck, and hope you become fabulously wealthy by disrupting the black market.

colorado pot field

If you love living in Southern Humboldt, on the other hand, it’s going to take a little more imagination than it used to. We have good people in Southern Humboldt, who love living here, and love marijuana. Nobody will take our marijuana away, but then again, if the Drug War ends, nobody will take our marijuana away. We’ll have to find something else to do, and most of us should find something else to do, anyway. Do you really want that much blood on your hands?

bloody hands

It’s time to stop glorifying our outlaw status. Instead, recognize the War on Drugs for what it is, a real war, and a crime against humanity. Recognize the pain and suffering it has caused, and let’s work together, as a community, to become less dependent on it.

war on drugs cartoon


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