Friday, February 27, 2009

Legalize it!

Ernie and Kym both have posts up about legalizing pot - there's increased talk that Obama will legalize it, there's talk about Sacramento wanting to tax it to help offset the astronomical budget shortfalls ($90 Billion in pork apparently won't help at all)...

I say LEGALIZE IT. I want to see the f-cking criminals pay 50%+ of their earnings in taxes. It's been a free ride in more ways than one.

Let them have to live up to the environmental and labor restrictions they've had a part in advocating - if you buy the 'they're so generous with donations' meme.

Workplace requirements, withholdings, paperwork, expensive mitigations, fees, inspections and inventory taxes - the whole catastrophe, let it be visited upon them. Diesel spills are only one of the problems they have to answer for.

The price will plummet, and their costs will rise.

You might think we would save money by not needing CAMP, but the fact is you will need a whole new layer of enforcement to get people to comply with all the OTHER laws they are breaking - from not paying taxes on. Because I don't think they will willingly fork over 50%+ willingly. I don't think they will willingly comply with ANY of the laws other businesses have to comply with.

You agree? Or disagree?

***
KSLG Jennifer Savage interviews Kym, Eric and Sohumborn (Sohumborn's voice is disguised)
humboldtgrow.com

49 comments:

  1. The writing in the current bill, to my limited understanding, would cause prices to plummet simply because Big Business would grow big chemically "enhanced" crops. The small mom and pop growers would go out of business except for some niche markets for high quality pot. Thus the local guys that have been contributing to non profits that changed environmental laws would probably be out of business and not paying taxes.

    I suggest that everyone write to our representatives and suggest language be inserted that, at least temporarily, restricts the amount of plants grown to 100 per land parcel. This would minimize the effects on the North Coast and give us time to build up the niche market before Big Business swoops in.

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  2. Disagree! with Ernie and Kym and anyone that things legalization is a good thing.

    That's what dope growers and persons that make a living (big money)off the pot industry always say, as do some well meaning but misguided indviduals. In reality the dope growers, the successful ones actually want it illegal. They don't want everyone and their brother doing it so the price stays high. What these growers don't want is federal prosecution and the possibility of 5 to 10 years in prison. They can live with a thousand dollar fine, a little probation, and some community service.

    So many issues. But how about this for starters; who is going to regulate this new industry or collect the taxes? Do you think the dope growers that have been making staggering amounts of money will now give 1/3 or more of it up to the Government? Especially since the Prez thinks anyone making over $250k is rich and they will be taxed more. Maybe a grower would claim a token amount of profit and pay a token amount of taxes as a fall back or cover. But dope growers are and have been criminals, plain and simple.

    What kind of government agency would have to be created to monitor this? The IRS? The IRS couldn't find snow in Siberia unless they had a map. They only catch honest or mostly honest people.

    With the current hard financial times maybe some brain dead politician in Sacramento or Washington will actually believe that the myth of legalization and taxation will cure all the financial woes. If they do believe this (the politicians) they are stupid and not worthy of being re-elected.

    If marijuana were made legal tomorrow throughout the ENTIRE United States it might make a dent in the current marijuana industry, at least on the ones that don't have their property paid for and/or 5 to 30 million bucks buried at various locations on their property. Or that don't have a legit business that they started with the profits from growing and selling mariuana.

    BUT any reasonable well read person with 1/2 a brain knows, or should know, the taxes brought in would be minimal at best.

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  3. It has always been a given that once legalized, it would become a corporate (evil corporate) crop, just like tobacco. Market forces will take over. It'll be on a par with beer, wine and cigarettes. there'll probably be room for 'boutique' products.

    But you can't have it both ways.

    Legalize it and let the price plummet - put an end to the sham and to the phony love affair with the shit.

    I'm sick to death of the sanctimonious blathering about the "sacred" herb. It's just a matter of people wanting what they can't have - as soon as legalization is accomplished, it'll be on to the next thing. What will it be? Meth? Coke? Heroin? Ecstasy?

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  4. okay - lets be real clear...if it is legalized I hope to crap that Phillip Morris comes in and makes it a huge corporate venture and that all the dopers are run out of the business. They have fucked this county up so much, it would be nice to see them get fucked in return.


    I don't want the "effects to be minimized" on the North Coast. I sure as shit want those effects maximized.

    I am just done!

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  5. Rose, why are you such a hypocritical bigot about pot? You say I am your friend but if so, why when I am one of those people who truly believes marijuana is my sacrament. It isn't a "phony love affair with the shit" either and you should know better than to diss the sacraments of people's religion. I don't see you wanting to throw out wine sacraments for the Catholics or asking for closure of liquor stores, one of America's top places to legal drugs to get high and do considerable damage to others as the statistics prove time and again. Yet here you are, our Reefer Madness hostess selling the old pot paranoia as best you can to people who have long since learned that shit is crap. Time for you too to learn that sacraments historically accompany many religious paths. Perhaps that's why you aren't all that religious..??

    As for legalization, Willy Brown presented the best plan decades ago for legalization which is to progressively tax growers on the amounts they grow, i.e. the more you grow the more taxes you pay, thus discouraging large growers and encouraging small mom and pot farm operations. But alas, the flatlanders will boom with legalization and the hill hideaways will become a quaint thing of the past like after Prohibition days.

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  6. Gee Whiz guys, why do you think SoHumBorn deleted her blog without any notice? She said she enjoyed writing.

    She was obviously pressured, maybe even threatened.

    I read SoHumBorns blog and enjoyed it even though I detest what marijuana growers have done to Humboldt County over the past 35 to 40 years. The growers didn't like the accurate depiction of certain aspects of their lifestyle.

    The fact is there is a very ugly side to the local marijuana industry or trade, beyond the diesel spills and river contamination. Those involved want to keep it quiet or minimize it. Why ?? Because they make money and they don't want the attention. Does anyone really know how many people are "missing" from soHum over the past 30 years or so ? Killed or shot?

    And we're supposed to like the dope growers because they fund KMUD and the local Voluteeer Fire Department? But don't the growers personally benefit from KMUD and the fire departments? KMUD announces if the cops or CAMP are spotted and which direction they are headed, an early warning system for the growers. And the local VFD's aren't going to report growers if they respond to a fire and they see marijuana. If they didn't have the local voluteer fire departments the state CDF would have to come in and they are more likely to call in the cops.

    I did laugh when I heard how in SoHum it's "rude" to ask someone what they do for a living. Only in Humboldt (and Mendocino).

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Kinda where I'm at, too. Though if the price stayed up, I think we could finally see a tax revolt the likes of which you have never seen.

    It is comical to imagine the scenario where the government takes over militantly enforcing price controls to keep the criminals flush.

    (And sorry, Kym, and sohumborn, and all the rest. We love you guys. But it is a criminal enterprise, despite fact that Gallegos has all but defacto legalized it here.) Yes, there's horrible risk, but there is obviously huge financial reward.

    For every $100 a regular working person has to spend, they have to earn $200. So, if you've got a dope grower bringing in $300,000 a year, tax-free, that's the equivalent of, at minimum, $600,000 in income. WELL OVER that lovely definition of 'filthy rich' of Obama's. Time you guys came into the real world.

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  9. Stephen - it can STILL be your sacred herb when it is legal. And you can grow it and sell it without fear of prison.

    But 99.9% of the assholes who piss and moan about it won't care a bit about it once the tantrum has run its course and the thing has been given to them. Guaranteed.

    Question is, will the growers willingly become LEGAL - pay their taxes, pony up the business fees, pay social security on their trimmers and other workers? Py inventory tax on their unsold goods?

    We shall see. It's LONG past time.

    My question has always been, since we fond out what the well-meaning 215 vote brought us, what are the UNINTENDED consequences?

    They can't be much worse than people getting shot, burning down other people's houses, etc.

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  10. Reporters - want to do a story? Research just homw many fees and licenses and cost and expenses growers will face if they become like every other legitimate business, ag, or otherwise.

    Apply the standards they seek to apply to Palco/Green Diamond, for example. You won't get that info from "heraldo." And you might have an AP worthy investigative story.

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  11. "...there's increased talk that Obama will legalize it,...".

    The only talk like that I've heard is from the Obamatons. The White House has already said Obama is against legalization.

    This latest development about Obama wanting the feds to lay off the 215 clinics is interesting, though. They say they don't want to interfere with state laws. Will that still apply if this legalization bill passes?

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  12. I think he'll go for legalization because the ensuing fight will give him cover to pull off some other sleight of hand - just like trying to take the census into his control.

    It's also and easy way to reward his backers, and keep them drugged and not vigilant.

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  13. And btw - I don't know much about KMUD's funding but TAXPAYERS also fund Fire Departments, and so many, many, many other things. Don't f-cking forget that.

    So what if dope growers are "generous" - are they 50%+ generous? Hah! I sincerely doubt it.

    If they were their daughters wouldn't be wearing $300 pairs of jeans and their sons wouldn't be driving Porsches.

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  14. As those who know me know I have been a staunch supporter of marijuana legalization for decades. I have seen what the marijuana prohibition has done to the SoHum community I used to call home--it has ruined it and even the next generation has been caught up in the material frenzy of big dope grows after watching their parents get away with growing for years without getting caught--only thing is, big growers do get caught. Having marijuana illegal has ruined the counterculture community's cooperative spirit in my opinion and I really can't wait for marijuana to be legalized so that economic reality hits home and forces that reality onto pot growers who believe their little contraband money machine will last forever. I've promoted alternative businesses for years to my counterculture friends but as long as pot is so easy to make large amounts of money with with comparatively little work, few are into using pot capital for starting up legit businesses. Without pot prices to justify rural land prices, I suspect many will be forced out of the community to find work if marijuana does become legalized and that's not a bad thing at this point in time.

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  15. Oh god! Why did you have to post about pot Rose? People lose their minds everytime it is posted anywhere.

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  16. It's a contentious topic because it affects us, in many ways, as Stephen points out.

    The same people who are so concerned about protecting THEIR ability to make money - albeit illegally - have shown NO compassion for the OTHER people who have lost jobs because of changing market conditions - timber workers, fishermen, etc.

    In fact many of those "generous" pot growers and dope dealers have been instrumental in callously bringing about those demise of those industries.

    It is fitting that they face the same fate now.

    With the swipe of a pen the pot industry here will be wiped out - just as the swipe of a pen made it legal to drive 65.

    You won't be criminals anymore. That ought to be worth it. But if you continue to grow, you will be scrutinized by the likes of Ken Miller, your every utterance subject to getting you hauled into court if you don't comply with his vision of the letter of the law... it is going to be interesting.

    Stock up on popcorn.

    I don't care about the pot - I generally have a live and let live approach - but it's time the playing field was leveled, it's time the pot growers started paying their fair share, and obeying the same laws that everyone else has to follow. The same rules the timber owners have to follow, the same rules the ranchers have to follow, the same rules the wine industry has to follow - oh BOY, wait until you have to deal with LABELING your products!

    It's going to be a fun ride.

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  17. I notice the usual suspects here decrying the possibility that legalization will open up an opportunity for the eeevil corporations to profit. The truth is as Rose points out, the oppressive taxes and regulations placed on all legitimate enterprises makes ANY small scale (mom and pop) business marginal economically. The only option for profitability under such a scenario is the economy of scale made possible by corporations able to retain a legal and environmental compliance department.

    It was actually comical living in Weitchpec among the clandestine farmers. They exhibited a visceral hatred for CAMP and local law enforcement but failed to understand that the efforts of those agencies was what was propping up the price for their product. They wanted to have it both ways: high prices and low risk.

    Since it is avarice that drives both politicians and most crooks, legalization would be a mixed blessing. While breaking the rice bowl of the farmers, it would be a cash cow for the politicians. The amusing part would be CAMP and Drug task force personnel acting as revenue agents.

    Probably the greatest beneficiaries would be the recreational users.

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  18. Legalization of pot would devastate Humboldt's economy.

    All that dope money is keeping things somewhat afloat, but if legalized the price would plummet. That money would be gone.

    We'd be royally screwed. For the good of our economy, keep it illegal and keep that money flowing.

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  19. Nope. That's not good enough, Jack. That excuse doesn't hold water.

    Let these people step up to the plate.

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  20. Seriously - what about the people who are losing legitimate jobs? Those don't fuel the economy? The carpenters? Contractors? Real Estate agents? Even reporters.

    Nobody's looking out for them.

    No, legalize it - maybe then these "generous" growers will stop electing the people who destroy our economy - people like our State legislature, our Governor, and all the way up to the top. Maybe they'll elect people who will be fiscally responsible and live within their means instead of electing the assholes who promise them decriminalization/legalization of pot.

    You think they're propping up our economy? I don't agree. I think they have contributed to the complete decimation of our economy - even at the local level with the job-killers - excuse me, the "Progressives." See how you like 'em when they are taking 50%+ of your pot income.

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  21. Or - conversely, Jack, give all the rest of us the tax holiday that the dope growers enjoy. 0 (zero) bracket.

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  22. "0 (zero) bracket"

    You mean like yourself, Rose?

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  23. The Humboldt economy would be devistated? You mean the dope growers would be devistated.

    Let the local economy crumble. It would recover. Maybe Humboldt could be rid of many of the greedy scum sucking pot growers? Maybe property would really be affordable? For sure there be fewer killings, shootings, home invasions, and "disappearances". And there would be less pot money to influence local elections.

    I can only dream.

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  24. And when you are looking for work because your grow income is gone, where will you find a job?

    Ask Pat Higgins. Ask Mark Lovelace. Ask Clif Clendenen. Ask Paul Gallegos.

    Ask the job killers.

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  25. I would like to at least try legalizing it. The "precious ganja" or however you spell that would be more common an cheap, grouped with all of the other personal crutches like alcohol and tobacco, and it would be taxed. Not all of it, of course, there will always be tax cheats. Income tax and sales tax. And this would be monitored by agricultural standards. Those who need it medically could have better standards for measurement and organic growing.

    Try it for 2 years and see what happens. The best thing to me would be the big drug cartels would have their wings clipped, decreasing violence, at least for over one drug.

    Anony.Miss

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  26. Oh yes lets do, try it for two years. That's absurd, almost insane.

    Last week on cable news (Fox or CNN, the only ones I watch) there was a story about high school grads. It was said that currently one in three high school students don't graduate. Do you think making marijuana more available to kids is going to make their SAT scores better? Make them more enthusiastic about school?

    And I know the marijuana growers say they don't sell to kids, only because kids generally don't have the money to buy wholesale.

    People around Humboldt and Mendocino have become numb over the marijuana issue. Because it's everywhere. Other communities are NOT like Humboldt. A community based on an underground drug economy cannot be good no matter how you spin it.

    The big "cartels" (at least the Mexican Cartels) are not the problem in Humboldt. Granted some large Mexican National grows have been found in Humboldt in the past two years they are not the real problem.

    Pot growers or dealers are not romantic characters as some on these local blogs make them out to be. They are criminals after the easy buck. Criminals. Just because SoHum has a very very large concentration of them (growers), and some may be basically nice people, they are still just criminals.

    I say this because it saddens me when I think of what marijuana growers have done to Humboldt over the past 30 something years.

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  27. I'd say the time has come to legalize it. It has amazed me that the baby-boomers didn't legalize it the moment they assumed the reins of power, but we still had Clinton pretending he didn't inhale.

    Take the profit out of it by legalizing it and most people will have to get real jobs. What? No jobs available? And why is that? Start working on fixing REAL problems instead of concentrating all the energy on this sham.

    And, fact is, if there truly is medical benefit and that is not some other scam cooked up by those who want it legalized to try and do it in an underhanded way - if there is benefit and that isn't concocted propaganda - then it is a crime to withhold it from anyone who can benefit from it.

    If it truly can help with brain cancer and other fatal illnesses, you ought not have to jump through ridiculous hoops to get it.

    I was hoping DT would weigh in here. He is always the voice of reason, and has the most historical knowledge on the topic.

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  28. From a former cop: let's not forget all the NEW laws that will need to be passed and enforced to prevent 'under the influence' problems such as DUI. Unlike alcohol, there are fewer objective symptoms of DUI-marijuana so the average cop may see someone weaving all over the road but after making the traffic stop the officer might not necessarily see, smell or otherwise develop the probable cause for an arrest (alcoholic beverages, for example, have very strong odors)…so…I suspect that "Big Brother" gov't may well provide law enforcement with more powers to force blood samples from suspected DUI-marijuana. Another point, DUI-alcohol the offender has a choice of either blood, breath, or urine…but…with drugs (marijuana), it’s blood only…

    -Chris A.

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  29. "what marijuana growers have done to Humboldt County over the past 35 to 40 years"
    Don't forget all of those businesses that profited off these criminals. They did more damage to the North Coast than all the pot-growers and their children put together. The pot-growers were in-your-face criminals. All those businesses and business people that talked out both sides of their face were just plain corrupt to the gut!

    How long do you think the growers would have survived if they had not been enabled; could not buy what they needed with dirty, blood money?

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  30. After 30 years in law, on both sides, currently in law enforcement,I say legalize mj. The losses from legalization would, in my educated opinion, be offset by the gains.

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  31. You want to badmouth the businesses?

    They are polite and respectful and didn't inquire as to where the money came from. You assume they knew. I disagree.

    In fact, if some of them knew, they might choose NOT to do business with those people.

    The rampant growth in pot income is also relatively new - it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't a factor, and thus businesses did not think to inquire. Then there started to be some laughter about the businesses in Garberville being entirely supported by pot money, and a few years after that that tales surfaced about briefcases full of cash being used to buy cars. Now, the meme is that without them we would disintegrate.

    The sad thing is the militant actions of those funded by the dope growers have caused the demise of legitimate industry in this county - still working hard at that, working to eliminate any success for the port/harbor, working hard to make sure people with that mindset get elected. They are not about live and let live except as it applies to them.

    No sympathy for the dope growing community. Let the rules be applied equally. Let them swim in the pond they have created, let their every document be examined for "fraud," let them face lawsuits over any utterance that is perceived useful by those who seek overlord status. let them pay the costs all other businesses have to pay, and let them pay the same taxes and withholding that all other working people have to pay.

    Guess what - they don't want the rules applied to them - look at the hue and cry over the code enforcement unit - look at the CLMP reaction to them having to live under the same rules the rest of us do.

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  32. Apparently you did not read Ernie Branscombs article you advertised. Everyone can read in his posts and blog commentaries where he has admitted what he knew and why he did business with these people. He explains in graphic terms why he does NOT want marijuana legalized. I don't need to "badmouth" anybody. It seems you all do quite a good job badmouthing yourselves. That is if anyone ever takes the time to read what someone says and thinks about it for more than 2 seconds.

    If you had read Kym's commentaries then you would know what I say the real sickness is and why it makes pot-growing criminal behaviour child's-play. You define that sickness in your respondent comment better than I could. Actually, all three of you do. Keep up the good work.

    Since I've already commented on Kym's blog, I'll leave it at that. Other than to say, I was a witness to what went on and why.

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  33. EVERYONE posting here fails to realize that if pot is legalized the whole commercial mj industry in the county is GONE. It is, after all a weed and extremely easy to grow and that includes the so called exotic strains. If Stephen needs it for his "religious" rites he will/can grow it in his front yard cheap. There will be no incentive to rip him off (anyone know of any $1.60/lb asparagus ripoffs?).

    You can grow tobacco in your garden, make wine or brew beer and as long as it's for your own use no law is broken. It is only taxed when distributed commercially. The eeevil corporations will produce the stuff like tobacco or alcohol for buyers for whom it is inconvenient to process and the tax will be paid.

    The crime associated with the illegal $4,000.00/lb pot buds will disappear and half the prison population with its associated costs will evaporate. I am speaking as a retired law enforcement officer who had little trouble convicting DUI drivers on the stuff. The smell of pot is even stronger than booze and drug tests for it are reliable. End the bullshit. Prohibition only enriches the assholes on BOTH sides of the law.

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  34. Welcome JOE, and Yes, Joe, both Ernie and Kym DISCUSSED legalization, and as ernie points out in comments, he and Kym did not entirely agree.

    Both have excellent blogs, and excellent comment threads, and we just lost Sohumborn which was truly a unique and exceptional blog..

    Though we come to love them, and we can all empathize with the difficulties faced by those who live amongst the pot culture, I find myself increasingly disgusted by the double standard and the sham.

    Hiding behind medical marijuana rhetoric while selling stuff for upwards of $3,000 a pound to supposedly (and some in fact) sick people is in itself sick. Using the argument that you can't give it those same sick people for less because that would affect the price is a sick joke - though you can't deny that they might take the free pot and sell it themselves for $3,000 + - again, a sick joke on the whole situation.

    When you have people like ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ and I saying LEGALIZE IT, the battle has been won.

    Now we'll just hafta see what the unintended consequences are.

    Caveat - it has to be state or nationwide, or else Humboldt will just become an even greater mecca for criminals.

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  35. What tests are reliable? A blood test is but it's very expensive, not the same as a blood alcohol content test. And you can't quantify the results like you can with alcohol.

    The prisons (state or federeal)are not half full of marijjuana growers and dealers. That is BS pure and simple. The prisons may be half full of drug related crimes but not marijuana related crimes. I'm talking about meth, cocaine, heroin, and drug violence crimes, or theft crimes to buy drugs.

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  36. 5:25 PM, Ever hear of urine tests?
    Opiates including heroin and morphine were sold in corner drug stores prior to 1914. What do you suppose was in the original recipe for coca cola? As with alcohol, prohibition has fostered over half of the crime culture. There have been no bootlegger gang wars since 1933. There is very little property or turf war crime over alcohol. Treat the rest of the recreational stuff like alcohol, controlled and taxed. If idiots wish to ingest harmful substances into their bodies that is their choice and they have always managed to accomplish it. I haven't heard of any liquor store owners trying to get victims hooked on $500.00 per day booze habits.

    All this is however academic as the assholes on both sides of the prohibition industry stand to lose their rice bowls.

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  37. What we have now is the worst of both worlds - defacto legalization by a compliant DA - high prices, highly lucrative illegality attracting criminals and wanna-be criminals from all over the nation (and Mexico), increasingly high levels of pot related crimes, home invasions, killings, etc, not to mention the more "white collar" crime - tax evasion etc.

    A recipe for destroying your community.

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  38. Guess you've been out of the mix, urine tests are out.

    And how can you "force" a urine test?

    and so much more .......

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  39. 12:09 AM: "Guess you've been out of the mix, urine tests are out."

    Q. What sort of tests are given to athletes and private employees?
    A. Urine tests

    Q. Why would you "force" any test?
    A. Force and extortion are what most government actions are about.

    If the case is simply an issue of DUI, then it's a revenue measure. If injury or property damage is involved, there are already criminal and civil penalties. Most DUI cases are really reckless driving issues and in fact a decent $$$ attorney can get a charge of DUI reduced to reckless driving anyway.

    As for "being out of the mix"; you have no idea how happy that makes me:o)

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  40. hate to break it to you but you only can tell that MJ is in someones system with blood or urine. You can not quantify it so you can not prove that they were "under the influence" to convict them with DUI. That is the same problem with most drugs.

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  41. Humboldt Heretic3/02/2009 7:53 PM

    10:46 AM,
    You really need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills. Reread Leonidas' comments and get back to us.

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  42. Fair enough - I reread them. Leonidas may have been lucky in southern california getting people convicted of driving under the influence, but that sure as hek doesn't apply here in the pot capital of the world. Ask anyone in the CHP whether they have gotten even one conviction for a DUI from pot in the last - say- 7 or 8 years here in humboldt.

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  43. The Highway gestapo (maybe vopos would be more accurate) are too busy with seat belt violations, harassing truckers, doing speed traps and other revenue collection measures to do real investigative tasks. It's not really their fault however. Their political bosses evaluate them for the most part by looking at cash flow. California has found that multi million dollar weigh stations (harassment centers) are the way to go. Check out the new Cottonwood "facility" south of Redding on I-5 and the ones at Tehachapi and Camarillo if you're interested. If an officer cannot write a cite for at least $1600.00 he will find himself transferred to a south central L.A. office. The North Coast offices are choice "retirement" assignments for high seniority personnel. I have a relative who is a supervisor in one of the So Cal offices who couldn't even advise if it is legal for me to transport my 6 year old grand daughter in my antique car as it is not equipped with seat belts.

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  44. Rose,

    I support legalization because it's the right thing to do and it has the added benefit of putting growers out of business.

    However, I also acknowledge the downside. The county will be poorer because of it, at least financially.

    My argument, of course, is based on the assumption that millions of dollars in dope money is floating around the county and being spent. That's how it appears to me.

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  45. I'm sure it is floating around out there. That's why the boutiques that sell the $300 a pair jeans and several hundred dollar a set sheets survive.

    If your economy can't survive without the criminals, you need to rethink what your community is about.

    Right now you are punishing your legal people and rewarding the criminal. Worse, the criminals are backing the activists in their initiatives to further obstruct, hamper, punish and kill legitimate business.

    But they are tacitly approved of by people who do play by the rules and work hard and pay their taxes and eke out an existence, while the criminals flaunt their $300,000 a year riches, and their ability to buy the fancy house and the fancy car - but they keep you focused on evil corporations. Sleight of hand.

    Legalize it. Let them pay.

    It'll be worth it not to have to worry about going to prison, right?

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  46. Rose,

    We ultimately agree on this issue – legalize it!

    The difference in our positions is that I believe there would be negative consequences to the local economy.

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  47. I don't disagree with that, Jack. Though I don't think it is as big a factor as people think.

    Nevertheless, fair is fair. Either release the rest of the people from the burden of taxes (the opposite of what the new administration is doing, btw), or bring these people into compliance.

    Why, they should be proud to step up to the plate, to honor the new Obama directive that they must all share in the pain, do more, and have less. As a commenter on another thread is advocating. Hypocrisy abounds.

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  48. I have to clarify something. No one made me stop my blog.
    I am still writing.
    I had gotten caught up in the need to have something new to offer, instead of taking the time to write what I wanted well. In order to use my limited time more effectively I decided to concentrate on writing the stories.
    I will still tell the stories, but I will take more time, a lot more time. I feel like I need to do this right.

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  49. Thank You, SoHumBorn. I'm glad you'll still be writing. You are very, very good.

    The blog is still a good medium, you don't have to be a daily publisher, though most all bloggers fall into that trap :)

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