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Emerald Triangle

Legendary Emerald Triangle freedom fighter BE Smith passes on

BE SmithThe Emerald Triangle mourns the passing of BE Smith, the legendary Trinity County grower who did time in federal prison for openly cultivating cannabis under California's medical marijuana law—throwing down the proverbial gauntlet to Washington DC from his mountain homestead. His bold action put the Justice Department on the spot, and helped prompt a change in federal policy.

California's CROP Project responds to toxic threat of 'trespass grows'

CaliforniaCannabis may be legal in California, but illicit cultivation persists—especially in the National Forests, where it often takes a grave ecological toll. The CROP Project—for Cannabis Removal On Public Lands—is now bringing together environmentalists, law enforcement and the legal cannabis industry for a coordinated approach to the problem.

Cannabis 'appellations' coming to California: how will it work?

cannabisCalifornia is moving toward adopting official "appellations" for cannabis, certifying a strain's regional origin. The concept is inspired by the wine industry, where such a certification system has long been in place in several producer countries. Wine appellations, often a mark of prestige, provide a model for what is now to be applied to high-end cannabis.

Illicit market thrives in post-'legalization' states —but why?

cannabis Some states that have legalized cannabis are seeing a surge in the illicit market—and attendant police raids and repression. The dystopia that legalization was supposed to leave behind has proved disconcertingly persistent. But is the problem, as conservatives claim, legalization itself—or that is hasn't gone far enough?

Trinity County militarized raids recall bad old days

National GuardBig militarized raids by state police and National Guard forces on illicit grows in Northern California's Trinity County brought back bad memories for locals. Several homes were raided and helicopters brought in for the operation—exactly the kind of thing Californians thought they had seen the end of after legalization.

Cannabis-linked 'kidnapping' case reflects Emerald Triangle ethnic tensions

Posted on May 9th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe arrest of three, including two Bulgarian immigrants, in what is being billed as a "kidnapping" plot against a Humboldt County cannabis grower has shocked the Emerald Triangle. With the accused allegedly seeking to scapegoat "Mexicans" in the caper, the case crystalizes the xenophobic stigma attaching to Northern California's cannabis economy—even now.

Cannabis and California's water wars: will small growers be the losers?

CaliforniaSacramento is preparing to unleash the National Guard on small illegal growers in the Emerald Triangle just as it is pushing the "Twin Tunnels" project to facilitate water diversions to Central Valley ag-biz—which is increasingly growing cannabis. Small growers face punitive measures for irresponsible practices while big growers stand to gain from official water diversions that may be ultimately far more irresponsible.

Podcast: the dialectics of cannabis liberation

leafIn Episode 24 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes the historic strides toward liberation of the cannabis plant in 2018, from the fabled four corners of the Earth. Yet under capitalism, every advance also opens new contradictions.

Who's new

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