Friday, September 28, 2007

Thank You, Dr. Ken Miller.

"A little pot never hurt anybody, except the landlords house." comments "Smarty Marty" on the Times Standard's article Marijuana grow to blame for house going up in smoke

"...there were five Proposition 215 recommendations tacked to the wall. And at least one of them was signed by none other than Ken Miller. He likes to hold others accountable, but there will be no one to hold him accountable for the damage here.
Photo Source: Humboldt Review - Click on photo to enlarge
For a more complete story, check out Kevin Hoover's Humboldt Review

...The tenant, Cody Nehring, said that the grow was a “cooperative” for five medical marijuana patients. Indeed, five Prop 215 certifications were posted on the living room wall, one with Nehring’s name on it. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reportedly will not charge the occupants with anything, as they were duly covered by Prop 215.

Nehring insists that the marijuana was for medical use. He had no explanation for the case of butane in the corner of the dining room. Butane is commonly used to extract THC-laden resin from marijuana, creating hash oil. “I don’t know about that,” Nehring said. Arcata Fire Chief John McFarland said the cases of butane could have easily killed firefighters, tenants and even neighbors, had the fire reached it. There was another box containing hundreds of of spent nitrous oxide cylinders nearby.

Though one room contained children’s toys along with grow equipment, Nehring said the house was not occupied – that it was entirely dedicated to growing. Dr. Ken Miller, who issued Nehring’s 215 Certification, said he regretted the fire. He wouldn’t say what fee he charges for the certifications, only that it was under $150...

The other pot doc whose 215 prescription is shown in the photo above is Hany Assad, owner of Norcal Healthcare Systems Inc. - the one Helen Sanderson wrote about in this story Pot doc's checkered past catches up - A SPECIAL INVESTIGATION. There's plenty of blame to go around here.


D. Consider Policy Issues and Alternative Land Use Regulatory Strategies for “Grow Houses” and Medical Marijuana Clinics.

Council, Planning Commission and staff have regularly heard complaints about “marijuana grow houses” converting single family residences to indoor nurseries in residential neighborhoods, and their impacts to adjoining properties, the neighborhood and the buildings themselves. In addition, the City of Arcata has allowed Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in the Commercial and Central Business District Zones and has recently seen an increase in the number and interest in siting more of these facilities, and consideration should be given to regulating or limiting the number of these facilities. The intent of this discussion is for the Council to provide staff with direction for subsequent work in Ordinances. Actual standards and/or Ordinances would be brought back at a later date.

RECOMMENDATION: 1) Determine the need to regulate Medical Marijuana Clinics and “Marijuana Grow Houses” through the Land Use and Development Guide [LUDG] and the upcoming Land Use Code; 2) Provide direction to staff by: (a) Confirming that personal medical marijuana “grows” in residential zones would only be allowed as an “accessory use”, subject to specified standards, as part of “compassionate use”; (b) Establish direction for the most restrictive standards for “personal marijuana grows” as accessory to residential use; (c) Confirming the Commercial and Central Business District Zones as the appropriate land use designations for Medical Marijuana Clinics; (d) Capping the number of Medical Marijuana Clinics at 4; and (e) Providing any necessary siting criteria for “replacement” Medical Marijuana Clinics; and 3) Direct that specific standards be developed and include in the Planning Commission recommendations and the Council review of the DRAFT Land Use Code.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, 736 F Street, Arcata - Wednesday, October 3, 2007 6:00 P. M.

As Kevin reports: In Arcata, neighbors and police have become increasingly concerned about the proliferation of grow houses. Apart from the danger of fire, there have also been home invasion robberies with violence. In subdivisions where the houses look alike (especially at night) neighbors are concerned about robbers getting houses mixed up. Oh, and that smell.

But an entirely new and unanticipated phenomenon has cropped up, so to speak: neighborhoods going silent. In some areas of town, homes which used to house students have now been converted to indoor gardens. Humboldt State University has become concerned about already-limited student housing drying up. Further, controversial new subdivisions have been proposed, some on agricultural land, and an unresolved question is how many of the new houses would wind up as grows.

TS Fire chief frustrated with 215 grows in rental homes
TS Council to take next step toward regulating grow houses 10/16/07
ARCATA -- The City Council is expected to take the next step Wednesday toward reining in the city's marijuana grow houses under some kind of oversight and regulation.
The council took the first steps at its Oct. 3 meeting, when it decided to form a task force to make recommendations on how to use land use standards to control the locations, sizes and operations of the city's grow houses.


  1. I could have swore that people were claiming that Ken Miller DID NOT WRITE PROP 215 CARDS.

    This is a strange turn of events, as we can clearly see that this came from Ken Miller.

  2. I've always thought that a 215 permitted grower was able to actually have the fire a grow inspection.If that's true,which I think it is,then it's the fault of the grower far more than the prescriber.
    And anon.r.,he has been distributing them for quite a long time.

  3. Well, Mark, he is quoted in the paper asserting that he never prescribes pot, which I have never understood - why the semantics? Is there some reason for it? Some legal technicality he seeks to avoid? It's more than debating what the meaning of the word "is" is.

  4. I guess that he's arguing that he only gives permits.It's not necessarily the same thing.

  5. Mark, your comments only made you seem to be an idiot, which I already knew you were.

    It was during the recall election campaigning that Dr. Miller said that he didn't give out the 215 recommendations. The T/S printed that denial even though they knew if was not true. Chris Durant had a copy of one of Millers 215's.

    This house was not lived in and only used to grow dope. Five 215er's , meaning 495 plants times four cycles a year. That's just 1980 plants per year by PVG's guidelines. Let's say each plant produces 1/4 pound of bud, and that is very realistic, so that makes 495 pounds of "bud" per year. Even if these five 215's had an illness and marijuana was really medicine that's way more than they could smoke. Way more than 50 or 100 could smoke. But if you sell it at $3500 a pound that comes out to ....... $1,732,500.00 ! Can that be right? I used a calculator. Even if the Wee Five got $2,500 per pound (very very low) that would be $1,237,500.00, again using my calculator. Let's say the rent is $1200 per month and PG&E for the grow is $2000 a month and supplies from the grow stores are $500 a month ...... is $44,400.00 in expenses. Can this really be? That would make the low ball net profit more than $1,190,000.00 divided by five means each of the five would get $238,620.00 each! Can this really be. Of course there would be some Fed Ex, UPS, and US mail expenses for mailing the dope out of county cause any semi bright person knows that there is no way in hell that all the dope grown in Humboldt gets smoked in Humboldt. My calculator must be wrong.

    Thank you PVG for all that you and Ken Miller have done for Humboldt County.

  6. HumDope County was bought and paid for several dacades ago. Marijuana has all but been legalized, especially under the dope smoking DA. The last post hit it right on! This is big business to thise that calim "medical marijuana." By the way this piece of sh#t Miller probaly was using a Clitonism, he doesn't prescribe, only recommends. I once saw a reccommendation from him that recommended marijuana for methamphetamine addiction. Classic!

  7. Dr. Miller makes the bucks on the front end by selling the 215 licenses, which creates a market, and growers, who in turn back the DA, who services his patrons... such as Dr. Miller.

  8. What'll happen, thanks to these bozos, is there will be regulations put in place so that only licensed farms can grow pot, and growing your own will be outlawed once again. A most comical irony.

  9. Legalize it and put Dr.Miller out of business.

  10. robin shelley9/30/2007 7:34 AM

    There is a good reason for Ken Miller's assertion that he does not prescribe marijuana for his patients. The words "prescribe" & "prescription" have very specific legal definitions & they only apply to federally approved medications. Since marijuana is not a federally approved medication, it cannot be legally prescribed. The good doctor could lose his DEA & medical licenses if he were to engage in prescribing medications that are not for prescription use. He may legally only discuss & recommend marijuana for his patients.
    Make sense?

  11. Yes. Thank you. Everything except that part where you call him the "good doctor."

    You're right. That is the distinction he sticks to.

    I wonder what "ailment" the nice young couple who rented the house suffered from that he would "recommend" they grow large quantities of pot, and buy all that butane. (see the butane cannisters at Kevin's Humboldt Review.

  12. He's hair-splitting. He doesn't prescribe, he "recommends," but still pockets fees like a classic Dr. Feelgood.

  13. robin shelley9/30/2007 8:30 AM

    The term "the good doctor" is generally used in an ironic sense... (-:

    ...& Miller is not splitting hairs, 8:10... he's protecting his ass!

    I've said this before on another post, but the medical marijuana movement has been corrupted by all the major players: doctors, patients, caregivers & dispensaries. Like you, Rose, I'm sure the current state of affairs is not what Prop. 215 proponents had in mind.

  14. I voted for 215 - I think the whole thing is a sham, though. A hypocritical sham from a generation who could just legalize it. Instead we are in this ridiculous morass with con men taking full advantage of the situation.

    No one who voted for 215 voted for people to turn rental houses into giant grows, fill the houses with dirt, load 'em up with gasoline for their generators, boxes of butane, grow lights, etc - and all the mold, house fires and crime that comes with it.

    The simple fact that these people had a 215 "prescription" does not make wrecking this woman's house ok, and it is not what people voted for. It's vandalism at the very least, it's grand theft, really. They just cost her thirty grand.

  15. "It must be sad to live in Arcata, where there are so many sick young people." Drew Isaac (Who went from Humboldt to Santa Cruz, a lateral move in terms of dreadlocked ne'er-do-wells)

  16. Mark is more than an idiot he's an obnoxious AH !

    All these folks that say ... tax marijuana and make all this money, pay for universal healthcare, new roads, create world peace, or whatever. All these folks (at least the ones with 1/2 a brain) know that's just BS. To even have a chance to work you would have to make marijuana legal in all 50 states (and Canada) overnight at the same time, which will never happen. As it is most of the dope grown in Humboldt goes out of county and out of state.

    Do you really think criminal dope growers would voluntarily pay taxes? You couldn't create a bureacracy big enough to enforce or regulate this "legalization" of marijuana. It's kind of like those that make their living off the weed always say "meth is the problem", go after them and leave us alone. 20 years ago the sheriffs had a five man marijuana team! How many now ? One or one and a half. PVG and his 99 plants is a real joke that encourages people to come from out of state to grow dope with little chance of prosecution and send the dope back to the home state so his/her pal's get BIG $ for it.

    And then you have ther real problem. How can you get a jury not tainted by the marijuana money? Even some that don't grow dope are OK with the money it brings in. How many $40K to $55K Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Dodge diesel trucks are running around SoHum? What about diesel generators? Potting soil? Fertilizer? Underground lenders and shady real estate agents? Specialty stores ... truck parts, jewelry, electric fans, and the list goes on. The local citizenry has become numb to the crime and corruption associated with the underground marijuana industry.

    It used to be when a person said they were a "carpenter" or "wood cutter" it usually meant they were a dope grower. Now they are "contractors" or investors or into "property" or "development".

    The softer the prosecution the more there is. ie: the 136 k plants in eastern Humboldt. It's all over SoHum. Alderpoint, Island Mountain, Blocksburg, Ettersberg, Whitethorn, Redway, Miranda, Arcata, Kneeland, Dinsmore, bridgeville so on ......... all prime marijuana locations and you're not welcome if you're not part of the culture of crime.

    How many gangsters or wannabe gangsters come to Humboldt from the bay area to buy or steal weed ? How many home invasion robberies go unreported?

    Rodoni always votes against money for marijuana enforcement, that's what keeps him getting re-elected. SoHum is, and has been, corrupted by the marijuana money for decades. That corruption has spread to the courthouse.

    215 was a lie sold to the people of California. Most voters are caring people and were sold the lie that 215 would help cancer patients or aids victims. The people behind 215 had the money for the ad's, the more legit side had limited resources because ????? Well they didn't have a criminal underground economy supporter their cause.

    I could go on but I have real work to do.

  17. Exactly,all thanks to criminalization of pot.

    "To even have a chance to work you would have to make marijuana legal in all 50 states (and Canada) overnight at the same time, which will never happen."

    I don't recall opposing that,it's a great idea.

  18. robin shelley9/30/2007 5:47 PM

    Well, 10:50, you're right & all of us who've grown up or lived in Humboldt & Mendocino Counties for any length of time know it. Obviously, it's a sore topic for you, too. The underground economy really gripes me! Thanks for mentioning the corrupt real estate agents & shady lenders. My husband & I ran into that when we were trying to sell our place in Laytonville a year ago. We had several "creative" offers (3 different offers from the same Myers Flat man, among others) that legit agents would have never presented & the one place that was comparable to ours was listed as having sold for $50k less than it actually did because the owners took that much in unreported cash. Devalued our place & that isn't fair to the legal & hardworking wage-earners like me who sweat to own a place. As it was, our house & property sold for all cash to an older local woman (who's known as a longtime grower) who cashed in some stocks. All above board. Some are smarter than others, I guess. She was moving into town from way up on Spy Rock to be closer to her doctors but we figured it was because she can legally grow in the valley now. There was a big movement of "hill people" into town the past couple of years... we moved out of state!

    Prop. 215 is a ruse & everybody knows that, too. I happen to believe marijuana really is good medicine for some cases but forget the medical BS & legalize it as the recreational drug it is. Put a tax stamp on it just like cigarettes & booze. Let R.J. Reynolds or Phillip Morris take it over - maybe create some low-paying jobs in the Emerald Triangle - sell it in grocery stores & liquor stores & casinos. How cost effective is it to grow your own tobacco or make your own beer or wine or run your own still? Wouldn't it be the same for dope? Sure, you could still grow your own but who would care &, unless you are a connoiseur, why would you want to? The neighbors might complain about the smell but nobody would be kicking in the back door in the middle of the night looking to steal pot or money. Take it off the black market & maybe the Mexican & Asian drug cartels would move out, too.

  19. Mark you continue to be a donkeys ass. And you're not very bright at that, I'm a bit surprised even though I shouldn't be.

  20. Guys, I like Mark. Don't always agree with him but he does care, and I have found that he does listen and is willing to have the discussion, which is rare.

    I do agree with Robin that the 215 thing is a sham. Ken Miller and others like him know full well what they are doing - and frankly, I think the idea that you need a license to put a seed in the ground and grow something herbal is just as repugnant as the recent proposal that would have forced you to have a license if you didn't want to neuter your pet.

    How you go from a person who really is just growing it for themselves - and possibly even to aid them with a real serious medical condition to healthy adults feigning illness to get a license that allows them to skirt the laws, wreck other people's property, avoid taxes, and all that goes with the BS you see here - I don't know.

    But I do know that that is not what the people voted for - and just like the three strikes law was amended, this one can be too.

    Wrecking a landlord's house should mean jail time with an enhancement if they were growing for commercial puposes. Maybe it means zoning certain neighborhoods for pot grows, and the landlord/owners of houses in those areas would not care if you cut up the floor, covered the walls in mold or burned the place down because they would be charging rents commensurate with the profit their tenants would be raking in. But growing in a regular neighborhood and endangering the neighbors would have severe penalties...

    You can't have a pot-bellied pig for a pet in some jurisdictions, so why can you put in an explosives factory/grow house?

  21. I believe that Arcata's growing regulations differ from the county's.I don't that there as lenient as the county's.

    "Mark you continue to be a donkeys ass. And you're not very bright at that, I'm a bit surprised even though I shouldn't be."

    Thank you!!

  22. robin shelley9/30/2007 7:59 PM

    A few years ago, a guy on Spy Rock north of Laytonville was busted for a huge grow (don't remember how much but it was a lot) & what he had done was build several facades that looked like occupied houses - rockers on the front porch, curtains in the window, swingset in the yard - but all that inside was pot. I've heard of people doing the same thing with barns - hay in the windows, horses in the corral - but really just pot inside. I've also heard of people selling the same place over & over... a lease option?... taking it back at the end of the season or if someone got busted... sometimes to the same people. And I've known of a few landlords who rent for astronomical fees with the understanding that if anything goes wrong it is the renter's problem only. All these folks were partners in crime. Seems stupid to rent a house from an unsuspecting landlord, destroy it AND put the neighborhood at risk when none of that is necessary. Weird.

  23. The marijuana growers hurt our economy. We are a county of grants and marijuana. No industry, no tax base. Schools are closing, young people are moving because there are legitmate jobs.

    Marijuana growers own many of the local businesses. They can launder their money through the businesses, and they can stay open because they have another source of income. Legitimate business owners have difficulty competing.

    I am happy that this is finally being discussed openly. It has been the proverbial elephant that everybody pretends is not there.

    It is destroying the viability of this county.

  24. robin shelley10/01/2007 11:30 AM

    Mendocino Co. is in the same boat & probably Trinity Co. & others, too. I don't know that it hurts the local economy so much as the state is missing out on a hell of a tax opportunity. Think of the millions or billions of tax-free dollars that go out of these counties annually. Marijuana is Big Business & CA ought to figure out a way to capitalize on it. On the local level, it's probably more of a boon to the economy... after all, it does bring in business & employ people whether we like it or not. Some of the smaller towns might well dry up & blow away without it.... look at Laytonville, Garberville & Redway, for instance, where marijuana is flaunted. What else is there that could support those old timber towns?
    I'm with you, 10:50 - it needs to be discussed openly but, then, some people have gone missing for being too open in their discussion.
    Marijuana prohibition has failed & the industry it has spawned is too big to unravel. We need to be honest. It's not about civil rights or what's harmful & what's not, it's not about medicine & it's not even about getting high (although that IS what drives the market). It's about money. Lots & lots of money. So.... let's tax it. But how?
    What're your thoughts, Mark?

  25. I don't think that a town like Garberville would dry up.Growers there now have money,but once it became legal,could they open a new business with it without being hassled by the feds about taxing the pre-existing money which was used to open the business?
    The money exists in SoHum to provide for education and other services,it's now just hidden in the dope economy.Redistribute that money to some progressive causes and innovative business opportunities and the community will prosper.

  26. Well, you lose me with that statement about "progressive" causes. I've seen what that means.

    "Progressive" politics has set this county back 20 years in the district attorney's office. "Progressive" politics means Salzman style scorched earth, means identifying people by party and it means corruption of the ideals that most of us stand for - it definitley means corruption of offices, committees and whatever governing body "progressives" get into.

    Tell me what you mean by "progressive" causes. tell me why "progressives" aren't picketing hte courthouse over the decimation of the CAST program. Tell me why "progressives" think it is ok for the DA to load his office up with semi-automatic weaponry.

    Tell me one "progressive" up here who has done something that we can appreciate. Seriously.

  27. Progressive causes: keeping schools open,hell even opening new ones perhaps dedicated to arts and music,or technology,a community oriented marketplace for local farmers to sell produce in which some profits can go to the Mateel.And providing money which can help facilitate for an improved emergency and medical center.I have some work to get done,but I hope see what I'm getting at.

  28. Charter schools are happening all over this county, some are dedicated to arts and music. The concept is a great one - and was also supposed to free them from the bureaucratic nightmare that bogs down most of the public school system, Mark. But even they are finding the inexorable mountain of paperwork to be growing. Check it out, you will find MANY evil conservatives support the concept. (The paperwork and ever increasing bureaucracy, though, has come about thanks in large part to your "progressives" and "democrats" in state legislature. The worst term in government, Mark -we're going to hold schools "accountable" - meaning? Meaning we will tell the teachers what to teach how and when to teach it, we will micromanage down to the last detail, removing every last vestige of creativity from the process - that's your "progressive" reality.

    The schools that are closing are losing enrollment. there are less kids as the baby boomer's kids have made it into college and out into real life. There is a natural dip. I don't know how a "progressive" is going to change that reality. But we are incredibly fortunate to have great schools up here, if the kids want to take advantage of the enormous opportunity provided to them by the taxpayers, by a society that values education enough to ensure that it is available for every single kid in the community. That vision is shared by conservative and liberal, and yes, probably even "progressive" alike.

    We have thriving Farmer's Markets in Arcata, Eureka, even in McKinleyville. I don't know what there is in SoHum, but I assume it reaches down there as well. I doubt there is enough profit in it to give any tot he Mateel. Those farmers are already most likely paying taxes, which go to the aforementioned education, and much more. Taking their money for the Mateel would be, in essence, another tax. Besides, the Mateel had a gigantic revenue generator called Reggae on the River, no?

    But my question was what have the so called elected "progressives" done to further your vision, Mark? Hard working people have gotten things done. Do you think the evil conservatives don't want to see an improved emergency and medical center? In fact some of the very most conservative people in the community worked to get the Hear Institute going and are regular donors to all things in that realm.

    We are all in this together, Mark. We are not all that different. Why the polarizing terms?

    "Progressives" once stood for things like CAST (the Child Abuse Services Team), Victim Witness, SART (the Sexual Assault Response Team - yet they have stood silent as they have been run down. Why?

    Because pot is the true "progressive" value?

  29. You know what mresquan? I have to pay my goddamn income taxes - why should dope growers skate? As for the rest of your utopian vision, good luck pal, but you clearly have a view of human nature which can only be characterized as naive.

  30. Well by the tone of your comment,I'd say that pot laws don't do you many favors either.Why should dope growers skate?Good question.

  31. They shouldn't.

    My first job out of high school paid minimum wage, and taxes were taken out of that. Friend's relatives in Salmon Creek were growers, and were alos drawing welfare, WIC and Food Stamps (they had two little kids.)

    They drew their water out of a nearby creek, living "off the grid."

    At the same time, where once we used to hike and ride our horses in the hills, growers moved in and we began to get shot at if we went out.

    People talk about losing the quality of life up here - that boat sailed a long time ago, and the drug industry is a big part of it.

  32. Mark, consider putting spaces after punctuation like periods and commas, for readability.

  33. robin shelley10/03/2007 9:31 AM

    Our taxes & private donations already support the good things Mark suggests & there's more to a democratic society than schools & cultural arts. Throwing more money at broken services doesn't fix them but better management sometimes can. The desire to have better schools, better health care, better food & better cultural centers are common wants & not particularly progressive. All of those things are at least as old as this country & not unique to the so-called "progressive" subculture. What is unique is this anarcho-economy that's allowed to exist & thrive in this part of the country.
    I wasn't asking for ideas of how to spend the money. I was asking for ideas of how to get to the money in the first place.

  34. Mark, consider putting spaces after punctuation like periods and commas, for readability.

    1:38 -- I've tried. It's hopeless.


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