What About De Ganja

What about De Ganja?  091411


The county took 10500 ganja plants out of the woods last week, off Forest Service land, and there have been other busts this year.  That all adds up to a lot of cannabis.  Estimated street value of the most recent bust is $42 million bucks.

If the sheriff had seized a car used in a crime, he could auction it off.  In this instance, he seized marijuana, and we want the value to go to the county.


The figure of $42 million is crazy; it assumes 2 pounds per plant, it’s early for harvest, a source close to the SO told us the growers had been tipped and had taken what they could, and the figure of 10569 plants seem high to bystanders.  Even so, there are a couple of million bucks of marijuana in the dump, and we want the money from that, just as we would from anything of value the county stole, er, seized, from criminals. 


Imagine Sierra County schools with no money worries.  Imagine state of the art snow plows.  Imagine plenty of cops and county staff.  All that could be paid for by what we sent to the landfill to rot.


If we can sell cars and homes, why not ganja?


There are at least three public officials and several respected greybeards in the county who think we can, and should, sell de ganja like Bruder Dred.  The Board would rely on County Council to identify the cannabis as loot the county owns by default.  They would direct the ATTC Van Maddox to auction the goods off and pocket the loot in the general fund. 


After all, the boo was grown in Sierra County sunshine, collected by the Sierra County Cops, and disposed of by Sierra County.  Instead of covering it with a dozer, we’d decide to sell it. 


There are some impediments.  First, you can’t simply grab weed and fling it into a net and dump in on the highway.  It has to be topped first, taking the prime bud, then the plant can be destroyed.  The buds can’t be thrown wet into a garbage bag, they have to be air dried, and the buds can’t be smashed or they’ll bruise and lose resin.  They have to be dried for up to two weeks, and the best weed sits in a cool, dry, dark place for weeks or months before it’s ready for sale.


That all takes skilled workers, and people with connections.  However, since money is involved, there are people with those skills available to us.


The other cops involved would absolutely want a cut.  Rather, at first they would bluster and threaten and so on, but if Sierra County successfully sold some cannabis, they would suddenly want their cut.


The feds might be a drag.  The U.S. Government is here to help them-what-has to keep what they got.  There would be angry letters, there would be visits, there might even be threats of arrest.  In truth, no one knows what would happen if state’s rights and federal braggadocio intersect; last time there was a four year civil war. 


Even so, think of all that medicine rotting in the dump when there are sick people with money who need it. 


Even more than that, consider the statement it would make to California and the U.S.  You kill our dairies, pull the Forest Service from the county, prevent dredge mining, cut off our roads and schools funds, increase your mandates, increase the cost of having a cattle truck, logging truck or dozer, regulate every drop of water and charge us for doing it.  In every way you make life hard for us to live the rural way.  The least you can do is what many of our residents have been forced to do: sell marijuana to pay the bills. 


There are several ways the county might claim and profit from the cannabis.  A contractor could be found who would remove the marijuana, first the buds and then the plants.  That person would take the marijuana away and eventually send the county a check.  They might contract with County Solid Waste to compost it for a fee, a service we do now for nothing. 

An alternative would be to have the sheriff’s office take control of the patch and the county would contract for workers to harvest, trim and dry the bud.  The bud would be sold to a broker who would write a check to the county.

In any case, the cannabis would have to be tested for contaminants or mold, swiftly harvested and dried, and then packaged. 

The county might require the contractor to hire local people to clip the ganja.  Normally, the wage is $200 a pound; a good clipper can clip a pound a day.


Why should only politicians and criminals profit from the drug war?  That’s our weed, we want to be paid for it.  The legitimate market for medical marijuana exists; there are channels of distribution; it’s an asset the county has that’s literally rotting in the ground.  I suggest it’s time to direct staff to see what legal sleight of hand we can turn in our favor and sell de ganja.


What do you think?  Go HERE for the Prospect Sell the Ganja poll.

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