Who Knew?
Who Knew?


Ron Paul has introduced H.R. 1866 which would legalize hemp as a crop in the U.S. However, it has been referred to committee, where it will likely die.

Want to see pot heads taxed? Go here

Want to know more about the growing semi-legal cannabis industry in California? Go Here.

Want to know about growing pot’s more useful cousin, hemp, and how it might benefit the Sierra Valley, go Here.

If you think cannabis is the devil’s weed, and that everyone who uses it is a hopeless drug addict, we’d like to hear from you! Please click here

Who Knew?

DOJ photo.  Everybody loves photos
of nice green pot.  This photo is
courtesy of your government who
only lets you have a little tiny photo.

The Prospect has been encouraging the growing of cannabis for the benefit of the county, and it turns out, people have already been doing that. Who knew?

We didn’t, and the big bust on the West Side of the county caught the Prospect flat footed, though the eradication effort has been going on for weeks.

How did we not know? We at the Prospect avoid criminals and their playmates (cops), and so we weren’t connected. We phoned some criminals and some cops, but so far, neither have returned our calls. They’re probably busy with each other.

Next we sent our reporter out into the community to see what could be found about the marijuana underground in the county. We saw no criminals or cops to ask, so we asked everyday folk.

We asked, "Did you know about the pot busts on the West Side?"

The answers were:
"Yeah, but it ain’t going to effect us much. They’ll probably be hurting in Grass Valley, though."
"Yeah, my grandson Dan (not his real name) has been following the dumpster, hoping some will fall off."
"No, but it don’t surprise me. That bunch on the West Side is always into something. They stole the county seat, you know."
"I gotta go call my son."
"They didn’t get a tenth of it."

According unsubstantiated gossip from questionable sources (local pulp press) several tons of plants were taken to the Loyalton landfill and kept under guard, making life difficult for people who climb the fence to steal copper and aluminum scrap. The Prospect, always sensitive to the issue of biomass, wonders why the pot wasn’t taken to the Co Gen plant. Who knows, maybe if they’d done that some of the usually dour denizens of Loyalton might have lightened up for a few days.

But, the pot, with an estimated street value of a zillion dollars, was buried instead. It should be noted that cops generally tend to consider stalk, roots and clinging dirt and trees to be "marijuana" and are not great at estimating street value, leading one coastal pot grower to quip "I’ve got to start selling to cops, they must pay top dollar". The amount of marketable pot from each plant varies; a standard rate of $1000.00 per plant is about right for some indoor plants, which are very small but mostly bud, but an outdoor plant, properly tended, can produce much more. Four pounds per plant is not uncommon. That would value each plant, after manicuring, to a wholesale value of $14,000 per plant.

The eradication reportedly included the US Forest Service, cops from neighboring counties, and CAMP, the California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting.   A couple of helicopters helped ferry the weed out.

Sierra County's helicopter, a gift from Homeland Security, was not used in the eradication.

CAMP began in 1983 and has done very well, dramatically encouraging the planting of cannabis.

Good for business: since CAMP started eradication efforts in 1983
the price has increased, making it more profitable to grow,
meaning more growers, more CAMP raids, more money to
local cops and courts and organized crime.  A win win situation
for thugs and judges, but not for consumers. Chart courtesy of Ed Rosenthal.



According to the Mountain Messenger there have been no arrests, and the gardens were believed to be tended by "Hispanics", which is supposed to imply a link with Mexican crime. Improved border patrol has resulted in less pot coming into California from Mexico, and more Mexicans imported to grow here; unintended consequences of policies instituted by well meaning nitwits. Hispanics don’t create the market, however.

It is true that large organized illegal weed growers don’t add much to the community, and indeed they tend to be like any large corporation, ignoring or underpaying local workers, exploiting the land without consideration of the environment, and taking most of the profits out of the county.

We at the Prospect applaud the actions of local law enforcement to discourage large illegal drug plantations in the county. As long as the state is considerate enough to keep it illegal, pot should only be grown by local people, who spend their money in our stores. Currently, a pound of good quality cannabis goes for about $3500 to a bona fide cannabis club. The average gardener growing cannabis in full sun should get a pound of market pot per plant. Ten carefully tended plants should provide nearly the average household income for the county. Typically, market quality pot is sold in cities, and locals smoke "grade B bud and shake" (small buds and the most potent leaves). Weed sold out of county would be money generated and mostly kept in the county. Ten plants shouldn’t bother anyone.

With unemployment in the state hitting 12.2% and the true unemployment rate in the county above 15% (see related story), this is a way for local people to live. Naturally, a centralized grow and distribution center fully regulated by a local entity would be best, since it would reduce the likelihood of associated crime (like fights between guerilla growers and pot pirates) and local government would benefit the most. Still, any reasonable effort that brings money into the county gets a nod. (The Prospect does not support dog fighting, organ harvesting, sports arenas, state prisons or other violent means of bringing money into the county.)

Oakland voters recently gave overwhelming approval of a measure that allows a city tax on cannabis clubs (here). The 215/ medical cannabis laws resulted in a slight decrease in the value of an ounce of utility weed. Within the next year or three California will fly in the face of the federal government and finally legalize and tax cannabis. When that happens, the price will momentarily rise, and then plummet as more and more industrialized growers move in. When Phillip Morris starts selling pot, the people who grow in the hills won’t be able to compete.

Not CAMP ripping up pot, but a legal grow of hemp being harvested by
a farmer using equipment for the job.  This is illegal in the U.S.; this photo is
from Canada.  See Sidebar links.

Just like timber and dairies, cannabis has a window of opportunity where the price is still high enough, but regulation is still weak enough, to allow a profit, and like them, the window will pass.


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