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Cannabis prohibition is a ripoff, disguised as a scam, concealed within a hoax, and the people who go into the black market tend towards the sneaky, scammy, and opportunistic. I don’t really have much sympathy for the johnny-come-lately greenrushers, who pay premium prices for ramshackle dumps so they can grow weed in Humboldt County, while so many of the people who live and work here, go homeless. Still, I can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them when I see how much the dope yuppies take advantage of them.
My neighbor recently rented out her backwoods homestead to a greenrusher from NJ that she found on Craigslist. It took her nearly two years to find someone desperate and foolish enough to pay the ridiculous sum she was asking. She had friends who were homeless, mind you, and lots of people around here need a place to live, but no one who could afford what she was asking, would ever live in such filth, and no one who would tolerate the conditions, could afford what she was asking. Eventually, Craigslist brought her a live one, and he signed a lease with her.
The first time he asked me for help, he needed a jump-start, because he left his lights on. What are neighbors for? I helped him out a few times, and was friendly about it. We live pretty far out in the sticks and I do my best to cultivate good relations with our neighbors. Around here, you never know when you’ll need them, so I got to know my new neighbor a bit.
He is about the same age as me, and hanging out with him felt like hanging out with friends in college. We’d puff fat joints while we talked about music, old TV shows and marijuana. He was obsessed with marijuana. He watched a lot of TV too, but he was obsessed with marijuana. He told me how much he was paying in rent. I’m sure it added up to more than my previous neighbor ever made off her crop in her best year. “Am I an idiot?” he asked me.
“Can you make it work?” I asked, in an attempt to politely avoid blunt honesty.
“Yeah, I think so.” he replied. As it turned out, he was wrong.
He had never grown anything before, let alone cannabis, and his ineptness at gardening was only exceeded by his ineptness at business. I’ve never seen anyone spend more money on grow supplies than he did. For awhile, he had a crush on one of the girls who worked at Dazey’s Garden Supply and I think he bought a lot of stuff just to impress her. His mother paid all of his bills, and sent him credit cards, so it was no skin off of his nose.
Still, he didn’t need six seedling heater mats or eight T-5 fluorescent lighting fixtures or five generators to run them all. He hated being out in the sun, and couldn’t take the heat. When he installed an air conditioner, I knew I knew he wouldn’t last. I also knew that we would get no peace until he moved. His generators ran constantly for the duration of his three year stay.
He hated to work too. I can’t say I blame him for that, but he brought in a partner to do the grunt work, that I really didn’t like. While hanging out with my new neighbor was like talking to friends in college, being around this other guy was like Jr. High. I found him crude, obnoxious and insufferable. Fortunately, he wasn’t there that often. He lived on the East Coast, and commuted to Humboldt County. He must have flown back and forth across country at least a half a dozen times over the course of the growing season, which means the pot they grew together, here in Humboldt, under the sun, has a bigger carbon footprint than any indoor pot you’re likely to find anywhere.
Together, they may have grown the most expensive marijuana ever produced in Humboldt County. They couldn’t have made money on it. In fact, they must not have made money on it, because now they are both gone. Humboldt County turned out to be an expensive mistake for both of them, but that wasn’t enough.
Their little adventure in SoHum also took out two younger guys, who diligently trimmed weed for my new neighbor. These trimmers took their pay in product, in hopes of selling it for more money, out-of-state. After leaving here, the two set out across country, by car, but didn’t even make it to Reno. A Nevada State Trooper pulled them over for tailgating a semi, smelled weed, searched the vehicle, found fifteen pounds of weed and arrested them both.
These four guys all lost their shirts in the greenrush, on just this one property in SoHum. This must happen all over Humboldt County. I’m sure that not all of the greenrushers are as dumb as these guys, but I’ll bet they’re not that far from average. The NCJ just reported, this week, that the wholesale price of cannabis continues to fall. Can the “green-flight” be far behind?
None of these guys really wanted to live here. None of them cared about the forest. They all came here with dollar signs in their eyes and greed in their hearts, lured by the sweet scent of California sinsemilla, and the prospects of making a quick buck. When all was said and done, their whole endeavor turned out to be a complete waste of time, money, energy and resources. They would have made more money working in a fast-food restaurant. They would have all done better, at almost anything else, almost anywhere else.
The only winner here is my former neighbor, now enjoying her retirement in Mexico. Almost none of the money earned off of her land, since she moved, stayed in Humboldt County, but all of the mess did. My neighbor left 30 years of garbage when she moved, and these guys just added to it. Together they turned a beautiful forest into a complete dump, for no good reason. Really, if you’re thinking of coming to Humboldt County to grow weed. Save yourself a lot of trouble. Don’t.
I don’t know why we worry so much about Big Tobacco getting into the marijuana industry when the industry has already sold out to Big Oil. When you consider all of the hash labs littered with thousands of empty butane canisters,
all of the lit-up greenhouses and the indoor grows,
the big generators,
the earth moving equipment,
the giant 4×4 vanity trucks
and the endless snorting, stench-spewing caravan of soil and water trucks crisscrossing our watersheds,
it’s no wonder all of the weed we grow around here stinks of diesel fuel. Truth be known, Humboldt weed is primarily a petroleum product, and the industry becomes more oil intensive every day.
The cannabis industry’s thirst for fossil fuel has only grown since coming out of the closet, at least judging by auditory evidence. I’ve never heard so much racket coming out of these hills as I have in the past year, and it’s not just my neighborhood. Yesterday, in town, I heard three different people, independently, complain about loud generators disturbing their peace and quiet in three separate watersheds.
In the Redway Post Office, I saw a flier posted by yet another angry forest dweller encouraging people who value their peace and quiet to to report their noisy neighbors to the CA Air Quality Management Board. The flier also reminds people of the health risks associated with noise pollution, like tinnitus, ear damage and hearing loss. I doubt the bureaucrats at CAAQMB want any more than to collect a fee from the offenders, but why not make them pay any way you can.
Now that the marijuana industry has come out in the open, apparently, so has the greed. The sun just can’t shine bright or long enough to satisfy our dope yuppies anymore, so they flood the forest with noise pollution and air pollution so they can make light pollution. Besides annoying neighbors, stressing wildlife, degrading the environment and creating a public health threat, every year, a few of these generators blow up and start forest fires. Dope yuppies don’t care, unless it’s their house that burns.
Dope yuppies don’t care about anyone but themselves and their own greedy scheme to get rich off of prohibition. All Summer, their soil and water trucks pounded the county roads out in the hills, to rubble, in yet another sacrifice to their insatiable greed. Humboldt’s marijuana industry destroys roads because, every year, all new “farmland” has to be trucked in, as well as a substantial portion of the water needed to grow the crop. Thanks to prohibition, and the massive taxpayer subsidies that go along with it, Humboldt’s dope yuppies make so much money from marijuana that they still turn a profit despite their disgracefully wasteful farming practices.
Meanwhile, Supervisor Estelle Fennell has the nerve to remind us that homeless people and working single mothers who shop in town, will pay to fix those roads, so that dope yuppies can continue to have Amazon deliver everything they need, right to their door, avoiding the Measure Z sales tax completely, and effectively externalizing yet another business expense to the poorest taxpayers. Way to go Estelle! That’s how you steal from the poor and give to the rich, and that’s why the dope yuppies love her.
Yes the weed around here depends heavily on Big Oil, but it’s not just a matter of contamination, I believe there’s also an element of imitation. I think that cannabis itself responds to our obsession with fossil fuels. Think about it. We know that cannabis responds to its environment. When hippie gardeners grew marijuana by hand, it smelled like fruit and sage, because hippie gardeners love fruit and burn sage,
but now, the people who grow pot around here love their big trucks and their quads and their generators. The weed can smell the trucks, and the generators, and all of the exhaust fumes, and the weed thinks we like those smells, so the weed expresses those aromas in its attempt to please us. That’s why so much of the pot around here smells like diesel fuel. How apropos!
Cannabis can be a lot of things, but right now cannabis thinks we want a stupefying anesthetic that stinks like diesel fuel, and she is doing her level best to satisfy us. How long do you think it will be before cannabis realizes that we don’t really care about anything but money, and starts to smell like that? Unfortunately, marijuana already smells like money to too many people. That’s the problem.