Category Archives: California

Marihuana (Hemp) – A Drug Driven Movement?

Is the Marihuana (Hemp) Movement a drug initiated, drug-driven movement?

By Jeanette McDougal   A report by Congress’s research arm concluded that the legalize marihuana (Hemp) movement “has largely been spurred by… Jack Herer [high-profile marijuana advocate], who released an updated version of his book, Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes, in 1990.”  [Jean M. Rawson, CRS Report 92-510, “Growing Marihuana (Hemp) for Fiber: Pros and Cons.”]

High Times, a militantly pro-drug magazine, agrees.  The April 1995 issue says, “Jack Herer’s book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, has been instrumental in reviving interest in hemp and has helped create the grass-roots movement for marijuana reform,” [i.e., legalization].     Continue reading

Environmental Damage Wrought by Pot

Marijuana is Far from Green

Marijuana farms are fouling the ecosystem and draining energy and water resources in states that have liberalized their marijuana laws. Governor Jerry Brown blames California’s wildfires on climate change, but he ignores marijuana, the biggest cause of environmental damage to his state.   The environmental damage in California alone will be in the billions of dollars.  This will be more costly than Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.

Check out two recent television news reports on the crisis:  CBS News: Marijuana Illegal Grow Mount Shasta Siskiyou County and CBS News: Toxic Chemicals California Wildlife Marijuana Grows.

Dr. Mourad Gabriel is the executive director of the non-profit Integral Ecology Research Center, based in Blue Lake, California. He studies endangered wildlife.  When high levels of toxic rodenticides were first found in dead wildlife, it set off alarm bells, but Dr. Gabriel couldn’t figure out the source of the poison. At a scientific conference, he learned that drug cartels were setting up illegal marijuana farms in wilderness lands.

Illegal Marijuana Grows on Wilderness Lands in Siskiyou County as seen from Google Earth

As he now leads investigations deep into the forest to locate and shut down these dangerous operations, he needs to wear kevlar, a protective body armor.  One of the marijuana gangsters poisoned and killed Gabriel’s dog a few years ago, trying to scare him away.  See the article in The Atlantic, Illegal Pot Farms are Poisoning California’s Forests.

Losing our Water and Natural Resources

These environmental travesties threaten America’s pristine natural wonders near Mount Shasta and Lake Tahoe.  One former California resident warns that wilderness hikers can be in grave danger if they happen upon one of these illegal grow sites. Pot growers and other squatters are armed and will shoot to protect their activities.

The growers use poisons to protect their plants which in turn kill wildlife.    One small mammal, the fisher is an endangered species at risk from these toxic chemicals.

These illicit growers are using a banned pesticide carbofuran, which is so potent that one eight of a teaspoon will kill a 300 pound bear. Forest rangers are finding the poison strewn around the forest floor in Vitamin Water bottles.

These operations have also had the effect of eradicating the salmon population by diverting of billions of gallons of water a year out of California streams. The drought returns , but Californians will blame it on something other than a skunky plant that produces no food.

During California’s worst wildfire season ever surely that water would have been useful to the firefighters.

marijuana-endangers-water

There’s a strong possibility that some of California’s wildfires are started by these marijuana growers.  If they are smoking cigarettes or marijuana, or even starting a fire to cook food, their actions could cause of an out of control wildfire.   Authorities believe that marijuana growers started the Soberanes fire, largest fire of 2016,  at a campsite.  Common sense tells us it is a risk inherent in this kind of activity.

So why did California Legalize  Marijuana?

And, as to energy usage, California is about to legalize recreational marijuana, and greedy entrepreneurs are converting old warehouse space into indoor grows. These indoor marijuana facilities are known to use a tremendous amount of electricity to power the grow lights. See this article in the Guardian: Pot is Power Hungry.

In a society that prides itself on ‘going green,’ we must think carefully about the negative impacts of commercializing the plant that causes more environmental damage than any other.   States like Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey should consider these environmental hazards. It is not too late to reverse the damage.

Governor Brown’s Limited Environmental Advocacy Explained

While Gov. Brown did not criticize marijuana for environmental damage, he was clear about the brain damage. Sean Parker donated big to his re-election campaign, and his mind changed.

Governor Jerry Brown poses as an environmentalist on the national stage while enabling his own state’s environmental destruction. Money and pro-pot journalists kept Californians in the dark about the environmental disaster of marijuana, but the governor knew the truth.   Governor Brown could have spoken out against Prop 64, but he honored a favor from his reelection in  2014.

Governor Brown spoke eloquently against marijuana on Meet the Press, on March 2, 2014.  Four days later, Sean Parker and his wife donated $81,600 to Brown’s re-election campaign.  The governor immediately abandoned a safety bill which would have limited the THC allowed in drivers to 2 ng.

Parker donated $9 million to the cause of California’s legalization campaign of 2016, even more than George Soros’ $4 million.  The campaign was full of “dark money” hidden in secret groups, but included at least $12 million of marijuana industry donors.   While Governor Brown didn’t come out for or against Prop 64, he could have used his environmental conscience  to advocate “No.”

(Marijuana was involved crashes that killed in least 3,000 people in California over last 15 years.)   Now California will legalize without a  suitable measure of driving impairment.

Butane Hash Oil Fires Don’t End with Legalized Marijuana

Butane Hash Oil  Labs are a Byproduct of Marijuana Commercialization

On the first day pot was 100% legal in California, three men in Humboldt County celebrated their marijuana freedom by extracting butane hash oil (BHO) from marijuana.  Their actions sparked a fire.  Helicopters airlifted the injured men to UC Davis Hospital because their burns were so extensive.   It is rumored that two of the men died.

Car fire in Arcata, on November 2, 2016. There have been 5 BHO fires in the same county, Humboldt, since the vote to legalize on November 8

Wasn’t legalization going to solve these problems?  No, because “wax,” “shatter,” “budder” — the products made from BHO and sold in dispensaries — are more expensive than homemade stuff.

On November 2, seven days before pot became legal, a BHO fire exploded a car in Arcata, CA.  A similar fire on January 14, 2017, totaled a home near Arcata in Humboldt County, injuring two people. It was the fourth BHO lab discovered in Humboldt County  since legalization.   (The photo above is from a car fire in Arcata on November 2, 2016.)   

Overhead Video of Last Night’s Fire Before Fire Crews Arrive on Scene

BHO or butane hash oil, which Californians call “honey oil” is a highly potent extract of the marijuana plant. Continue reading

Calaveras County Fights Back Against Big WEEDs

Calaveras County made national news this week because its famed, 2,000 year old tree, which had been a tourist attraction since 1880, fell down.  Fortunately, Calaveras County also took action this week to keep out an invasive tree, the giant cannabis plants that grow like weeds.  Tourists won’t be going there for marijuana, and fortunately, many giant sequoias are still standing.  (Photos from the Calaveras Big Trees Association webpage)

Citizens Qualify an Initiative to Ban Marijuana Cultivation

Calaveras County will see California’s first ever citizen-initiated ordinance banning commercial marijuana activities decided soon by its Board of Supervisors or in a spring special election.   It’s one of the first big push-backs against Big Marijuana since the November 8 election in which the state legalized pot.

County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Rebecca Turner today certified the petition sections filed by proponents of the initiative to ban commercial marijuana cultivation included more than enough valid signatures to qualify it for a special election.  Sampling 500 of the more than 5,200 signatures submitted, the Elections Department found a validity rate of 87% which, applied to the total, would produce approximately 4,532 valid signatures, where the number needed for certification was only 3,143.

“We’re delighted with the results, but not surprised,” said Bill McManus, Chairman of The Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation. “The high percentage of invalid signatures from the Measure D signature drive was not surprising due to their use of paid professional signature gatherers.  By contrast, our all-volunteer team was much more careful and deliberate in their efforts.”  “Nevertheless, we overshot the target by a wide margin,” he went on, “to send a strong message to our Board of Supervisors as to the will of the people in Calaveras County.”  Committee member David Tunno added, “We only took about half the amount of time available to gather signatures, or the number would have been much greater.”

CalaverasCounty
Photo from Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana

“Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) congratulates The Committee to Ban Commercial Marijuana in Calaveras County for their successful initiative drive, and especially for being the first such success citizens’ campaign in the state of California.  As far as we know, they are also the first in the U.S.  We encourage the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to enact their ordinance at the earliest possible date.”  Said Carla Lowe, Founder, Co-chair, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, a statewide organization.

The Elections Department also notified the proponents that it will request a hearing on the matter before the Board of Supervisors at its regularly scheduled January 24 meeting.  At this writing, it is unknown whether it will be placed on the agenda for that meeting, but when it is, the Board will have the options of adopting the ordinance, directing the Elections Department to schedule it for a special election, or doing nothing, triggering a requirement for the Department to schedule the ordinance for a special election in the spring.

Proponents of the initiative and authors of the proposed ordinance were Bill McManus of the Calaveras Project and David Tunno, former County Planning Commissioner.  The ordinance bans all commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, processing and delivery within unincorporated Calaveras County, as well as dispensaries, while providing an exception for qualified medical patients under specified conditions.  The complete ordinance and additional information is available on their website, ban commercial cultivation.  

This action will protect Calaveras County against the problems that plague Humboldt County and the Lost Coast.   For more information, contact:

Calaveras County,     Bill McManus      209 768 8549
So. California, Scott Chipman    619 990 7480                            
scott@chipman.info                                                                                                            No. California,  Carla Lowe       916 708 4111   carladlowe@aol.com