NorCal pot farmers - YOU SUCK BIG TIME !!!!!!


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Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:43am PT
That's the real problem, Ken M: It's illegal to go to the area in the first place & you'd need to receive permission from State Parks to actually visit the bottom land there on "official business". So far, from what I've heard, the Rangers haven't taken it out probably because it would take a heck of a lot of work carting all those oil drums and pieces of conduit up 1,400 ft of watershed gully choked with stinging nettles. The best way would be for helicopters to land and fly back out with the stuff hanging from below. I doubt there's a budget or the political will necessary to do just that. A nice little 2,800 ft round trip to carry back one piece of pipe or one oil drum just doesn't make a dent in the garbage pile. People are talking about doing it and that's a big step in the right direction. There was a shoot out in Castle Rock State Park below the waterfall once. A grower was killed or wounded I believe. Just wouldn't be a good idea to go snooping around down there without the Rangers in on the caper. Will ask around and see what the current status of the site is today. I've heard there's plastic pipe, metal oil drums and bags of fertilizer, but would need to inspect the site and see what needs to come back up.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:46am PT
The locals need to run those Mexicans out of town. Homegrown weed should end any profitability of Mexican Cartel run grow operations in Cali.

Seriously. Grow more weed, sustainably, force the price down by oversupply, and narc on every Mexican operation period. They couldn't care less about the environment.

As for the weapons, weed growers get their crops ripped off. Most of them wouldn't shoot to harm.

As marijuana becomes legal, the profit will go out of it. The cartels won't make any money smuggling in weed. This will help empty our prisons of non violent offenders.

I don't even smoke pot, but giving a dime to the Mexican Cartels is like passing the hat for Satan.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 28, 2012 - 08:33am PT
this sounds rather simplistic and parroted talking point rather than well thought out to me - by the same logic : so car drivers are responsible for oil spills ?

If the shoe fits, wear it
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 28, 2012 - 09:26am PT
Interesting article in the Sacramento Bee over the holiday about pot grows here in California - quoting a guy in charge of a federal task forced based in Bakersfield?

There is no proof at all, none, that cartels have anything at all to do with grows.


He said they've tried for a decade to even FIND a connection, much less prove one, nada.

He said these grows are crimes of opportunities. The workers are usually immigrant or illegal workers who don't even know who they work for - $100 a day cash to tend the crops.

The grow in the article was being run by a couple of guys in Bakersfield, no connection to any cartel.


Dec 28, 2012 - 09:50am PT
Yesterday on KQED radio was an interesting show. As the price goes down, long time growers in Humboldt/Mendo area are planting more to keep revenue the same. They are taking so much water out of the rivers, it is affecting coho salmon negatively.

The point brought up in the Bee article DMT mentions is brought up as well.


Anthony (Tony) Silvaggio, lecturer in the department of sociology at Humboldt State University, and an environmental sociologist with the newly formed Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

Charley Custer, marijuana grower and co-founder of the Tea House Collective, a collective of Humboldt farmers who grow organic, sustainably farmed cannabis

Mike Jakubal, documentary filmmaker, environmental activist and 20-year resident of Humboldt County

Scott Bauer, staff environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Game

Scott Greacen, executive director of Friends of the Eel River, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Eel River and tributaries

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 10:55am PT
And don't overlook the estimate that 10% of the electricity used in Cali
is going towards indoor pot farms. Do we really need that?

Dec 28, 2012 - 11:53am PT

Veteran Emerald Triangle pot growers see their way of life ending
Pioneering marijuana cultivators in the hills of Mendocino and Humboldt counties are being pushed to the margins by the legalization they long espoused.

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times

September 29, 2012, 5:03 p.m.

LAYTONVILLE, CALIF. In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middle-aged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.

In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

But this year, Andrew and Anna are hoping only that their 50 or so marijuana plants will cover the bills. Since the mid-1990s, the price of outdoor-grown marijuana has plummeted from more than $5,000 a pound to less than $2,000, and even as low as $800.

Battered by competition from indoor cultivators around the state and industrial-size operations that have invaded the North Coast counties, many of the small-time pot farmers who created the Emerald Triangle fear that their way of life of the last 40 years is coming to an end.

PHOTOS: Up in smoke

Their once-quiet communities, with their back-to-nature ethos, are being overrun by outsiders carving massive farms out of the forest. Robberies are commonplace now, and the mountains reverberate with the sounds of chain saws and heavy equipment.

"Every night we hear helicopters now," Anna said. "It's people moving big greenhouses and generators into the mountains."

Andrew, 56, and Anna, 52, who agreed to be interviewed only if they would be identified by their middle names, live in a rambling house down a trail through tanoaks and Douglas firs. Their electricity comes from a windmill and solar panels, their water from a spring. They cook on a wood stove and use an outhouse with a composting toilet to conserve water for their crop.

Though they are not complete back-to-the-landers they have a nice car, satellite TV and Internet access they keep their gardens relatively small, tucked in the trees throughout their property.

Among their plants, they post their own medical marijuana cards so that if they're raided, it looks as though they're growing under the aegis of state law. But because dispensaries generally prefer the more potent weed grown indoors, they still sell mostly to the black market, where mom-and-pop growers now struggle to compete.

"These big commercial growers have really ruined our business," Anna said.

Until recently, life in the hills of Mendocino and Humboldt counties had changed little in the decades since hippies from the Bay Area began homesteading here. The pioneers initially grew marijuana for themselves and to make a little money.

Then in the 1980s, cultivation of high-grade seedless marijuana opened the possibility for big money as it brought a higher premium. Many of the farmers cashed in. But many remained small and discreet to avoid attracting the attention of state and federal agents.

They raised their families where they cultivated. They drove beat-up Subarus and small Toyota pickups, pumped their water from wells and chopped their own firewood.

The mountain hamlets operated like breakaway states. Marijuana farmers paid for community centers, fire departments, road maintenance and elementary schools.

Even today, small cannabis-funded volunteer fire stations and primary schools are scattered throughout the ranges. And the local radio station, KMUD, announces the sheriff's deputies' movements as part of its public service mandate.

But the liberalization of marijuana laws in the last decade upended the status quo.

From Oakland to the Inland Empire, people began cultivating indoors on an unprecedented scale at the same time that growers from around the world flooded the North Coast because of its remoteness and deep-rooted counterculture.

Now, with the market glutted, people are simply planting ever-larger crops to make up for the drop in price.

Longtime residents complain that the newcomers cut down trees, grade hillsides, divert creeks to irrigate multi-thousand-plant crops, use heavy pesticides and rat poisons, and run giant, smog-belching diesel generators to illuminate indoor grows. They blaze around in Dodge monster trucks and Cadillac Escalades and don't contribute to upkeep of the roads or schools.

"They just don't care," said Kym Kemp, a teacher and blogger in the mountains of Sohum, as locals call southern Humboldt County. "They're not thinking, 'I want my kids to grow up here.'

"Now there are greenhouses the size of a football field that weren't even there last year," she added.

Kemp said she feels her region is being colonized and worries about the colorful, off-the-grid people that small cannabis patches long supported.

"So many people who live here are just different," she said. "They don't fit in regular society. They couldn't work 9-to-5 jobs. But they've gotten used to raising their kids on middle-class incomes. What are they going to do?"

Tom Evans, 61, a small-time grower in northern Mendocino, said the sense of peace and self-reliance he moved here for 30 years ago is disappearing so fast that he may leave for Mexico.

"It used to be a contest to see who could drive the oldest pickup truck," said Evans, a former Army helicopter mechanic who sports a woolly gray beard and tie-dyed shirt. "There's just been this huge influx of folks who have money on their mind, instead of love of the land. A lot more gun-toters. A lot more attack dogs."

Evans lives in a small rented home that generously could be called a fixer-upper. He said he doesn't have a bank account or credit card, and his Honda Passport has more than 300,000 miles. "It's 'make a living, not a killing,'" he said.

His friend, a bear of man who goes by the name Mr. Fuzzy, noted that it's not only outsiders causing problems.

"You know the weird part, these are our kids too," he said.

It's a recurring lament among longtime growers. Some of their own children are going for the large-scale grows, big money and fancy cars.

The larger irony is that the marijuana pioneers are being pushed to the margins by the legalization they long espoused.

"Ultimately we worry about Winston or Marlboro getting some land and doing their thing," said Lawrence Ringo, a 55-year-old grower and seed breeder deep in the wilds of Sohum. "We see it time after time in America big corporations come in and take over."

Ringo saw the 2010 marijuana initiative, Proposition 19, as a ploy by Bay Area activists to dominate the market with giant warehouse grows in Oakland.

He suspects plenty of people will still want high-quality, organically grown cannabis but fears the big business interests will dictate how marijuana gets regulated. Ringo points out that Colorado, the one state that fully regulates marijuana, helped push most growing indoors and place cultivation under the control of large dispensaries.

"We're afraid of losing what we've been doing for 40 years," he said.

As competition drives prices down, even chamber of commerce types acknowledge that the North Coast economy is at risk. Pot kept things afloat as the logging and fishing industries declined. Restaurants, car dealerships, banks, hotels and dental clinics all depend on marijuana money.

"There's probably not one business that doesn't benefit," said Julie Fulkerson, who founded a home furnishings store and comes from a prominent third-generation Humboldt family.

Walk into the upscale Cecil's New Orleans Bistro in small-town Garberville and you'll find growers in dirty T-shirts unpeeling rolls of $20 bills to pay for martinis and $38 steaks. More soil supply and hydroponics shops line stretches of Highway 101 than gas stations, and trucks laden with bags of soil and fertilizer kick up dust as they make deliveries on the most isolated roads.

During harvest, hardware stores put out huge bins of Fiskars pruning scissors, the preferred tool for marijuana trimmers. Safeway stocks so many turkey bags that an outsider might wonder how such small locales could consume so many birds. The sealable, smell-proof bags are used for storing and transporting weed.

"I wouldn't survive if it wasn't for growing," said Tom Ochner, 54, who runs a country store and rental cabins outside of Covelo a business called the Black Butte River Ranch. "Owners realize this is what makes their business go."

Concerned about the economics of legalization, Humboldt banker Jennifer Budwig studied the amount of pot money entering the local economy.

Using an extremely high estimate that law enforcement seized 25% of the total amount of pot grown in Humboldt, she found that the crop generated at least $1 billion a year of which $415 million was spent in the county. She said the actual figure could be several times higher.

Legalization "has the potential to be devastating," she said.

Some small growers, like Anna and Andrew, still hold out hope that they can beat back the deluge of industrial marijuana.

There's a market, they say, for sun-grown weed among discerning users who appreciate the nuances of regional variety.

A grower just down the road said he hoped to start promoting "Mendocino terroir."

"How can sun-grown not be better medicine?" Anna asked. "If you're sick, you want something that has chemicals in it? You can't grow indoor organically. Not to mention the fossil fuels it burns up."

But even if boutique weed has some potential, the couple still sense that their life in the mountains is changing for good. The next-door neighbor recently had a home-invasion robbery, and a young man down the road was shot in the face during a deal.

Andrew goes back to planting the new crop. He used to have the radio on all day something to engage his mind during the tedious work.

He doesn't anymore.

He keeps it quiet, listening for intruders.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Good one, Heyzeus, I was gonna post that back in Sept.

"There's just been this huge influx of folks who have money on their mind,
instead of love of the land. A lot more gun-toters. A lot more attack dogs."
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:44pm PT
The pot farmers took a sh#t on the last proposition to legalize marijuana in California because they were scared of competition and so they could continue shitting on the environment with no sanctions.

The inbred irresponsible hippy f*#ks growing this sh#t out on our land need to be shut down. Legalize it and shut down these incompetent hacks. Next time they try to blow smoke up your azz, don't fall for it.

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:46pm PT

"And don't overlook the estimate that 10% of the electricity used in Cali is going towards indoor pot farms. Do we really need that?"...

It's being PAID for so what's the real big problem THERE???...


The Granite State.
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:49pm PT
I'd see a lot of my foothills friends stressing out, figuring out how to get a job if it happened. But, in the scheme of things, it seems that full legalization would do a solid for nature.

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:54pm PT
Jebus, I know 5 growers who were all for legalizing it. Had 99 plants, and a bitch ate one. They knew what was up and they were ready to move on from their little business venture. But yeah, they said the seedier elements... not really hippies, more like aspiring meth heads... up Eureka way were opposing it.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:55pm PT
Locker, the problem with having to build extra electrical infrastructure is
that even solar isn't the 'green dream' many think it is.
Just ask the tortoises.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
10% of the electricity in the state? NO WAY.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Dingus, I knew I could rely on you to question that but even if it is 5%
that is a lot of juice.
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:00pm PT
@ Ding: Why not. Those lights suck down the electricity. That's how they spot 'em, by elevated electric bills. We're talking multiple 1000 watt bulbs, man.

I hear ya Wes, I don't doubt there's some good people out there, and probably more rapacious types than your typical hippy doing the really bad deeds, I just don't agree with using our public lands with absolutely no oversight for your source of income. It's probably easy to justify leaving the waste out there, use excess fertilizers, pesticides, re-route natural water sources, clear cut, you name it, because it is all illegal to begin with.

The enterprise as it exists now encourages the smash and grab types. Do it big and nasty for a few seasons, earn a few mill and move on.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:03pm PT
10 percent? Come on.....


Gym climber
South of Heaven
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:03pm PT
The problem with solar is we are still in the mindset of relying on huge corporations to make it feasible.

If all those soon to be out of work pot growers would take some initiative and get into solar retrofitting, it would go a LONG way.

No point in shading the tortoise habitat when you could shade building, parking lots, and highways in SoCal. No huge corporation is going to be able to pull that off, it takes too much agility and adaptability. They rely on the economy of scale to generate their billion dollar profits. But a few smart people with some skillz could easily knock out some solid solar panel installations with multiple benefits.

From the class I taught last semester... CA uses ~200,000 GWh of electricity a year.

1000W bulbs x 12hrs x 1 bulb/2 plants (?) = 6,000 Wh/plant
5,000,000 plants, plus whatever locker smokes = 30,000,000,000 Wh = 30 GWh for all the indoor plants in CA

30/200,000 = 0.015%
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:06pm PT
10%. Why not?

Not that I care about that facet too much.

I guess we can take pride in buying local and sucking down our local forest lands one bowl at a time.
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
I've driven through that country, Ron, and it's cartels of inbred hippy rednecks out there.
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