Pot and environment

KQED Forum on environmental costs of pot growing

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:
http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201212270900

Happy new years!

More Drug War Hysteria For The North Coast–Part 2

[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.
KEEP READING…

More Drug War Hysteria For The North Coast

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.

KEEP READING…

Being “Marijuana Positive” isn’t just for stoners.

Edit funding update: as of this posting, we’ve got $2,273 pledged on our Kickstarter funding campaign, from 48 generous backers. While that’s a small start on the $31,000 total we need to raise in a little over two weeks, it is enough to get the ball rolling.

You don’t have to be a smoker to appreciate the ONE GOOD YEAR story. The questions of who can farm marijuana and how it is farmed raise issues of economic justice, democracy, ecology, sustainability, food and drug safety and civil rights. Allowing small farmers to grow openly in the sunshine and have access to medical and legal pot markets as they develop ensures that consumers and patients will be able to choose where their weed comes from and support those farmers who grow in an ecologically and socially sustainable manner. KEEP READING

The 18-wheel landslide

Humboldt County, especially Southern Humboldt, is hard to get to and hard to get out of. To drive anywhere requires getting from Highway 101 over into the I-5 corridor to the east or northeast or the Bay Area to the south. This is a four to five-hour drive, much of it on winding, two-lane roads. Parts of Highway 36, heading eastbound over the mountains to the Sacramento River Valley, are so narrow as to be nearly one-lane for short stretches.

Of course, more than a few people will tell you that’s why they like it here.
Read more!