Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Aside from demonstrating that no one at The New York Times really understands what legal marijuana might actually mean, something I’ve been pissing and moaning about for years has actually penetrated the mainstream media.
“A proposal to put the legalization of marijuana in California to a vote this November is causing some growers of the plant in the state to worry about a sharp drop in the value of their crop if the measure succeeds. As The Los Angeles Times explained in January, when supporters of the proposed Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 turned in more than enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot, the initiative “would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and grow plants in an area no larger than 25 square feet for personal use. It would also allow cities and counties to permit marijuana to be grown and sold, and to impose taxes on marijuana production and sales.”
Without a clue as what might be going on, the Times turns the story over to the Humbolt County Times-Sentinel. (A part of Northern California – according to NYT – known as the “Emerald Triangle” for the density of its marijuana crop.) The Times-Sentinel writer is far hipper.
“In what may be an unprecedented event, residents, local business people, officials and those involved in the marijuana industry are planning to meet Tuesday night and break a long-standing silence to talk about what supposedly is the backbone of Humboldt County's economy -- pot. More specifically, the meeting will focus on the potential economic effects of the legalization of marijuana. ”It's time to talk about the elephant in the room,” said organizer Anna Hamilton. A Shelter Cove resident, Hamilton said she is “intimately involved” with the marijuana industry and has seen the market get worse over time due to changing marijuana laws. ”I've lived here 20 years and every time there's been a discussion, an open discussion, about marijuana, it has emboldened people to grow more pot with less fear,” she said. “As it's become more widely grown, the prices dropped. The effect on our local economy is harsh.” With the legalization of marijuana a hot button topic in local and statewide government, Hamilton said now is the time to think about what can be done to protect residents when marijuana is legal. In addition to ballot measures aiming to legalize marijuana for recreational use, a bill for legalization is also being promoted as a way to save the state's ailing economy.” (Click here for more.)
The Times-Sentinel probably knows, but is unwilling to mention, that the major cash crop in Humboldt is not really dope. It’s the willingness to take a bust under the current drug laws. The biggest cost factor in the production of marijuana is risk. Once that risk is removed, prices can only plummet because pot would be nothing more, at best, than a cultivation-intensive, exotic agri-crop like kiwi fruit, long stemmed roses, or maybe tobacco. Fifty bucks an ounce would probably be generous. If dope is legal the growers are really going to have to streamline their trim. Legalization will be a time when desperado danger will have to be exchanged for smart thinking. I’m wondering, for instance, if every California resident has the right by law to 25 square feet of marijuana patch, could not some legal/business model be created for all those millions of potential marijuana patches be laid end to end to form a pot super-farm managed on a cooperative basis by former outlaw and wholly expert growers? I’d lease my pot rights in a NY minute. The most important problem for the growers of legal marijuana may well turn out to be how the fuck to keep Monsanto (and their hell-spawned genetic copyrights) out of the pot business.
Click here for Max Romeo
The secret word is Complex
Posted by Mick at 3/24/2010 05:23:00 PM