Weed Wars

I couldn’t make it to the Rood Center for the Big Debate over the proposed Medical Mary J growing restrictions yesterday, but I managed to catch most of it on NCTV until the screen went blank. (And kudos to Yubanet for taking up the slack.)

Most accounts claimed there were about 300 people attending, and probably more tried but forgot how to get there. The meeting progressed as most do when tackling a hot button issue in Nevada County; some well-reasoned arguments for and against, devolving into applause and occasional boos from the peanut gallery. It appeared to go fairly smooth, although it lasted past supper time. (Hope Nate Beason’s cat didn’t chew his leg off when he got home.)

The Medical Mary J issue has been surrounded by controversy and confusion ever since it was passed back in the nineties. In the tradition of California legislation, our Reps in Sacramento provided no guidelines on how the proposition would work, or how to keep the feds from swooping down from the sky in their black helicopters to gum up the works. As usual, (unless there is money to be made) they relinquisheded the responsibility to the cities and counties to screw up on their own.

High Sheriff Keith Royal did what any self-respecting Republican lawman would do in this situation; make the rules as strict as you can, let the politicians whittle it down, then throw up your hands and tell your loyal base that you did everything you could to protect their interests.

The opponents poured out their concerns over the restrictions on co-ops where patients hand over their scrips to a chosen grower. Many of these people lack the ability to raise their own crops, either because of where they live or due to disability. Of course, there were a few comments from sixties casualties whose disability was obviously caused by their overindulgence in various medicines, legal or not. 

The proponents were mostly suburban families who feel besieged by the criminal element we all know exists in this menagerie; career growers who game the system and sell their product in unenlightened states for fun and profit. You can’t help but feel for residents whose new neighbors throw up cyclone fences with razor wire and own packs of pitbulls.

Unable to calm the fears of either faction, the Supes punted until May, when hopefully there will be a compromise ordinance presented. Otherwise, the army of drooling lawyers will file numerous suits to protect the oppressed masses from their heartless elected representatives.

The other option is to let the voters decide. This is risky at best for the pro pot camp. It should be remembered that the last time Nevada County voted on legalization, it lost 55% to 45%. Bummer, man!

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7 Responses to Weed Wars

  1. Also watched it online. We also thought it was outstanding entertainment. You seem to imply that Sheriff Keith should have done something other than what he did – could you please expand?

    Excellent report.

    • rlcrabb says:

      I think Keith could have been a bit more lenient with the small plots and indoor grows. I understand that in negotiation one usually sets the bar as high as possible, knowing that he will probably have to lower his expectations in the end.
      We missed your presence tonight at the Tea Party shindig. Russ told me you had too much homework. That’s what you get for being a pundit…endless deadlines.

  2. Brad Croul says:

    I saw more cars parked at the Rood Center than usual that afternoon so I cruised the parking lot expecting to see a huge mob occupying the building; but it was relative calm by 3:30pm.
    I went home later and watched the happenings on NCTV until it was superseded by regularly scheduled programming.
    The next day, KVMR had a discussion of the events. I only caught part of it as it faded out around Stockton.
    I have issues with the way the county is handling problems.
    As was mentioned on the KVMR show, many growers are operating under the assumption that they have a right to do what they do. Growers may have purchased property, or signed leases on property, and invested significant amounts of time and money in preparing for the current growing season.
    For the county to just try to ramrod some emergency ordinance through at this particular time shows an extreme level of prejudice, disregard, or cluelessness of the economic consequences of their ill-timed ordinance proposal.
    Also mentioned on KVMR, much of the uproar by the anti-pot crowd is (as it usually is) over a few “bad apples”: the pit bull/razor wire rednecks with the “we have guns” and “trespassers will be shot” signs posted in residential neighborhoods or subdivisions; or, “in your face” gardens behind school bus stops, etc. (not that the kids probably care).

    My own opinion is that pot is not ubiquitous enough. When medicinal (and hopefully, textile grade) cannabis fields are similar in number to vineyards, or nut, fruit and citrus orchards, the titillation effect will be gone and it won’t be such a provocative “hot button” issue. The leafy green plants will be ignored in neighborhoods as plantations will be developed along with the saki rice, beer barley, vodka potatoes, wine grapes, and other ethanol precursors.

    • rl Crabb says:

      All of a sudden, many people who were unconcerned with satellite and helicopter scans for biotic inventories are ready to join the property rights movement. And you’re right, Brad. Once the stuff becomes adundant as grapes, there won’t be any profit motive for the bad guys. (Although it will take more states legalizing Mary J.)

  3. Legalize it and plant it in the roadside ditches all across the USA. When it is freely available, it will no longer be “cool” and those that have a real need for it will do fine. For those who need hashish strong versions, they can buy from small growers, at rates that will be far less than today’s rates, which factor in the “bust” possibility. Turn the sheriff loose on the meth makers, including those who are currently informants who do their cooking late in the wee hours of the am, and are immune to calls to the sheriff’s dept. We have one such right in our neighborhood, repeated calls, nothing.

  4. Paul Emery says:

    Might I remind you that more people voted for Prop 19 than voted for Meg Whitman inn the 2000 election. Imagine that. More votes for legalized pot than the Republican candidate for Governor. The hypocrisy is humid on this one. On Monday, for example, Susan McGuire and Nate Beason in back to back sentences decried government over regulation on one hand and supported new regulations on Marijuana cultivation. No one wants big government unless it’s in their favor. Hence they give the government the right to inspect what we grow in our backyards and fund helicopter photo’s of our petunias and zucchinis while searching for an illegal scrub.

  5. Paul Emery says:

    typo
    Whitman in 2010 election

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