In California Forests, Marijuana Growers Thrive
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In California Forests, Marijuana Growers Thrive
Posted by CN Staff on August 23, 2009 at 06:29:12 PT
By Jesse McKinley
Source: New York Times 
San Francisco, CA -- Lt. Sonny LeGault and 11 other officers from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department woke before dawn one recent morning, hiked three miles through the woods and just missed the apparently hungry men they had hoped to arrest. “They’d been cooking breakfast: there were a couple of quails dressed out, and a soup going,” Lieutenant LeGault said. “But they were gone.” 
Those the officers had been hunting were workers at one of the scores of remote, highly organized outdoor marijuana “grows” that dot the vast forests of California, largely on federal property.Long a fixture of the nation’s public lands, such criminal agricultural enterprises, law enforcement officials say, have increased greatly in recent years. And they were cast squarely into the limelight this week when the authorities said a 90,000-acre Santa Barbara County wildfire, known as the La Brea fire, had begun with a campfire built by marijuana growers believed to be low-level workers for a Mexican drug cartel.The fire, which started on Aug. 8, is expected to be fully contained on Saturday. About the only thing that did not burn, Lieutenant LeGault said, were the areas where growers had been watering some 30,000 marijuana plants. “Ironically, it probably saved their lives,” he said of the growers, who have eluded arrest.Officials say the rise in the number of such grows has resulted in part from a tightening of the border with Mexico. “It’s made it much more difficult for the cartels to smuggle into the country, particularly marijuana, which is large and bulky,” said the Santa Barbara County sheriff, Bill Brown. “It’s easier to grow it here.” California is also popular with marijuana growers for all the reasons that customary farmers like it. “The conditions are very conducive: the water and the soil and the sunshine,” Sheriff Brown said. According to the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a multiagency task force managed by the state’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, this year is already one for the record books. In more than 425 raids since late June, some 3.4 million plants have been seized, up from 2.9 million all of last year. And, officials note, they still have roughly a month and a half before the campaign expires with the end of harvest season.Raids occur daily, from southern counties like Riverside, where some 27,000 plants were found on July 2, to northern ones like Lake and Shasta, in each of which more than 400,000 plants have been destroyed by the authorities this year. (Mature plants are usually incinerated, younger ones simply uprooted.)About 2.7 million plants, nearly 80 percent of the seized crop, have been found on federal, state or other public lands. Officials attribute the plants’ prevalence there to the vast area investigators are expected to cover.“It’s rugged terrain, very difficult to get to and very difficult to see,” said John Heil, a spokesman for the United States Forest Service, which in California has jurisdiction over 20.6 million acres, home to nearly 60 percent of this year’s seizures.Mr. Heil said drug operators could be blamed for a handful of wildfires each year in California, which is already dealing with a prolonged drought and budget-stretched firefighting resources. Environmental damage of a different kind can also be severe, with pesticides seeping into soil and streams, and trash and human waste left behind.Lieutenant LeGault said he was impressed by how far marijuana growers would go — deeper into forests, higher in the mountains — in an effort to avoid detection. “They call it a wilderness because it is,” he said. “Not even the billy goats go there.”Once established, Lieutenant LeGault said, the workers, usually in teams of 4 to 10, must labor hard to cultivate. Streams and springs are dammed to provide water for irrigation, with miles of irrigation line laid. Plants are laid out under trees to avoid surveillance by law enforcement aircraft, and large areas for planting are sometimes cleared of brush, rocks and so forth by hand.Living is rudimentary. In the case of the camp that started the La Brea fire, workers seemed to have been sleeping in small dirt beds next to a handmade irrigation pool, with tarps hung overhead. Then there is the natural world to contend with. Marijuana workers often set traps or diversions for bears, hanging bags of food from far-removed trees. Poison is laid out for rats and other rodents that apparently do not mind the taste of marijuana, which is usually dried and packaged at the camps. But the biggest danger for growers is law enforcement. Lieutenant LeGault and his fellow officers often land at camps via helicopter, dangling in the air on harnesses and ropes. Yet arrests are rare. Growers are typically armed, but they most often flee if they hear helicopters overhead or officers hiking toward them. In Santa Barbara County, officials say that in 18 raids, they have netted 225,000 plants but made no arrests. Lieutenant LeGault said he would love to catch someone, but he understands the odds of running down anyone so deep in the woods. “It’s like fighting any crime,” he said. “This is just a little more physically challenging.”Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Jesse McKinleyPublished: August 21, 2009Copyright: 2009 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #47 posted by FoM on August 26, 2009 at 04:12:23 PT
I just turned on the tv and computer and now I can't stop crying. I loved Senator Kennedy. God Bless him for all the good he did for us. 
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Comment #46 posted by afterburner on August 26, 2009 at 01:51:31 PT
OT Sad News
Republicans join Democrats in mourning Ted Kennedy 
By GLEN JOHNSON Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
Aug. 26, 2009, 3:19AM to his family.Hopefully, some people in the power structure may reconsider their political unscientific demonization of cannabis, a plant that could have helped the Senator.RIP, Senator Edward Kennedy. We will miss your compassion and energy.
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Comment #45 posted by ekim on August 25, 2009 at 19:00:07 PT
good going Joe must it take the sick and dying to save a p[lant --where are the Farmaiders have you turned into exterminatorsTuesday, August 25, 2009 Sowing seeds that will take the heat
As the planet warms, fewer crops will survive the summer heat. Some scientists are responding by keeping seeds on ice for future generations, but an Arizona seed farm is cultivating them in the desert sun. Sam Eaton reports. More»
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Comment #44 posted by josephlacerenza on August 25, 2009 at 14:43:06 PT
Hi C-News!!!
Found this bit-o-news!!!
Cannabis Career Institute -- Northern California Politicians Seek to Ease MMJ
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Comment #43 posted by Hope on August 25, 2009 at 09:47:04 PT
Correction to comment 27
The guys name was not Bennett but Benton.As I learned from a comment posted on another thread. Lawmaker burned after anti-pot comments
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Comment #42 posted by Hope on August 25, 2009 at 09:39:52 PT
Beautiful.Thank you.
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Comment #41 posted by museman on August 25, 2009 at 09:02:49 PT
NOWI don’t now how to live for tomorrow,I only exist in today.All of the worlds worrisome designs,the measures and the signs,just take the moment away. Even what I remember,when I remember it is now.I cannot remember the future skiesso why disguise and never realizethe being that is why and how. “Heaven is within you,”a Wise One once replied.All is not out there beyond your time,In the rhythm and the rhymeyou can find the experience exemplified. The Word lives in your heart and breath,not in past exhalation, or recorded beats.When you speak you speak right here,Not out of sight where one cannot hear.When you see the light, which day is it?FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #40 posted by Paint with light on August 24, 2009 at 23:46:38 PT
OT Firefox and spelling
I just added Firefox and it underlines misspelled words as I type my comments.When you right click it offers alternatives just like Word.I could have used that a lot of times on here.
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Comment #39 posted by Paint with light on August 24, 2009 at 23:40:45 PT
Thanks Storm Crow
I really appreciate all the work you do and the info you provide.I will be requesting that list.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #38 posted by Hope on August 24, 2009 at 21:05:14 PT
Forest Fires: Another Harm of Prohibition
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Comment #37 posted by John Tyler on August 24, 2009 at 21:01:25 PT
The Philip Morris Tobacco Company, under the L & M brand, is selling ¾ oz foil bags of loose tobacco for rolling your own cigarettes for $4. A dollar and change of that is for tax. They can grow, process, package, and transport 3/4 of an oz of plant material for $3 and still make a good profit. Or better yet, look at potato chips, derived from another plant. It is grown, processed packaged, and transported to a store near you in 1 3/4 oz bags for 99 cents. Only prohibition makes some other plant material cost so much. 
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Comment #36 posted by afterburner on August 24, 2009 at 20:51:29 PT
Who Set the Fires
"Raids occur daily, from southern counties like Riverside, where some 27,000 plants were found on July 2, to northern ones like Lake and Shasta, in each of which more than 400,000 plants have been destroyed by the authorities this year. (Mature plants are usually incinerated, younger ones simply uprooted.)""Mature plants are usually incinerated..."incinerated!I hope they aren't burning those plants right out in the forest!
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on August 24, 2009 at 17:35:22 PT
From the Texas Observer
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Comment #34 posted by Dankhank on August 24, 2009 at 13:19:53 PT
some of the driving studies are online, as Storm has shown, search for them.Additionally, you can do what i originally did ... call the relevant government body and ask for the studies.For me it started years ago when I read that the administrator of the NHTSA was quoted, in an appearance as saying (sic) "Marijuana abuse is a rising cause of automobile accidents see in the last two years."I called the NHTSA and asked to speak with the Administrator. In Beurospeak ... the "Administrator" is the head of the agency.I got a talking head instead and after a nice conservation he offered to send me some studies, sending the ones I cited.I went through them and my report is what I found.I think the agencies are required to send stuff if you ask.
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Comment #33 posted by Dankhank on August 24, 2009 at 12:30:36 PT
spell ...
geeeezzzgonna go get my glasses 
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Comment #32 posted by dankhank on August 24, 2009 at 12:28:43 PT:
my list ...
I can't and decline to compete with Storm re: listsshe is a phenom.I have a CR-Rom that I share ... originally got it from Brian Krumm, University of NM. Much iof it is available online, I surmise. google CRLI update with stuff I find if I can get a clean copy for inclusion.The CRL has approx. 1200 studies of Cannabis in about 19 disciplines.I feel it's a great thing for some, who want to give out a e-copy at rellies.I've sent it to some states that were fighting for mec cannabis, too.
It's great to hand out at any rally, GMM or whatnot.
anyone who wants one should e me. I'll try to get them out this week.
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Comment #31 posted by Storm Crow on August 24, 2009 at 11:46:43 PT
Paint with light- 
Here's a working link to the study! (Don't you just HATE it when a good link "dies"!)Marijuana And Actual Driving Performance you'd like a free copy of my entire list with that study and much more, go to- I will be happy to email you (and anyone else) a copy of "Granny Storm Crow's list-July 2009" absolutely free! 
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on August 24, 2009 at 07:39:16 PT
OT: In Mexico, Ambivalence on a Drug Law 
Published: August 23, 2009 URL:
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on August 24, 2009 at 05:58:10 PT
It's meaningless, of course, but if you want to say something, and I did, there is a poll to vote and comment about the Malaysian woman's caning punishment at you believe Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno should be caned for drinking alcohol and breaching Malaysia's Shariah law?
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on August 24, 2009 at 05:42:48 PT
Willie Nelson in Jazz Country Bennet can comfort himself by knowing he would have killed Willie, a long, long time ago.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on August 24, 2009 at 05:26:24 PT
Georgia Congressman Bennett
would like this one.Malaysia delays caning of woman who drank beer would be so happy to live in a lovely, highly moral country like Malaysia and if he had his way he would make our country operate as such a highly moral and admirable, to him, country.They delayed this woman's caning out of "Compassion", until after their biggest holy days this year are over. So holy and caring and compassionate of them.Maybe the least that could be done for poor congressman Bennett is that we could call him High Supreme Holy or Shah or something.
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Comment #26 posted by Paint with light on August 24, 2009 at 00:27:42 PT
thanks dankhank
Like Celaya, I was wanting to respond to the driving comment.I usually just cite a paper by HWJ Robbe called, "Marijuana's Effects on Actual Driving Performance. The paper gives the Institute for Human Psychopharmacology, University of Maastricht, P.O. Box 616, NL-6200MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands as the source.I would give a link but the only link I had to it is dead.I do have an analog legacy data copy.That is, one on paper.Maybe you can get a list started like granny's.I know people who have problems driving so they don't drive.I know others that have been millions of miles without even a fender bender.I have always said, treat it like blood pressure medicine or some of the others that come with a warning to not drive or operate machinery until you are familiar(comfortable) with its effects.I really appreciate all the work Paul and the folks at Norml have done but they have always seemed to be on the side of "if you use and drive you go to jail".If a person, high on cannabis only, is unable to pass a field sobriety test, then they might need to sit awhile, but not in a jail cell.Thanks again for the info.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #25 posted by Celaya on August 23, 2009 at 22:50:16 PT
HempWorld and dankhank
Thanks. I wanted to respond to the HW's statement that marijuana has "a 20% higher effect on driving accidents than does alcohol. It is not surprising that marijuana/hashish acts like alcohol, since both are depressants." dankhank did a terrific job citing the research. There doesn't seem to be much to add after that, but the facts should also be intuitive. If marijuana were a signficant cause of accidents, the statistics would be trumpeted every evening on prime time by the Drug Czar's office. They're not. They are amazingly quiet about marijuana and driving. It appears they are as familiar with the research as dankhank, so they don't want to open that can of worms - just let the public assume it impairs like alcohol.Erowid describes Cannabis' effects as: "Intoxicant; Stimulant; Psychedelic; Depressant," so to say marijuana is simply a depressent misses the mark. Much depends on the person and "set and setting" as we used to say, but I believe most consider it stimulating. We will likely have to concede to restrictions on marijuana use and driving in the initial stages of re-legalizing marijuana. But the truth will soon come out and legal challenges will eventually cause restrictions to become commensurate with reality. 
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Comment #24 posted by dankhank on August 23, 2009 at 21:35:14 PT
Cannabis and driving
DOT HS 808 078 "Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance" Final Report, Nov. 1993 Conclusions on page 108 of the copy I received from the NHTSA are interesting and informative. A sample, "It is possible to safely study the effects of marijuana on driving on highways or city streets in the presence of other traffic." "Drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to over-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving ability and compensate when they can; e.g. by increasing effort to accomplish the task, increasing headway or slowing down, or a combination of these." DOT HS 808 939 "Marijuana, Alcohol and Actual Driving Performance" July 1999 Conclusion on page 39 midway of paragraph 5.1 of the copy I received: The addition of the new data, (for marijuana), broadens the range of reactions that may be expected to occur in real life. This range has not been shown to extend into the area that can rightfully be regarded as dangerous or an obviously unacceptable threat to public safety. DOT HS 809 020 "Visual Search and Urban City Driving under the Influence of Marijuana and Alcohol" March 2000: Conclusion 1 on page 24 of the copy I received. "Low doses of marijuana, taken alone, did not impair city driving performance and did not diminish visual search frequency for traffic at intersections in this study." General Discussion, page 22 “Previous on-the-road studies have also demonstrated that subjects are generally aware of the impairing properties of THC and try to compensate for the drug's impairing properties by driving more carefully (Hansteen et al, 1976; Casswell, 1979; Peck et al, 1986; Robbe 1994). “DOT HS 809 642 "State of Knowledge of Drug Impaired Driving" Sept 2003: Experimental Research of Cannabis, page 41 midway: "The extensive studies by Robbe and O'Hanlon (1993), revealed that under the influence of Marijuana, drivers are aware of their impairment, and when experimental tasks allow it, they tend to actually decrease speed, avoid passing other cars, and reduce other risk-taking behaviors." DOT HS 808 065 "The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers" Oct. 1992 In discussing the "Distribution of Ratings on Driver Responsibility" Table 5.12 page 64 of the copy I received, paragraph (p.65); "Responsibility, drugs and alcohol”, third paragraph, the following appears: "Note that the responsibility rates of the THC-only and Cocaine-only groups are actually lower than that of the drugfree drivers. Although these results too are inconclusive, they give no suggestion of impairment in the two groups. The low responsibility rate for THC was reminiscent of that found in young males by Williams and colleagues (1986).” This study is remarkable in it's propensity to attack itself as inconclusive. Forensic Science Review Vol. 14, Number One/Two, Jan 2002, surely must be the reference of note regarding metabolic functions and where the THC goes following ingestion. This review discusses THC and it's metabolites; THCCOOH, 11-OH-THC to mention the most discussed. Location and type of measured quantities of these and other metabolites should be easy to use to determine if a driver is "stoned" or was stoned yesterday, or last week. Mention was made of a man who had measurable levels of metabolites sixty-seven days after ingesting Cannabis. Chap IX paragraph D, "Summary" appears to be of two minds. While stating, "Studies examining Cannabis' causal effect through responsibility analysis have more frequently indicated that THC alone did not increase accident risk …," it continues optimistically suggesting that further exhaustive research may rebut that. All of the studies agree that combining Cannabis with any other drug, such as Alcohol ... a major deleterious effect on driving skills, as is benzoates with Cannabis … it rapidly becomes evident that Cannabis in combination with any number of other drugs is not to be desired, but that Cannabis and Cocaine alone in all six studies have the smallest perceived safety risk of all the drugs and drug combinations tested and against drug-free drivers.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 21:33:02 PT
It's good of you to help those kids. I hope you guys have fun.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on August 23, 2009 at 20:33:56 PT
Keep up the great work you are doing. 
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Comment #21 posted by ekim on August 23, 2009 at 20:23:16 PT
thanks Hope
Howard is just starting outmaybe a little while in construction yetwill keep all posted 
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 19:59:51 PT
The link doesn't work.
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Comment #19 posted by ekim on August 23, 2009 at 19:50:34 PT
yes Dr. Julian Heicklen is a hero and Howard is to
Officer Howard Wooldridge (retired)Drug Policy Specialist, COP - www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.orgWashington, DCHablo espanol, je parle francais, Deutsch auchCOP provides the only law enforcement voice working daily in Washington, DC to repeal all drug prohibitions.  COP is the only organization that personally visits all 540 Congressional offices, connects the ‘stovepipes’ and thus educates Members of Congress to support repeal.  Phone calls and letters cannot substitute for personal contact and a handshake.COP’s goal is to Repeal this Nation’s Drug Prohibition Policy.Repeal Federal Prohibition vs. Decrim or Legalize legislation: Legislative aides provided me a better understanding of how a Member might split a hair….in our favor..Given my freedom of action (since LEAP), I have been ‘shopping’ for an office that would sponsor (write up) a bill to repeal federal prohibition of just marijuana. Several aides have stated their Member will never vote in favor of a bill to legalize or even decriminalize marijuana. Those same aides have said the Member might follow their Libertarian philosophy and end any federal involvement with marijuana = repeal federal prohibition.  Stay tuned.
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Comment #18 posted by mykeyb420 on August 23, 2009 at 19:47:13 PT
more volunteer work I do
tomorrow I get to take my camper to a concert of his FAVORITE band Green Day,,,much thanks to Make-A-Wish foundation....
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Comment #17 posted by HempWorld on August 23, 2009 at 18:24:39 PT
Dr. Julian Heicklen is a hero!
"There are important medical uses of marijuana. It relieves nausea induced by AIDS and chemotherapy. It relieves the pressure causing glaucoma, and can reverse the effects of that disease. Taken with other drugs, 2ö5 joints per day of marijuana can prevent epileptic seizures. Multiple sclerosis can be reversed by smoking 4ö6 joints per day of marijuana. It can control muscle spasms and pain and return sexual potency to paraplegics and quadriplegics. Five to ten milligrams of tetradeltaö9ötetrahydrocannabinol can reduce chronic pain where other pain killers fail. It also prevents migraine headaches and can cure atopic neurodermatitis. Some states have passed laws permitting the medical use of marijuana if prescribed by a medical doctor. However U. S. federal law takes supremacy, and the medically prescribed use of marijuana still is criminal, even in those states that permit its use. Over the years, a number of official government reports have been issued giving the medical effects of marijuana. Francis L. Young, Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) concluded in 1988 that marijuana is among the safest therapeutic substances known and is less hazardous than many common foods. He wrote: "The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as being capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence." Nevertheless, Young's recommendations were rejected by John Lawn, the Administrator of the DEA, on the grounds that there have been no extensive large-scale controlled studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of marijuana. Of course, it is criminal to conduct such investigations. The data on driving accidents, as I analyzed them, suggest that marijuana/hashish currently has about a 20% higher effect on driving accidents than does alcohol. It is not surprising that marijuana/hashish acts like alcohol, since both are depressants. In the late 1980s about 400,000 arrests per year were for marijuana violations. The percentage dropped from 68% of all drug arrests in 1982 to a minimum of 24% in 1991. Since then it rose to 34% in 1994. In 1997, there were 640,000 arrests for marijumna violations in the United States. About 85% of these were for possession."Yeah, 1999 was one of my very last good years! It seems time has been frozen since! (despite our current 'black' president)Please read this:
Dr. Julian Heicklen a Hero!
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Comment #16 posted by HempWorld on August 23, 2009 at 14:48:27 PT
Legalize It!
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Comment #15 posted by Celaya on August 23, 2009 at 14:05:48 PT
American Inquisition mouthpiece - The NYT
It's so incredibly sad to have observed the demise of journalism. This was not a piece produced by a journalist. It was a screed done in service to the American Inquisition.Until mankind takes the next evolutionary step (recognizing we are ALL brothers) we will have to fight this primitive trend toward despotism. Power is seen as a thing that must be gained at the expense of depriving it from others.  As much as I believe that money and greed play a huge part in maintaining marijuana prohibition, I believe it is at least equally due to the power structure loving the great hammer it gives them to bring down against "the rabble."This is why Professor Julian Heicklen, who never cared about marijuana, decided to conduct weekly smokeouts at the Gates of Penn State when he retired.  Marijuana reform is the great bellwether of our freedom. Like the canary in the coal mine, as long as we see the sickness of people being persecuted for possessing this amazing herb, we will know liberty has eluded us. As Heicklen said:"Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The issue is whether we will live in freedom or in tyranny!"
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on August 23, 2009 at 11:14:28 PT
Just a Question or Two
Do we need Cops? Why do we need Cops? Why do Cops zap people and spray pepper spray in their eyes? Why is an outspoken grandmother knocked to the ground by a big and strong looking Cop? This picture needs some serious fixing.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 10:48:09 PT
Sam Adams 
Thank you. I love my Grits for Breakfast. When they had to shut down most of the Task Forces in Texas it simply had to be done. The injustice stunk to high heaven. They were completely out of control, literally, and their shortcomings, shall we say, became impossible to ignore, by decent people, anyway.I had friends, family, acquaintances, and neighbors among the ranks of the Narcotics Task Forces. They hated losing their funds but the sky didn't fall in on them or anyone else. It just got a little less dangerous and costly to be black, for one thing. Poor blacks were friendlier to their undercover officers. They arrested so many low level, poor, and too often, completely, wasn't even there, innocent, people. They set up people. They killed people. They had wild, expensive, and extravagant parties. Once enough brave and principled people stood fast against what they were doing, the government was forced, albeit, very reluctantly, to shut them down. Some still exist, but they lost their biggest funding, the Byrne Grant funds.And about those Byrne Grant funds. They don't come from a rich family or guy named Bryrne, living or deceased, a police officer or otherwise. They are named Byrne to honor a fallen officer named Byrne. They are "Granted" from hard earned and what should be wisely spent, tax money.
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Comment #12 posted by Sam Adams on August 23, 2009 at 09:47:53 PT
Hope very interesting, looks like he does a lot of homework for the site. In my state also the "stimulus" package is being used to prevent layoff of police in the face of shrinking budgets and tax revenue.This will have the effect of sustaining the pigs' high budget until next year, when there will be no stimulus, so at that time we'll be left with even higher salaries (since they get automatic raises every year) and more cops to pay, and no way to pay them except to raise taxes again.In business situations like this are dealt with by a "one-time charge" - when revenue falls you spend a bunch of money to give people severance and lay them off and close factories so that your costs will be lower next year.The "stimulus" is doing the exact opposite and preventing costs from being reduced.I think the various public unions saw all the bankers & car companies getting bailed out by Bush/Cheney and decided that they needed a cut of the action when the Dems took over. Needless to say, 2 wrongs don't make a right! Our budget hole grows large by the minute. Real estate is still being propped up by subprime loans, only now they're being made directly by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and our deficit is 3 times higher that it was before.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 09:34:43 PT
Sam Adams Comment 6 California
If you haven't, I wish you'd check out what Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast had to say about what he thought of some of California's prison troubles. We all know that commonsense left the picture completely years ago regarding the three strikes laws. People in prison for life for petty thievery? It's wrong to steal anything... but keeping them in prison for life might not be the best way for people to deal with such. Maybe three months every single time. But that might not be life. Life term prison sentences in these situations isn't dealing with the problem rationally. It's loosing it. It's giving up. It's smashing out the problem with another... even bigger problem.Murderers and people who are a physical threat and danger to others should be locked away safely for everyone's good. But please don't tell me you don't have room for the killers and hurters because you want to keep a thief locked up for life. That's like locking up biting flies and letting the black mambas and crocodiles run the streets.It's even more inexcusable to use that prison space for smugglers and buyers or growers of plants, and people who have or supply contraband that a super moralistic government has banned.Besides still using the three strikes laws indiscriminately, California is still using our wage deductions to finance specialized and specially funded drug and narcotic Task Forces. Narcs throw a lot of fodder into the "Monster sitting beside the road"... your local prison.The powerful California Prison Guard's Union is lurking darkly in the background, too, encouraging preserving of draconian, unjust, and unwise laws. They want their business to stay "Healthy" and "Grow".From Grits for Breakfast:Schwarzenneger Should Follow Perry's Lead on Drug Task Force System for Breakfast is a blog about criminal justice in Texas."Welcome to Texas justice: You might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride."Scott Henson, in Austin, gets in there amongst them and keeps up amazingly well, and reports it well, with what's going on in the world of criminal justice in Texas and elsewhere. first reporting in the lineup this morning is..."Proliferation of police agencies problematic."I would feel a lot stupider about government, how they are handling the money they tax the citizen for, and what's going on everyday amongst the seats of power over others and the amongst the deigned authorities, than I already do, if it weren't for Grits for Breakfast. 
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on August 23, 2009 at 09:11:49 PT
more Cali
a friend just forwarded this.....shows that we really haven't even begun to slow the growth of the gulag system in the USA, despite the have to ask, how bad will things have to get before they reform the prison industry? I"m afraid to even try to answer that - I'm afraid that they won't do anything until our country has been completely ruined. You can see that the current crisis hasn't even touched the grip on power that these guys have:
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on August 23, 2009 at 08:53:22 PT
a little trip down memory lane
ah, the agony of defeat......must be embarrassing to lose by 30 points:
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on August 23, 2009 at 08:48:27 PT
I love Santa Barbara, my home town ... 
Every year they say: "This is a record year."The truth is hard to grasp, if your job depends on it and our newly elected sheriff Brown is a prima facie idiot!Yeah, cut them plants down, every year there are more, I wonder why! This is the best job creation plan ever!How much longer is this insanity going to continue? Morons!
Legalize It!
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 08:47:57 PT
Comment 4 Runruff
So true! So splendidly, splendidly well said!The statement that you took issue with bothered me, too. I could never have expressed my feelings and the truth of it as well as you did. Thank you, Runruff. And thank you for surviving it all. And thank you Mrs. Runruff for helping him survive it all.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on August 23, 2009 at 08:30:20 PT
remeber, despite all the doom and gloom budget disaster talk - the California government hasn't even TOUCHED the 3 strikes you're out law. The budget crisis is a bunch of total BS. You're telling me we're in a crisis, and we're still sending people to prison for 25 years for stealing cans of beer? Crisis my arse, the political class is ROLLING in cash.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on August 23, 2009 at 08:27:53 PT
as usual great input and you've left nothing for anyone else to add!remember, what they told me as a kid is still true - the only thing to do with a bully is confront him! In Mass. the thugs in uniforms all got together in front of the cameras and tried to bully the people into voting against decrim. Well, as Bob said, everyone got together and things turned out alright! The pigs were sent packing with a 30 point loss.Their steroid-pumped muscles, batons, and sneering threats don't scare anybody inside the ballot box.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on August 23, 2009 at 08:22:36 PT
It's a plant!
An organic botanical lining plant!You know these whinny cops took massive pain killers and muscle relaxers after all that hiking. Doughnut power can take you just so far!“It’s like fighting any crime,” he said. “This is just a little more physically challenging.”have you heard anything more ludacris? Allow me to compare; Busting down a door in the middle of the night and shooting a black preacher in his sleep is not physically challenging. Arresting two peaceful honest citizens in the morning while they sit by the fire having coffee. Inter 40 armed gun men who rob you and take you to jail.These things are not physically challenging and neither was killing Donald Scott!Beating Rodney King for about half an hour with night sticks, now that is physically challenging.My 19 pound pug , Miss Dixie jogs three miles every day rain, snow or 100+ weather.I am 63 heart patient survivor with a bad heart and I walk 3-5 miles everyday. In my life in the woods I have come upon dozens of pot patches. I never once took so much as a sample bud or told anyone. Us herb vendors and farmers are the hardest working farmers there is! I could not live with myself if I were to take from one of these gardens. Cops delight in destroying things like kids. They delight in taking and keeping that which belongs to others.When I was a guerrilla farmer I did on some sites hike uphill 5-10 miles to my grow site carrying 50-60 pounds of gear. I never left my grow site a mess. I grew organically and only left behind leaves and stems.For this fat carbo-addict to say something like "physically challenging", I scoff at him, he is a big sissy!My Wife, the physical fitness trainer, said, "anyone who would complain about hiking three miles is out of shape"!That is my wife's nice way of saying he is a doughnut sucking, soft-belly swine. I have to translate for her because she is too mush a lady to express the way I do.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 23, 2009 at 08:03:34 PT
I have no doubt that you're right.We know that exaggeration... huge exaggeration was a part of their media plot from the very first.They don't go into these outdoor raids counting plants. Especially not if there are more than twelve plants. It's big story time then. Blockbuster, whooping and hollering time. Time to rationalize the expense of their loopy game. Exaggeration has always been their most well used weapon. That weapon is breaking down from severe overuse.I've got a pretty good idea of what we're being forced to spend to keep a helicopter in the air six hours a day, five days a week and the manpower and other vehicle expenses used for these big shows.US PA: Here's The Dope - It's Open Season On Pot
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Comment #2 posted by museman on August 23, 2009 at 07:42:47 PT
"..officials say that in 18 raids, they have netted 225,000 plants but made no arrests."That couldn't possibly because they're lying about that just like all the other prohibition/cop/judge/lawyer/politician lies they've been shoving down our throats for 70+ years?Its also funny how the medical states with die-hard knots of republican power, seem to have this problem with 'mexican cartels' but no arrests or convictions.I think, just like the rest of prohibition, they're making it up as they go along, trying to appeal to any sensitivities they possibly can, like the 'environmental angle' -how nauseous can it get; cops acting like they give a damn about anything but their power, ego, and beer?And its not any harder to get drugs over the border than it ever was, just a little payola to the DEAth supervisors and your way is clear. And BTW -if all those 'mexicans' can get across undetected, surely they could do it with kilos of pot on their backs?Don't sweat it folks, its just a ploy of a dying breed of pot warriors who will have no way to justify their jobs when the people get their government back from the elite classes who have stolen it.And even if there was any truth to it; LEGALIZE IT and there won't be any problems (except for unemployed, and unempowered thugs)LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #1 posted by TroutMask on August 23, 2009 at 07:09:10 PT
... and now Colorado
Colorado: A 10,000 plant grow was recently found by a hiker in Pike National Forest. Just a few days ago, federal agents found a 30,000 plant grow. Where next?
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