I try to stay away from marijuana issues on this blog, because so many do it so much better than I care to. However, I have been becoming more and more concerned with the fate of our county. Once again we are becoming divisive, I don’t know how many of you lived here when logging was the hot-button issue, but you were definitely either for or against, there was no middle ground. We have made big jumps toward making marijuana the main issue in our county this year (as we should), first (for me) there was the tax on excessive electricity use in Arcata, and then the Lost Coast Outpost put up a google earth video made by HIIMR, now we have the Draft Medical marijuana Outdoor Cultivation Ordinance.
Most pot farmers that I know are earth conscious and would love to be able to certify themselves as organic without repercussions from the government. Their client base cares about such things and is willing to pay a little extra for the guarantee that their product is earth friendly. When I was deep into horses the desirable thing was to have an animal that had a willingness to learn. Your job as a rider was to make the right choice the easiest choice. In order for government regulation to be successful it should make it easy to do the right thing. We do not have to turn this into an us vs. them fight. Growers are not all mindless greedy zombies, a lot of them helped to build or sustain the communities they work in. They live here, attend schools here, bank here, shop here, read the newspapers here, donate money here, and attend art shows or benefits here. Even if they are just greedy sub par humans it is still in their best interest to have ample clean water, and loamy clean soil that doesn’t wash away. Villainizing is the worst way to get people to listen. We should make it easy for them, we could offer no blame clean up services, or alternative water and fertilizer solutions. Come on you hippies, remember we are all connected, let’s use our minds to figure out a way we can all benefit.
Our new enemy should not be the only thing Humboldt County is world-famous for. We could chase growers out of Humboldt County and watch it dissolve into one of those kitschy places between the ocean and the highway, where there are only low buildings, funny wood art shops, and a serious lack of teeth. Or we could harness our power and keep Humboldt County a relevant name worldwide.