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Harvest Time.
November 3, 2009 2:45 PM   Subscribe

A Mendocino mid-fall marijuana harvest as documented by photographer Mathieu Young. (via - with some info)
posted by gman (94 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
beautiful.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, someone said..."hey, guys, let's throw caution to the wind and let some photographer in here and take pictures of all this, 'cuz, like, there's that photographer-photographee relationship where they can't make him testify in court...! It'll be fun!, and we can post it all on myspacebook or teeter or something!"

-fail
posted by HuronBob at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2009


How are these people "living off the land"? Because they're farming? They're growing their crop in greenhouses, selling their crop for profits, not to feed themselves. In short, stick with the photos (which are rather nice, if feeling heavily staged) and keep the imagined backstory to yourself (or get an editor).
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


They seem to be missing out on the opportunity to make hashish from all that stuff. Maybe it's primarily intended for medicinal prescriptions and that would cut into profit margins.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:02 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hope any gps tag data are removed from those pics.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


It *is* beautiful. And it looks like a lot of work.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:08 PM on November 3, 2009


How funny if EXIF data got them busted.
posted by xmutex at 3:09 PM on November 3, 2009


Hope any gps tag data are removed from those pics.

In this pic, it looks like he uses some kind of DSLR, which most likely does not have a GPS receiver. The EXIF data wouldn't contain it.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2009


Interesting link. I saw this movie at some point: http://www.greenrushmovie.com/ does a great job of laying out the back story as several different farmers work through a season. Not sure if there is a link online to the film but if you liked those pics its definitely worth a view.
posted by proneSMK at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2009


And it looks like a lot of work.

It is a lot of work. Not a lot of suit-wearing, peon-firing, union-busting, derivative-trading, economy-wrecking work, but a lot of work just the same.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


laying out the back story as several different farmers work through a season.

I'll just pretend that this is the same pot farm that John Locke worked at in the flashbacks on LOST.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:19 PM on November 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


There is some very fine use of off-camera flash in those. It's difficult to do well in a documentary-type situation. Respect to the photgrapher for that.
posted by echo target at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2009


Then they randomly generated a name and lived happily ever after.
posted by fixedgear at 3:22 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


For a while I wondered what kind of damage legalization would do to the communities that are supported by cannabis crops. Once the legal risk premium goes away, premium cannabis would cost roughly the same as premium basil. That certainly would hurt the people who depend on that income. On a wide scale it would seem to really screw up the economy.

Then I realized that the cost of propping up that risk premium: imprisoning thousands upon thousands of non-violent, able-bodied people at great expense. Maintaining a welfare system in law enforcement for the purpose of attacking the industry. With those costs gone, I think the net economic downside would balance out.
posted by mullingitover at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


That's dope.
posted by dersins at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Dear sweet mother of God.
posted by kbanas at 3:27 PM on November 3, 2009


Green Rush Movie (meant to link to this movie) in previous comment. oops
posted by proneSMK at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2009


imprisoning thousands upon thousands of non-violent, able-bodied people at great expense.

Oh come on. I do believe that's a shotgun in image 17. Try sauntering onto that property and see how non-violent they are. Not saying violence is a hallmark of pot cultivation, but let's not attempt to call this anything but a secure, secretive criminal operation which pays no taxes and which, quite frankly, does little in the way of good for society.

Also, there's no way that the costs would balance out. If you legalized pot, consumption would explode. The tax dollars generated would be massive. Hiring a few extra DEA dudes to combat these operations is less than a drop in the bucket.

If the government were smart with a transition to legalizing, they'd place an amnesty on pot-cultivation prosecution, approach these guys, license them, and bring their operations above board. Then, the market would take over. If the community it was previously supporting went under, well then, so be it.

Ultimately I don't think anyone's too interested in busting these operations - it would take a DEA tech 5 minutes to locate that operation with a decent airphoto of Mendocino. Or, they go down to any shop in the Town and shake one of the hippies hard enough until they spewed. This isn't happening.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah. I really think California is going to legalize.

Consider all the tech, money, and man hours that get thrown at this problem against a catastrophic economic climate AND the deeply flawed logic of enforcing a ban on something with an unproven net negative effect on society.

Legalization would bring expenditures down and raise revenue.

Arnie's going to bite the bullet on this one.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2009


<> How are these people "living off the land"? Because they're farming?

No one who farms can "live off the land" because property taxes are designed to keep everyone participating in the national economy. All farmers, even the ones into the most deeply ecological form of retro-agraianism, use some industrial building materials. Despite the "high tech" greenhouse, you don't know if the soil they are using is from their own compost, if they are recycling their waste in an eco-friendly way, or if they aren't using some kind of sustainable irrigation solution. I certainly don't see any grow lights. Cannabis needs nearly no pesticide or fungicide. It could be a completely organic operation for all you know.

<>They seem to be missing out on the opportunity to make hashish from all that stuff.

What do you think they're using those carefully harvested leaves for?

<> In this pic, it looks like he uses some kind of DSLR, which most likely does not have a GPS receiver. The EXIF data wouldn't contain it.

This is compiled flash. There is no image to save and no exif to get. Otherwise you could just use this.

<> -fail

Because those trees and that hardware-store-bought Keep Out sign are practically postal addresses, amirite?

-fail.
posted by clarknova at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2009


Arnie's going to bite the bullet on this one.

So that's what the kids are calling it these days.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:45 PM on November 3, 2009


Call me crazy, but if someone was interested in knowing where this was they would, oh, you know, GO GET THE GUY WHO TOOK THE PHOTOS and not hope that the image on his website had GPS metadata.
posted by jimmythefish at 3:47 PM on November 3, 2009


Another Schwarzenegger link, that one was semi-broken.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2009


If you legalized pot, consumption would explode.

Really? Main video here.
posted by gman at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2009


Oh come on. I do believe that's a shotgun in image 17. Try sauntering onto that property and see how non-violent they are. Not saying violence is a hallmark of pot cultivation, but let's not attempt to call this anything but a secure, secretive criminal operation which pays no taxes and which, quite frankly, does little in the way of good for society.

I imagine mullingitover was referring mostly to users, not growers.

Also, I really disagree that their operation "does little in the way of good for society". You can apply that to any product that isn't 100% essential to human survival, but if someone's willing to pay for it and negative externalities are minimal I'd say it's beneficial.
posted by ripley_ at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2009


It is a lot of work.

Well sure, because they're doing their own trimming by freakin' hand! That's utterly ridiculous. That's like picking your own cotton. Nobody does that any more when you've got these things.

Nowadays, most people who enjoy actually going out and living their lives instead of sitting around all day de-leafing use one of these.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:55 PM on November 3, 2009


Slide show



Mmmmbye now.
posted by HTuttle at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2009


Try sauntering onto that property and see how non-violent they are.

I don't really care either way about marijuana legalization, but this is just dishonest. By your definition, convenience store owners are violent because they also defend their property.

The point being made is that marijuana users and growers are not committing a violent crime, not that they are pacifists.

Not saying violence is a hallmark of pot cultivation, but let's not attempt to call this anything but a secure, secretive criminal operation which pays no taxes and which, quite frankly, does little in the way of good for society.

Their customers probably disagree about that. Also, again with the dishonesty: Are they allowed to pay taxes for marijuana growing? Would they be willing to if allowed?
posted by DU at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Are they allowed to pay taxes for marijuana growing?

Yes.

Would they be willing to if allowed?

Not currently but they probably would if it were legalized.
posted by Justinian at 4:06 PM on November 3, 2009


They seem to be missing out on the opportunity to make hashish from all that stuff. Maybe it's primarily intended for medicinal prescriptions and that would cut into profit margins.

That's ridiculous. Of course they're making hash, but you don't make hash out of primo buds. You gather up all the trim, stalks, etc. and use that to make hash or butter or whatever else you desire (in fact, it just so happens that I, uh, know a guy with a jar of deeelicious Mendocino butter sitting in his fridge).

Nowadays, most people who enjoy actually going out and living their lives instead of sitting around all day de-leafing use one of these.

Maybe people who enjoy damaging the hell out of their precious trichomes us a machine like that, but for extremely high quality cannabis of this nature, it would be insane to put it through such a gin. Trimming pot is a lot of work, but mechanizing the process greatly reduces the quality of the end product.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 4:08 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


It is a lot of work.

Oh hell, if you can grow tomatoes...
posted by longsleeves at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2009


I don't really care either way about marijuana legalization, but this is just dishonest. By your definition, convenience store owners are violent because they also defend their property.

Convenience store owners want you on their property, they're not doing anything illegal, and just don't want you walking off with an armful of snickers. These people illegally raising pot have a vested interest in making sure their location and activities are not discovered. To claim that the guy toting a shotgun is supposed to represent an honest property owner protecting his crop is half truth. It's also there to intimidate anyone who might think poorly of what they're doing.
posted by Atreides at 4:15 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trimming buds is a lot of work but it's fun. Doing anything with drugs is fun.
posted by tehloki at 4:40 PM on November 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


LOL, this timing of this post is incredibly...weird. I just got back last night from a SoCenVal harvest. It's exactly the same, only they were trimming the bud much closer.

It is a lot of work. It's farming. But it's wonderful, fulfilling work, at an exciting time in history.
posted by Xoebe at 4:49 PM on November 3, 2009


jimmythefish: "Not saying violence is a hallmark of pot cultivation, but let's not attempt to call this anything but a secure, secretive criminal operation which pays no taxes and which, quite frankly, does little in the way of good for society. "

The revenue generated by the operation still ends up contributing to the flow of capital through the economy. It's safe to say that a marijuana grow-op does more for the local economy than a 40-foot shipping container full of iPods from China.

As for the criminality argument, that's some pretty circular logic. They're criminals because they have guns? Or do they have guns because they're criminals? These people have a large amount of product on site. The police offer no protection. What are they to do? The mere existence of security tools is no reflection on their character. Meanwhile, they may not pay taxes at the first tier but that doesn't mean they don't own taxable homes, make purchases subject to sales tax, etc etc etc. One could argue that cannabis growers do more for the economy than your run-of-the-mill transnational corporation.

"Also, there's no way that the costs would balance out. If you legalized pot, consumption would explode. The tax dollars generated would be massive. Hiring a few extra DEA dudes to combat these operations is less than a drop in the bucket."

Consumption explosion? Citation, please. Certainly the state would attempt to glean tax revenues directly from cannabis sales, but in the long run in a free market the elimination of the risk premium would deflate things to their natural level, which is down there with any other herb in your spice rack.
posted by mullingitover at 5:08 PM on November 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Trimming buds is a lot of work but it's fun. Doing anything with drugs is fun.

Maybe they aren't allowed to smoke on the job/premises. That would make it a terrible, terrible job.
posted by elmono at 5:20 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]



Are we really sure the gate and keep out signs are at the entrance to the grow site. The picture of that fence/gate could just as easily be a picture of a non related gate and signs fifty miles away from the site.
posted by notreally at 5:22 PM on November 3, 2009


If you legalized pot, consumption would explode.

Right, because keeping it illegal is doing such a great job of keeping it out of circulation. Pretty much anyone anywhere in the US is only a couple of phone calls away from a bag of weed. If anything, I'll bet legalization will actually make it harder for some people to acquire pot: I was sure never carded by a drug dealer when I was buying nickel bags in high school, but the guy at the beer store at least demanded I show him a fake ID.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:30 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


> Nowadays, most people who enjoy actually going out and living their lives instead of sitting around all day de-leafing use one of these [link to Twist Trimmer].

Wow, I had no idea.

I guess you keep it out in the shed, next to the wood chipper and the power washer.
posted by mosk at 5:36 PM on November 3, 2009


As for the criminality argument, that's some pretty circular logic. They're criminals because they have guns? Or do they have guns because they're criminals? These people have a large amount of product on site. The police offer no protection. What are they to do? The mere existence of security tools is no reflection on their character. Meanwhile, they may not pay taxes at the first tier but that doesn't mean they don't own taxable homes, make purchases subject to sales tax, etc etc etc. One could argue that cannabis growers do more for the economy than your run-of-the-mill transnational corporation.

It's the criminality that causes the violence, and it's the violence that most people would object to. Sure, go ahead and advocate for a lawless, libertarian society of tax-evading 'economies'. Meanwhile, I'll choose not to participate.

Legalize it, and I might buy some every once in a while - because it'll be sold in stores instead of knowing where to buy stuff from some sketchy dude who is mixing it (as has been happening in Calgary) with other, more dangerous drugs like crystal meth. Regulation will absolutely make it safer, more prosperous and much, much higher selling.

As I've said in other threads:

1. Legalize it
2. Regulate it
3. Tax it
4. Subsidize research into more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable practices.
5. Use tax dollars to enforce compliance with the regulations.

Until then, you're left with a dodgy, underground business that can't guarantee the health or safety of any aspect of marijuana production.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:38 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Great photos!
Also - they wouldn't need guns if it was legal.
posted by smartypantz at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you legalized pot, consumption would explode.

Anecdotal evidence would suggest otherwise.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 5:42 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, because keeping it illegal is doing such a great job of keeping it out of circulation. Pretty much anyone anywhere in the US is only a couple of phone calls away from a bag of weed. If anything, I'll bet legalization will actually make it harder for some people to acquire pot: I was sure never carded by a drug dealer when I was buying nickel bags in high school, but the guy at the beer store at least demanded I show him a fake ID.

A few people out there choose not to engage in illegal activities for many reasons - ethical, professional, etc. You legalize it and ensure a steady, very high-quality, regulated, organic product and it'd sell better. I'm absolutely sure of that.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:44 PM on November 3, 2009


jimmythefish: "It's the criminality that causes the violence, and it's the violence that most people would object to."

Cool, we're saying the same thing: our legal system is the root cause of the problem. Decriminalize, legalize, and the violence goes away.

"Legalize it, and I might buy some every once in a while"

Er, cool story bro. Where's that citation for your claim that consumption would explode?

It's been legal* and regulated in the Netherlands for quite some time, and people there smoke less than people in the US. The evidence shows our current system is effectively promoting violence and criminality while increasing consumption.

On the bright side, your proposals have mostly** been implemented here in California. The only exception is point 5: the dispensaries are currently contributing millions to state and local government budgets, but that money isn't necessarily going to regulate the industry.

* Not completely, but pretty much
** It's not legal yet, but it's hard *not* to get a doctor's referral for a card. Cannabis dispensaries outnumber Starbucks in Los Angeles
posted by mullingitover at 5:52 PM on November 3, 2009


It's been legal* and regulated in the Netherlands for quite some time, and people there smoke less than people in the US.

Cool story bro. I've been to the Netherlands plenty, and that's not the only difference, believe you me. People in the Netherlands are FAR healthier, more active, and more socially-minded than people in the US. You can get chocolate bars and SUVs there, too, but people don't buy as much of those there either. One example does not a study make.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:05 PM on November 3, 2009


Portugal legalized it, and consumption dropped. Markedly.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM on November 3, 2009


Yummy.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:17 PM on November 3, 2009


Are we really sure the gate and keep out signs are at the entrance to the grow site.

No kidding. If I were the photographer I'd make sure that that gate belonged to the local sheriff or someone else untouchable.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:38 PM on November 3, 2009


fff: 'Portugal legalized it, and consumption dropped. Markedly.'

Mexico jumped in as well. I have yet to hear reports of consumption skyrocketing.
posted by mullingitover at 6:57 PM on November 3, 2009


A few people out there choose not to engage in illegal activities for many reasons - ethical, professional, etc. You legalize it and ensure a steady, very high-quality, regulated, organic product and it'd sell better. I'm absolutely sure of that.

...

Cool story bro. I've been to the Netherlands plenty, and that's not the only difference, believe you me. People in the Netherlands are FAR healthier, more active, and more socially-minded than people in the US. You can get chocolate bars and SUVs there, too, but people don't buy as much of those there either. One example does not a study make.

I don't get the point you're trying to make. On the one hand you seem to be advocating legalization. On the other you seem to be (snarkily) trying to defend an anti-legalization argument. Which is it? And you aren't providing any references to back up your claims about use patterns, but you are asking for the same from other people? Forgive me, but...maybe you should smoke a bowl and chill out. You seem a bit uptight.
posted by dubitable at 7:06 PM on November 3, 2009


If you legalized pot, consumption would explode.

Not so, apparently. Check out this Time article: Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

Handy graph:
http://txfx.net/2009/04/08/drug-use-in-portugal-plunges-after-decriminalization/
posted by wsg at 7:08 PM on November 3, 2009


One more thing: the legal status of marijuana in California is rather ambiguous, especially when you want to contrast the approach taken by the Fed vs. the State in terms of medical marijuana. Pretending as though this is some sort of cut-and-dried (haha) illegal vs. legal/criminals vs. straight-and-narrow citizens situation seems intellectually dishonest to me.
posted by dubitable at 7:11 PM on November 3, 2009


Are we really sure the gate and keep out signs are at the entrance to the grow site. The picture of that fence/gate could just as easily be a picture of a non related gate and signs fifty miles away from the site.

Every gate in Mendocino looks like that. Except the ones that have electrified razor wire and "Warning: Armed Guards" signs strung up every 15 feet. That's how you tell the meth labs from the pot grows I guess. Let's just say that finding grow ops isn't exactly hard in that neck of the woods and, mostly, no one cares about small ops, including the DEA.
posted by fshgrl at 7:33 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't get the point you're trying to make. On the one hand you seem to be advocating legalization. On the other you seem to be (snarkily) trying to defend an anti-legalization argument. Which is it? And you aren't providing any references to back up your claims about use patterns, but you are asking for the same from other people? Forgive me, but...maybe you should smoke a bowl and chill out. You seem a bit uptight.

I'm absolutely advocating legalisation. Where did I make a claim (as opposed to an opinion)? I think it'd go up in the States. I believe there to be a much different culture of drug use here than in the countries which have been cited as legalization having lowered use. Several times in this thread I've been asked for citations for my opinion that use would go up. I don't need to provide citations for my opinion. I responded to mullingitover's comment that asked me to provide a citation and then proceeded to provide the Netherlands as definitive evidence that legalizing pot leads to a decrease in consumption. That comparison is totally baseless, I think, due to the markedly different cultures of the two countries.

Furthermore, I think a decrease in pot smoking would be a positive side effect of legalization. It may be fun and cool and all that but it's not healthy. The reasoning behind my suspicion that the Netherlands would handle something so differently is largely due to what I have observed as a markedly different civil society there. It's a culture of restraint and conservation, whereas in the US there's more of a culture of consumption.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but up to this point it's really just been one-offs and anecdotal evidence (on both sides).
posted by jimmythefish at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2009


That's ridiculous. Of course they're making hash, but you don't make hash out of primo buds. You gather up all the trim, stalks, etc. and use that to make hash or butter or whatever else you desire.

So hash is the chocolate ice cream of marijuana. How perfect.
posted by rokusan at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2009


Portugal legalized it, and consumption dropped. Markedly.'
Mexico jumped in as well.


No, Mexico decriminalized possession of very small amounts, the same way Canada and many states have.

That's many steps from "legalization."
posted by rokusan at 7:55 PM on November 3, 2009


jimmythefish: 'I don't need to provide citations for my opinion.'

...and we don't have to believe your opinions have any merit, but one thing sort of leads to the other.
posted by mullingitover at 8:00 PM on November 3, 2009


Let's just say that finding grow ops isn't exactly hard in that neck of the woods and, mostly, no one cares about small ops, including the DEA.

I don't know what your standards are like, but that harvest hardly looked like a 'small' grow op to me. I bet they netted at least 20 kilos of buds, which would be worth a pretty penny if it's as high quality as it appears to be.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:11 PM on November 3, 2009


This is compiled flash. There is no image to save and no exif to get.

Nonsense. The flash viewer retrieves each image over HTTP just as any normal browser does: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
posted by Rhomboid at 8:13 PM on November 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


>: If you legalized pot, consumption would explode.

Most of your comment was just intellectually dishonest, but this is just inexcusable.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:50 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


My main experience with pot growers is that these are the friendly people who make it dangerous for my friends and I to go walking in the back country of state parks. Generally the presence of a pot farm is is indicated when one finds a booby trap, or a threatening guy waving you off of a patch of public land with a gun. These people also tend to thoroughly trash the land they grow on, so I can't say I have much sympathy for them.

Maybe legalization will reduce the number of people doing illegal farming. I personally suspect that government requirements for quality control, land use fees, income taxes, W-2 documentation, and all the other paperwork and fees involved in farming will result in the potheads continuing to have their little fortifications in public land.
posted by happyroach at 10:02 PM on November 3, 2009


jimmythefish: I think it'd go up in the States.

I'm inclined to think you're correct about this. There are people who would like to enjoy marijuana who are deterred by the threat of legal penalties and having to find and deal with the black market. There are also those who, desiring an altered mental state, find it less trouble to simply go to the convenience store and buy beer. Another class of would-be casual users is deterred by family who will not abide contraband in their homes, cars, or other spaces.

Furthermore, it seems unlikely that current statistics on marijuana use are all that accurate. Full legalization would put it mostly above-board, and people who won't admit to using or having ever used an illegal substance might be willing to talk about their use of marijuana, since the illegality is no longer an issue. Some who never tried it due to OMG DRUGS JUST SAY NO might indulge, out of curiosity if nothing else.

I don't know about use "exploding". I think it would probably increase, and alcohol abuse might decline in tandem. Hopefully. The US government has had a history of irrationally treating marijuana as if it were the worst drug ever (Schedule I?!) and exacting way over-the-top penalties for users, growers, and dealers; lifting that threat might well pave the way for more people to partake.
posted by Maximian at 10:32 PM on November 3, 2009


It would for me, Max. With a family I prefer to stay on the legal side of the law, whether I agree with it or not. That, and I can't afford it! Damn it.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:48 PM on November 3, 2009


You all are insane if you think that marijuana use won't go up if you could buy "special" brownies at the 7-11.
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:00 PM on November 3, 2009


Maybe legalization will reduce the number of people doing illegal farming. I personally suspect that government requirements for quality control, land use fees, income taxes, W-2 documentation, and all the other paperwork and fees involved in farming will result in the potheads continuing to have their little fortifications in public land.

Hence all the illegal orchards, vineyards, and corn fields you stumble on during your nature walks.
posted by mek at 11:11 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did this link to the Medical Marijuana episode of Dragon's Den get posted to MeFi? DD is a group of angel investors on a tv show that scouts out investment opportunities.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:11 PM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


My prediction: if marijuana usage rates go up, there'll be a corresponding drop in alcohol usage. And a marked increase in Dorito sales, so it really is a net gain to the economy in the end.

Stoned people are way less violent than drunk people. We could do with a little more non-violence. It'd be a welcome change. Free-love stoner hippie peace movement for teh win.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:13 PM on November 3, 2009


California has a sales tax, so a lot of the money is taxed and I would wager a lot of the money goes more directly into the local economy. I would be interested to see the sales tax figures from Mendocino compared to other similar places.

I would like to see it legalized, but if legalization meant that walmart could import it from their already existing greenhouses in mexico, then I would prefer it stay the way it is. I honestly think that the even with the downsides of law enforcement, shifting production from a small growers to existing big-agro corporations would do more harm than good.

Not the least would be to utterly destroy the economy of much of Northern California.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:52 PM on November 3, 2009


In other news, the Maine marijuana dispensary law I voted for seems to have gone through. Gay marriage, not so much.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:05 AM on November 4, 2009


I just look at all this and go "Sure, legalize it and tax it... but why would anyone really want to use it?!"

I personally don't care much for the feeling of being "at one with the couch"... and dealing with the constant pot giggles and general hazy cluelessness of the few I know who regularly smoke, and seeing what crappy parents they are, well...

I like a good drink. Shrooms were fun, in moderation. Opium was melty in a *nice*, almost elegant way. But pot?! Meh.

I'll smoke pot when I can inhale it second-hand from a hot goth's lips during a night of kinky sex... but otherwise, the appeal really isn't there for me.
posted by markkraft at 1:05 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would like to see it legalized, but if legalization meant that walmart could import it from their already existing greenhouses in mexico, then I would prefer it stay the way it is.

ie. We can't compete economically in a zillion other markets any more, so we need criminalization in order to sustain the gangster elites that have traditionally driven the US economy.

Not to mention all those jobs in the enforcement industry. Where would the US economy be without the prison building programme? There's no way all those dumb lard arses would be able to compete globally at genuinely productive work.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:06 AM on November 4, 2009


jimmythefish typed: buy stuff from some sketchy dude who is mixing it (as has been happening in Calgary) with other, more dangerous drugs like crystal meth.

Cite? And while you're at it, explain the economy of doing such a thing. Last I heard, pot was lots cheaper than "more dangerous drugs", so it makes no sense at all. Sounds like some retarded anti-drug propaganda.
posted by Goofyy at 3:32 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, about those photos: I can't imagine the aroma that must be thick enough to taste. Maybe I'm extra sensitive, but I've had tiny amounts in my pocket, just purchased, that I could smell while walking down the street! (which made me nervous!) And it was, of course, in a plastic bag.
posted by Goofyy at 3:41 AM on November 4, 2009


I don't have any evidence, but I still believe that legalization would drive the price of pot down to almost nothing. It's too easy to grow and there are millions of users who would love to have a few plants in their backyard. The urban/suburban gardening resurgence also means that many more people already have gardens.

I'm sure there would be occasional users who buy stuff at the store, but for the heads it would be free.
posted by snofoam at 6:51 AM on November 4, 2009


PeterMcDermott: 'Not to mention all those jobs in the enforcement industry. Where would the US economy be without the prison building programme? There's no way all those dumb lard arses would be able to compete globally at genuinely productive work.'

Well this one's easy. After we legalize cannabis, we also legalize breaking windows. This way all those in the law enforcement system's shuttered welfare program can transition to new jobs in the window repair industry.
posted by mullingitover at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2009


"they wouldn't need guns if it was legal."

They'd still have them I'd imagine. Practically every farmer I know has a gun or three.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 AM on November 4, 2009


jimmythefish typed: buy stuff from some sketchy dude who is mixing it (as has been happening in Calgary) with other, more dangerous drugs like crystal meth.

Cite? And while you're at it, explain the economy of doing such a thing. Last I heard, pot was lots cheaper than "more dangerous drugs", so it makes no sense at all. Sounds like some retarded anti-drug propaganda.


From cbc.ca:

Crystal meth being added to pot, ex-dealer says
posted by jimmythefish at 7:28 AM on November 4, 2009


And while you're at it, explain the economy of doing such a thing.

Well, that's just the point. Yes that link is from 2006, but I wake up to the radio yesterday saying the same thing. Is it true? Who the fuck knows. I don't know the intricacies of the drug dealing business model, but I'm likely to believe that:

A. There's some evidence that it's happening if they're saying it is, and

B. I'm willing to bet that a 16-year old drug dealer isn't always acting with 100% efficiency or sense. He could (wrongly?) think that it will be good for business.

My point is that it's an unregulated process. Nobody can guarantee a reliable product or that some idiot piece of shit is sprinkling your pot with crack in some misguided drug-addled plan to rule the world. I'm not against pot consumption, I'm against the deregulated, criminal nature of it which leads to wrecked houses, freeloaders, potentially dangerous products, threat of violence, etc.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:42 AM on November 4, 2009


jimmytefish: I think you need to read more carefully. The article quoted one Sgt. Jerome Engel, of Saskatoon's integrated drug unit, saying:
"From a business perspective, adding crystal meth to marijuana doesn't make a lot of sense. They're putting a lot of money into a cannabis marijuana joint that's going to sell for $5 to try and get someone addicted."

Otherwise, the source is a 16-year-old "former drug dealer".
posted by Goofyy at 7:51 AM on November 4, 2009


You all are insane if you think that marijuana use won't go up if you could buy "special" brownies at the 7-11.

you go ahead and get them from 7-11. i'll be buying mine at whole foods. sure it will be 10x more expensive, but at least it won't be the microwaveable-hamburger version of a pot brownie.
posted by ninjew at 7:56 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


...and you're making a mistake if you think that 100% of drug dealers are operating with perfect common sense.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:57 AM on November 4, 2009


Interesting. The article cites as evidence a single sixteen-year-old from Saskatchewan, then goes on to cite the officer from the drug unit who says he can't confirm it and that it really makes no sense for the dealers. Dealers secretly mixing hard drugs with cannabis is pretty much the red mercury of the drug world.
posted by mullingitover at 8:01 AM on November 4, 2009


jimmythefish: 'I'm not against pot consumption, I'm against the deregulated, criminal nature of it which leads to wrecked houses, freeloaders, potentially dangerous products, threat of violence, etc.'

So what were we arguing about again? I'm in favor of putting traffic lights up at intersections, too.
posted by mullingitover at 8:05 AM on November 4, 2009


Lovely photos. Norther California growing operations fund all sorts of things - new equipment for fire fighters, libraries, schools, you name it. Take Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - what do you think their back-business is that tides them over in times of lean beer sales? Growing and selling pot is a hell of a lot more honest than selling processed chemical sludge and calling it food. It's a lot more honest than a lot of things I can think of that are considered legal.
posted by PuppyCat at 9:01 AM on November 4, 2009


Cool story bro. I've been to the Netherlands plenty, and that's not the only difference, believe you me. People in the Netherlands are FAR healthier, more active, and more socially-minded than people in the US.

So, you're saying the US is just too immature to handle it?

Specious logic.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:49 AM on November 4, 2009


My point is that it's an unregulated process.

I barter for my neighbors' eggs using soap I make, which I make using goat milk, and I barter with my milk supplier, too, and we do this using an unregulated process. We just have to trust each other to a point to make it work, which is what happens in the rest of society, too, just that we mitigate risk by regulation. Know your source, no matter if it's a regulated market or not.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:51 AM on November 4, 2009


...and you're making a mistake if you think that 100% of drug dealers are operating with perfect common sense.

I've worked for people operating legal businesses who had no common sense whatsoever.

Either you trust yourself to make decisions like this or not. Operating outside the law is not automatically evil, though there are risks, and IMO it's important to minimize the risk to others.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2009


My point is that it's an unregulated process. Nobody can guarantee a reliable product or that some idiot piece of shit is sprinkling your pot with crack in some misguided drug-addled plan to rule the world.

Well, that would be stupid on the dealer's part, because crack is much more valuable by weight than pot. Same with meth. Anyway, if you know you're buying local or at least grown within the US, the chances of this happening are much smaller, because you're going to be paying a premium for good stuff. People who grow it and sell it know their market, which is not going to go for any adulterants and is educated about the product, and they want the best, or at least many times better than anything crossing the border these days, and that stuff is questionable.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:58 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The flash viewer retrieves each image over HTTP just as any normal browser does: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23"

Anyone know of a plugin/extension for firefox that would grab these either automatically or as you clicked on photos?
posted by Mitheral at 10:13 AM on November 4, 2009


Take Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - what do you think their back-business is that tides them over in times of lean beer sales?

What the fuck are you talking about?
posted by fixedgear at 12:39 PM on November 4, 2009


Take Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Who sell approximately 3/4 of a million barrels worth of beer in a year? I don't think they're bothering with any kind of farming except growing their own hops.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:07 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


"you go ahead and get them from 7-11. i'll be buying mine at whole foods. sure it will be 10x more expensive, but at least it won't be the microwaveable-hamburger version of a pot brownie."

And you'll get them with cous-cous, and some overpriced fruit and veggie chilli from Whole Foods as well. And you'll be fine, juuuust fine.

...until 3AM when you'll find yourself hitting the neighborhood 7-11 for microwave pot brownies, as well as ice-cream, Doritos, and those weird Mexican pasties that sit on the shelves for weeks on end.

7-11 knows you high-end people, and it's going to be waiting. Sooner or later, you'll make a guilty visit.
posted by happyroach at 1:15 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


The photos show what a decent DSLR and lens can do in the right hands.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 8:27 PM on November 4, 2009


I would like to see it legalized, but if legalization meant that walmart could import it from their already existing greenhouses in mexico, then I would prefer it stay the way it is.

ie. We can't compete economically in a zillion other markets any more, so we need criminalization in order to sustain the gangster elites that have traditionally driven the US economy.

posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:06 AM on November 4 [+] [!]


Who do you think owns those mexican greenhouses, walmart is not a mexican company!

I would tend to think that larger American corporations, (ie. RJ Reynolds) would love to be able to get into the game. Then they could use their economy of scale to corner the market. Whole foods would have their place too. But I consider the owners of those two corps more fitting of the term gangster elites, than a bunch of kids in the woods....

Personally I would rather see that hard working kid in the pictures with the money than the government or any corporation. I would rather not see him in jail either. There lies the problem.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:37 AM on November 7, 2009


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