Emerald Triangle

LA marijuana farmer's market: scene report

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by John Veit and tagged , , , , , , .

Los Angeles' first-ever marijuana farmers market was ordered closed by an LA Superior Court judge July 15 after City Attorney Mike Feuer asked for a restraining order against the California Heritage Market. Over the weekend of July 4, the California Heritage Market, a marijuana collective, or dispensary as it is known to the "compassionate care" crowd, opened a warehouse for cannabis cultivators to peddle their products in an open-air atmosphere. Thousands waited for hours to wade through thick crowds looking for bargains among the 60 or so booths selling dried marijuana flowers, hash, oils, and creams. One bubbly vendor told the cameras that he "couldn't believe how high the demand was."

SCOTUS deals new blow to Fourth Amendment

Posted on April 26th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

SCOTUSThe US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on April 22 in Navarette v. California that a traffic stop that led to a marijuana arrest was constitutional because police had reasonable suspicion the driver was intoxicated. In 2008, California Highway Patrol officers stopped Lorenzo Prado Navarette's pickup truck on a Mendocino County road based on a 911 tip about reckless driving. The officers said they smelled marijuana when approaching the vehicle. They conducted a search and found 30 pounds of cannabis. Navarette and a passenger were arrested and charged. At trial, they moved to suppress the evidence on grounds that the search violated their Fourth Amendment rights because the officers lacked reasonable suspicion when they pulled Navarette over. But in the opinion authored by conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, the majority found that while an anonymous tip will not always lead to reasonable suspicion, in this case it did. The court found that "under appropriate circumstances, an anonymous tip can demonstrate sufficient indicia of reliability to provide reasonable suspicion to make an investigatory stop." Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissent that was joined by the court's liberals, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito lined up with the majority, as did swing voters Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy. (Sacramento Bee, This Week, Jurist, April 22)

Cannabis contributes to California drought?

Posted on April 12th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaThe latest boost to anti-cannabis propaganda comes in the form of California's crippling drought. The dought is no joke. For the first time in its 54-year history, the State Water Project has cut off the flow to towns and farmland because there simply isn't enough water. But is cannabis a major factor here? An April 10 report on the Weather Channel, "Marijuana: Another Contributor to California's Drought," reads: "Along the coast of Northern California, where there are thousands of pot plants hydrated by a single, stressed water source, each plant requires as much as six gallons of water per day in the summer months... As an already extensive drought likely gets even more dire this summer, marijuana farms are going to guzzle up a lot of the state's water if dry, sunny conditions persist." Compare this with rice—a key crop of California's heavily-irrigrated Central Valley, and one of the world's most water-intensive crops, at some 435,000 gallons per acre per year according to a UC Davis study. Not counting water lost due to irrigation ineffiiciencies. Cannabis is water-thrifty in comparison. Also highly water-intensive is another key California crop, alfalfa—used almost entirely as an animal feed. As Scientific American noted, "The relatively low-value crop uses up about a quarter of California's irrigation water but contributes only 4% to the state's total farm revenue." Not to mention the water-profligate suburban sprawl in the interior deserts of Southern California, complete with private swimming pools and year-round emerald-green golf courses. Pointing to cannabis almost seems designed as a distraction from some far more critical points.

Secession fever sweeps Colorado, California counties —cannabis backlash?

Posted on October 7th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

ColoradoOn Colorado's northeast plains, advocates of secession from the state have managed to put the question before voters in 11 counties this November—potentially bringing a split-the-state initiative to statewide vote by November 2014. As Weld County Commissioner and leading secession proponent Sean Conway explained to reporters, an "advisory" vote at the county level would require local lawmakers to request that state legislators introduce a constitutional amendment allowing the northeastern counties to go their own way. That would require two-thirds approval by both houses. Failing that, proponents could put the measure to statewide vote by collecting 80,000 signatures. Finally, the initiative would have to be approved by the US Congress. So it is an arduous process—but proponents are clearly dead serious.

Medical Marijuana: The Struggle for Herbal Healing

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabis ediblesOver the past generation, an informal alliance of activists, cultivators, entrepreneurs and medical professionals has struggled to redefine how the United States views the cannabis plant. Victories at state and municipal levels have created a new field of medicinal treatment for a wide variety of ailments in California and other mostly western states. Medical marijuana marks the starkest point in the divide between an industrial model of healthcare and a millennia-long tradition of herbal self-treatment—because nowhere else has the federal government been so intransigent.

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

Northern California gun sale surge raises cannabis question

Posted on February 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaApplications to carry concealed weapons have spiked just about everywhere in Northern California in recent months, part of the ominous national trend. A Feb. 9 report in the Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat notes the surge in those two counties which lie in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills, directly east of the Emerald Triangle. "There's been a dramatic increase in applications in the last few years," Yuba Sheriff Steve Durfor said. "I think it's reflective of uncertainty in the world and more people feeling vulnerable with increased talk of gun control restrictions." Sutter County Sheriff J. Paul Parker reported the same trend: "Five years ago, we had 650 permits. Now we're at 1,174."

Mexican cartel cultivation in California? Maybe not.

Posted on January 8th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaFor years, police forces in the Emerald Triangle and elsewhere around backcountry California have been hyping an increasing presence in the region's forests of Mexican and Russian cannabis grow ops linked to criminal mafias and cartels based abroad. Now, refreshingly, a Los Angeles Times story of Jan. 2, "Roots of pot cultivation hard to trace," takes a dispassionate look at the question. The piece opens with a slightly lurid lead about camo-clad federal agents ready "lock-and-load" in a stake-out on National Forest land in Kern County, fearing attack by Mexican cartel gunmen. But at the end, the piece basically tells us not to believe the hype:

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