After that last post, about 25 To Stay Alive, I realized that there might be some confusion as to the content of this blog and the content of the documentary, so I put up a Standard Disclaimer about it.
Here’s the important part:
Opinions on this blog DO NOT inherently represent the views that will be expressed in the documentary. These opinions here are my own; the participants in the film speak for themselves and will provide the content of that work.
I have some upcoming posts about the topic of pot and the environment that might irk some people and I want everyone to realize that whatever you think of me and my opinions, they don’t represent what will be in the film.
Or to be nipped in the bud.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST
The HSU Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research is putting on a symposium on marijuana and the environment. No registration is required. The first events start at 10 a.m. The full schedule can be found here.
I’m on the 10:30 a.m. panel “Stories from the Frontlines: Reporting on the Culture and Practice of Marijuana Agriculture.” I’ll be showing my documentary trailer, so it’s a great place to see it on a larger screen. (You can watch it on the One Good Year home page, if you haven’t seen it yet.)
According to the organizers:
This groundbreaking gathering will bring together policymakers, grassroots environmental organizations, activists, scientists, students, and community members.
We are at a critical juncture regarding marijuana policy in the United States, where the shifting legal and political landscape requires policymakers, environmental organizations, researchers, and growers to adapt quickly. Panelists will share their expertise and insights around the multitude of environmental issues related to the marijuana industry – whether it be climate harming reliance on indoor growing nationwide, or the local Northern California issues of fish and wildlife protections, land use policy, water quality, forest degradation, and other environmental impacts.
I haven’t heard if the sessions will be recorded and archived online nor whether they’ll be livestreamed. Hopefully, both. See you there.
Be sure to click here to watch the documentary trailer.
As a friend of mine says, “The season’s not over till the money’s been spent.”
Growing a small personal marijuana stash in your backyard is as easy as growing tomatoes. Pot farming is also the most lucrative agricultural work on the planet. But running a pot farm as a business and having your entire year’s livelihood ride on a successful harvest is fraught with more risks than most imagine.
From seed to sale, here is a list of this-actually-happened-to-someone-I-know ways to lose it all. I’m sure there are more ways to blow it. What did I miss? Share your stories in the comments.
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MORE WAYS THAN YOU CAN COUNT TO LOSE YOUR CROP
I’m hitting the road today for Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. No, as many have asked, not to show the documentary. All we’ve got to show now is the trailer here on the home page. I’m one of 1800 volunteers who do most of the groundwork to make the festival happen. This will be my eighth year already. READ THE REST
Hi everyone, I’m on the road at the moment, but wanted to give a brief update. I got a few on-air comments on KQED’s Forum discussion a few days ago. The subject was the environmental costs of pot growing, spurred by the L.A. Times piece I critiqued in recent posts. Luckily, all of us, other than the guy from Fish and Game, were what you might call pro-pot environmentalists. That is to say, we understand the community, culture and economics of pot production and know it can be grown in a manner that is organic, fish-friendly, land-friendly and community-friendly. (And as shameless self-promotion, that is part of what my film shows.) We are also long-time environmental activists who are very concerned about the negative impacts that some growers are having.
This is an important distinction to make. Most people who rail against the negative impacts of pot growing are also anti-growing and anti-marijuana, which makes it hard to bridge the divide between enviros and growers. Those of us who can have one foot in each world are in the best position to find solutions.
The KQED podcast can be heard here:
Happy new years!
I hereby propose a broad, catch-all label for those growing pot in a manner that is destructive of the land, water, fish, forest, wildlife and community:
GREED WEED or, if you prefer, GREED GANJA
KEEP READING NOT GREEDING…
The recent flurry of negative press about the environmental problems of certain methods of pot growing in Humboldt makes this seem like a good time to toss out some of the solution-oriented directions I’ve been thinking about. If you’re not from here and only read the sensational media, you might not realize that getting mom-and-pop homesteaders to store water to protect fish and streams is a different problem than stopping the destructive “mega-grows” on National Forest lands whose operators dump pesticides and clearcut forests.
[This is an extension of the piece I wrote last night in response to Joe Mozingo’s piece in the L.A. Times titled “Pot farms wreaking havoc on Northern California environment”.
The pot biz in Humboldt was started by hundreds, then thousands, of independent individuals, on mostly self-owned small parcels, with varying degrees of counter-cultural and ecological values, looking to find an alternative relationship with nature and people, who used some of the money from their business to support an array of community institutions. Over time, North Coast marijuana production has grown into an industry made up of tens of thousands of growers, still mostly on their own parcels, in a very heterogenous mix of motivations, values and cultivation styles. While there is no clear newcomer-bad/oldtimer-good divide (despite what some want to portray), the new arrivals seem, from my observation, to be less likely to share the older homesteaders’ values.
Pot farms wreaking havoc on Northern California environment
“It wouldn’t matter if they were growing tomatoes, corn and squash,” he said. “It’s trespassing, it’s illegal and it borders on terrorism to the environment.”
We’ve seen this before and it doesn’t help the situation.
The above headline, from an article in the L.A. Times, December 23rd issue, details the environmental problems caused by water diversions, mega-grows, rat poison, land grading and forest clearing done by pot growers.
Or, more to the point, some pot growers in Humboldt County.