Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jul 2015
Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Anderson Valley Advertiser
Author: Robin Woulde



A few days ago President Obama commuted 46 people from federal 
prisons around the country who were serving time for non-violent drug 
'abuse' cases. Most (not all) involved marijuana. This means he only 
has another 60,000 people to go! Maybe more!?

As illogical & nonsensical as they are, there were parameters to the 
pseudo*pardons. One being; the commuted (not pardoned), had to have 
served at least 10 years of their overly harsh and 'unfair' 
sentences. Which sparks the next fitting question.. Isn't 10 years 
for any nonviolent drug offense already a punishment that doesn't fit 
the crime? Maybe we should first ask, what is the crime? Where is the 
wrong? Who's been wronged? What does the marijuana user do that 
alcohol and diet soda drinkers don't do? What does the toker do that 
a smoker doesn't? What do pain pills do that cannabis can't? We have 
been conditioned to imagine there is a crime going on here. Ask 
yourself, what is the crime of it? WHAT IS IT? Are marijuana users 
supping at the wrong water fountain?

The next irrational remedy is jail. What solution is satisfied by 
putting growers/users in jail? Are we stopping or even slowing the 
use of marijuana? Are we saving public funds by locking them up for 
however many months and years? Where is the justice in marijuana 
laws? Are the growers being punished because they've hurt someone? Is 
marijuana the reason our society is declining? Does anyone ask 
themselves why we spend so much time and concern with marijuana?

The authorities have two overriding 'motives' with regard to 
marijuana. Money & MONEY! Not necessarily in that order.

Marijuana has become the biggest economic component in Northern 
California. Everyone north of Santa Rosa is obliged [sic] to the 
marijuana 'industry,' whether they are directly involved or enjoy the 
fruits of supporting or being ancillary to it. When the police and 
authorities go after the growers, they are going after their 
neighbors and constituents. They are hurting their own communities 
for their purloined piece of the lucre. There is no moral issue here. 
There is no ethical point.

There is just a group of people that exploit the ambiguities of an 
organic medicament and abuse their force to extort and steal part of 
the booty. This is what it's really about. Simply, a couple of public 
agencies insuring their places in the economic pecking order by 
willfully hurting and stealing from others. The terrorizing of family 
farms by the authorities has nothing to do with public safety or a 
moral imperative. It's all about the wampum.

No one would be growing marijuana if no one is buying it. The 
hypocrisy in this is glaring to anyone who bends their back and 
sweats to earn a living as a grower of marijuana. There is no 
shortage of demand and there is no shortage of 'respectable' patients 
either. Musicians, doctors, athletes, lawyers, clerks, mechanics, 
retailers, carpenters, judges, engineers, firemen and cops (to 
mention a few). The hypocrisy is as sticky as THC.

This means the same neighbors who stand-by as the farmers get 
arrested and shaken down are complicit in the corruption and criminal 
behavior of the police who take advantage of antique notions and 
contrived legalities in order to exploit and hurt their own neighbors 
for money. The sheriffs are no different than a delinquent who robs 
his next door neighbor because he wants something he doesn't have the 
will to earn.

It's really time to stop! Time to stop hurting others for no good 
reason. The sheriff and the DA need to get on the justifiable side of 
this issue and rethink their terror for money strategy. It would be 
beneficial for all to work together and appreciate their 
contributions. This is not as complex as some would like to make out. 
It is really a matter of community. We can be greedy and short 
sighted and let a good crop divide us, Or we can work together to 
make Mendocino County the place people come to get the best marijuana 
grown (before they stop in Napa & Sonoma for wine). It's only a 
matter of time. Why not now?

Robin Woulde

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