Some people say California has already legalized marijuana and Proposition 64 gives it a chance to be regulated. Pandora’s box has been opened. We can and will put it back, by following federal law and adhering to international treaties.
California never learned how to regulate medical marijuana, so it will not learn anything new 20 years later. Calaveras County serves as a great example. Now a group is working to ban commercial grows Calaveras County this fall. Please support them. Here’s why:
Abuse of Humans and the Environment
On September 14, two women were arrested for holding four men captive to work on a marijuana plantation near West Point in Calaveras County. The men had escaped violence in Mexico, only to be forced at gun point to work on a marijuana plantation. When discovered in late July, a chain of events began and several law enforcement agencies eradicated 23,245 marijuana plants on private and public lands. The Federal Bureau of Land Management led the way.
Calaveras County had a devastating fire that burned 71,000 acres and destroyed 860 houses and other buildings. In seeking economic salvation, the County commissioners voted 4 to 1 to sell licenses for cultivating “medical marijuana”. They ultimately sold 200 permits for an annual fee of $5,000, bringing in $1 million in revenues. By imposing a $2 per square foot annual levy on outdoor commercial grows, and $5 per square foot on indoor grows, the County hopes to bring in $4 million in new tax revenue.
The licenses allow up to 99 plants. If you do the math, at 1 to 5 lbs per plant in outdoor cultivation, that equates to 118,000 to almost 600,000 joints. Some indoor grows in Oregon are getting in excess of 10 lbs per plant, with plants the size of orange trees. All of this is being grown under the guise of medicine in a “medical marijuana” market that has long since been saturated.
Should Prop 64 pass, and every resident allowed to grow 6 plants, and enforcement will be simply impossible. Just read the testimonies of those who are suffering from the crime and selfishness of marijuana growers. Let’s Save Calaveras County.
Crime and More Crime
A year ago, a 72-year-old woman was arrested for shooting and killing her son because “he was going to rape her.” They lived together on a marijuana farm in West Point, Calaveras County. Also in 2015, three people were shot and killed trying to steal marijuana from a local pot farm. Ironically, the Sheriff and California Highway Patrol are ramping up to provide better protection for the growers during harvest season, including extensive use of a helicopter. In contrast, it is almost impossible to get anyone to enforce state or federal laws to protect the public from the drug.
Human trafficking is all over California’s marijuana trade. In San Francisco, Asian gangs bring in young, underage laborers living in crowded grow houses surrounded by the stench.
In Lake County, two marijuana growers used a 15-year old girl for labor and sex, chaining her ankle to a box to keep her from escaping. The men are expected to plead guilty for “illegally growing marijuana and using a minor in a drug operation,” while the sexual and human trafficking charges are dismissed. Are these the people the ACLU claims are non-violent drug offenders while trying to get them out of jail?
Cosmopolitan Magazine and Reveal recently published exposés of the secretive sexual exploitation that is woven into very profitable marijuana industry of the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino Counties).
Economic Salvation is Really the Downfall
Calaveras isn’t unique in turning to pot to solve their economic problems. Examples include Desert Hot Springs who is planning on 3 million square feet of indoor cultivation; Adelanto, a desert town in Southern California with no other obvious forms of salvation; and Coalinga, a little town in the San Joaquin valley converting a prison to a pot farm. All these towns are oblivious the harmful impacts of marijuana on humans, or the fact that social costs will exceed income by 10 times, or that they have violated federal law and their most fundamental responsibility, to protect the people.
In populated areas throughout the state, the stench (i.e. skunk-like smell) is causing serious air pollution problems. It triggers asthma in children or make conditions worse. People can’t open their windows at night, and if they complain their lives are threatened. The pesticides used threaten the health of anyone within 1 to 1.5 miles, and have been linked to serious illnesses, including harms to babies in utero. The net result is the quality of life is adversely affected, real estate values are diminished and it is all to produce a problem with known harms to the brains of our youth.
Drug legalizers say the War on Drugs has failed, and that legalization is the answer. For sure, greed and money in politics gets in the way. It’s a war that can never be won entirely, but surrender isn’t an option. From 1978 to 1992, marijuana and other drug use by youth was cut in half. Because of today’s greed and the influence of money on our politicians, marijuana use has gone from 7 to 13% over the past 8 years, and 129 Americans dying of drug overdose every day.
Marijuana and other drugs inflict more death, social destruction and economic cost on this nation than all events in modern history. If we care about our youth, public health, safety and our natural resources, it is time to demand of our leaders at all levels that they focus once again on serving the people and fulfilling their oath of office. That includes Calaveras County. Vote No on Prop 64.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ….
ROGER MORGAN Chairman/Founder, Take Back America Campaign,
20 year anti-drug activist dealing with drug prevention at the local, state and national level. (www.tbac.us). Formerly Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California. Owner/CEO of Steelheart International LLC, engaged in international business development and has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 35 years. He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation in 1997, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado.