Blowin’ Smoke

Let’s get real about California’s Medical Mary J conundrum. First of all, Mary is the numero uno crop here in the foothills ( and the infamous Emerald Triangle ) and has been for decades, despite the efforts of local/state/federal law enforcement. During the last “great recession” of 1979-80, the unseen green helped many local businesses from going under, and contributed to construction, renovation and real estate.

Second, the threat of Mexican drug cartels moving into the area is real, despite the politically correct notions of some folks. It makes good business sense to avoid the cost and risk of smuggling MJ across the border and having your business in the customer’s backyard. It’s also true that there are more than a few greedy Anglos who try to game the system and create dangerous situations for those who like to wander our forests.

Third, while there are legit patients who use MJ to deal with pain and appetite issues, there are many doctors who will write perscriptions for acne. Some are in it for the easy money and others just believe MJ should be legal. It’s ironic that some people think inhaling pot smoke is good for you while crucifying those who use tobacco. Two of my good friends who were regular users of MJ (and didn’t use tobacco) died of lung cancer last year.

Fourth, before everyone goes off to recall the Board of Supes and Sheriff for passing the emergency ordinance limiting pot farms, consider that the legislature has been unable to come up with any reasonable guidelines since the initiative was passed back in the 20th century and Obama’s justice department has chosen to ignore state’s rights to regulate MJ use. Makes you wonder who’s smoking what.

Exit question: Will Nate Beason’s vote anger enough voters in District One to swing the election to Sue McGuire? Stranger things have happened.

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20 Responses to Blowin’ Smoke

  1. Doc Halstead says:

    Right on Crabbman! If everyone would just grow what they use all would be mellow man. I mean Wow–spacey–I mean that when the plants can be seen from a phone booth in front of the police station—–

  2. Michael Anderson says:

    A travesty, wrapped in an absurdity, wrapped in a farce.

    Massive fail.

  3. Todd juvinall says:

    The daily tracking polls for Obama showed a huge swing to Romney the day after O’s flip-flop on homosexual marriage. I would not have guessed a single issue could be so important to change a person’s vote that fast. If the MJ vote causes Nate to lose I will rethink political strategy.

  4. gregoryzaller says:

    It has to be one or the other, Todd. Politicians flip-flop to gain votes, not lose them. When you throw mud, it is good to have a have a point of view.

  5. Brad Croul says:

    Hold yer horses! Dana Rohrabacher and Tom McClintock voted to defund pot raids on dispensaries? Sounds like our conservative congressmen are voting their principles, unlike our current conservative BOS who are voting for more money for the sheriff’s coffers and a return to peace and quiet so they can burrow their heads in the sand again. If some of our BOS is tired of “kicking the MMJ can down the road”, why don’t they retire?
    Voting for an urgency ordinance on MMJ is a total cop out.
    Way to go, Reps. Rohrabacher and McClintock!
    Exit questions: Was any MJ lobbying or money influencing our congressmen’s decision to craft this failed bill? Did they know it would fail but just wanted to influence the MMJ supporters this election cycle?

  6. Michael Anderson says:

    I’d also like to give a hat tip to Rohrabacher and McClintock.

  7. TD Pittsford says:

    I think it’s very clear that the decriminalization of medical Marijuana is just a stepping stone to total legalization. It’s a good start but if the Feds would stop their witch-hunt for yet more ways to tax it, the issue would become one of personal preference. At the same time those who oppose it’s use need to mind their own business and concentrate on their own vices instead of sticking their self-righteous noses into that of other people. I maintain that the only solution is to remove all restrictions for it’s use, medical or otherwise, with the possible exception of an age consideration. Take the profit out of the WEED, let us grow our own and forget about taxing the stuff because imposing any kind of tax (except perhaps for dispensaries) will only encourage more crime. The issue has taken up too much time, money and energy as it is. I also want to add that while I have been told that there are definitely Mexican cartels involved in growing in this county, I have yet to see a single, solitary person brought to our court for growing or harvesting the plants. You would think that the Sheriff’s department would be proud that these workers had been brought to justice and prosecuted, but so far there has been no definitive action against these ghost growers.

  8. Ben Emery says:

    Prohibition doesn’t work and only creates crime. The eighteenth amendment allowed for Al Capone to be a household name.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      Attempts to limit liberty in our Republic typically don’t stand the test of time. Even an amateur glance at our history reveals an evolution of more liberties and not less.

      How about a simple question: have prohibition laws worked to any successful degree? I think if we wanted to be honest, the answer is no.

      So even when you look at Citizens United and their “Hillary: The Movie” hit piece, and then the way the Roberts’ Court addressed it, the Court’s decision is congruent with the “more liberty” thing, especially when you see how the whimpy Solicitor General got sucked down a rhetorical rat hole by Alito’s and Roberts’ very direct and aggressive questioning about what Congress can regulate vs. the 1st Amendment. Obama can sure pick ’em! Not. During the unusual second hearing (there were two for those who were paying attention), Obama’s second attempt at a Solicitor General Elena Kagan, at least was smart enough to know when she was getting her ass kicked and tried to throw in the towel hoping for mercy. Ted Olson, the attorney for Citizen’s United (remember the prop 8 thing Progressives? Ted helped to defeat it) barely had to argue anything as Kagan pretty much did it for him.

      So with the Citizens United as with the marijuana issue, I find myself in a peculiar yet familiar situation: I don’t *like* the issue per se, but I will side on more liberty anytime over having to suffer the unintended consequences of a more onerous government telling me what I can or can’t read/smoke/whatever.

      • Ben Emery says:

        The one place where your liberty analysis falls short is not differentiating between corporate privileges vs. individual rights.

        • Ryan Mount says:

          The Court has ruled that corporations, and unions for that matter, are assemblies of people. From Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

          Ginsberg: “Mr. Olson, are you taking the position that there is no difference between the First Amendment rights of a corporation and those of an individual? A corporation, after all, is not endowed by its creator with inalienable rights. So is there any distinction that Congress could draw between corporations and natural human beings for purposes of campaign finance?”

          Olson: “What the Court has said in the First Amendment context . . . over and over again, is that corporations are persons [RM: Note the plural] entitled to protection under the First Amendment.”

          Ginsberg: “Would that include today’s mega-corporations, where many of the investors may be foreign individuals or entities?”

          Olson: “The Court in the past has made no distinction based upon the nature of the entity that might own a share of a corporation.”

          Again corporations are made of people, not “people.” And people assemble and are protected in that fashion.

          So, we’re gonna have to amend the Constitution to deny certain classes of people exempt from the protections of the 1st Amendment. We are going to write prohibitions into the Constitution. And as I’ve pointed out above, those have never been successful. Why now?

          Kennedy in round 1 was voting in favor of FEC. However in round 2, Roberts and Alito broadened the scope of the questions, which in my opinion was a prudent thing to do. This was not about a free video about Hillary, this was about the reach of Congressional authority. If a video, why not a book or a pamphlet? Roberts questioned.

          And what would the scope of such regulations look like? Ban all corporate-sponsored videos? Band them 3 months before an election and then say “OK?” What about Michael Moore films? Specifically Fahrenheit 9/11 which was produced and distributed by a corporation?

          • Ben Emery says:

            Corporations nor labor unions should have the ability to influence the elections in a government of, by, and for the people, period. I am 100% a union supporter and think it is a travesty the Democratic Party has shelved Employee Free Choice Act but as the unions grew and gained political power they became corrupt just like every other institution. I believe in collective bargaining, the right to strike, and absolutely the right to unionize but not the right to influence campaigns/ elections.

            The supreme court has 100% overstepped their powers on this issue for more than 30 years and the Roberts court has made SCOTUS an arm of the powers that be.

  9. PeteK says:

    Growing MJ should be the same as making your own beer. You are allowed to make(grow) enough for personal use. It is illegal to sell it. The problem is I don’t see people trying to steal beer makers hoppes. This is a real slippery slope we are riding on with these backyard pot gardens. I think I would rather just see the government legalize it, and tax the crap out of it. And let the insurace companies deny people coverage when they get cancer from smoking it(that goes for cig smokers as well) You want to see a mass exodise of smokers…that may just do the trick.

    • Brad Croul says:

      I think it should be, like you say, treated like alcohol. You will have your home brew and you will have your commercial product. No professional rip-off artists will likely be stealing your pot (probably about as likely as your pesky neighbor who cuts your roses from your front yard or the occasional juvenile vandals).
      The Alta Sierra thing was, to my way of thinking, totally blown out of proportion. It was one group and I think they were trespassing on a neighboring lot. The trespassing thing should have been enough to shut them down without crafting an urgency ordinance. The whole brouhaha reminded my of the NC loitering ordinance that had to be reworked, except that, with an urgency ordinance, there is no way to change it.

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