Weed Inc.’s Best Argument: Extortion

I guess one needs a 50,000 ft view to be on board with California Cannabis Voice Humboldt’s (CCVH) draft ordinance, especially as a conservative.  But that is who CCVH will be depending on to pass their measure.  CCVH is it seems the best foot forward Weed Inc. can conjure up.  The group has bought Democrat Richard Marks, because they can’t legally buy Supervisor Bass herself.  It’s pretty certain that if Supevisor Bass comes on board, Supervisor Sundberg will too.  Supervisors Bohn and Fennell are already friendly for entirely different reasons.

Good reporting by Ryan Burns and LoCO earlier this week and less informative reporting by the TS today on this issue.  It seems, thankfully that Scott Greacen is, as always, the skeptical environmentalist and even EPIC’s Natalynne Delapp has her doubts.  Mark Lovelace, Planning Director Kevin Hamblin, and reporter Ryan Burns all point out how this ordinance will bypass the public process.  (btw, where is the Public Participation Working Group when one needs them?  Oh yeah, that wasn’t really about public  participation at all, it was about the public not participating – and their efforts have clearly been successful.)

So why “extortion”?  This seems to be a trend and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this sort of persuasion is what we get from a lucrative outlaw industry.  During the recent Board of Supervisor and Planning Commission meetings that loosened county regulations on legal grows, a common refrain was how expanding allowable outdoor grows saves the environment because otherwise growers will grow indoors (with associated huge electricity usage).  It’s the climate change gun to one’s head.

Now we are being persuaded: “Hey, if you all pass this, we might be able to entice a couple of growers out of the shadows.  Let’s please make this quick and easy and we’ll peer pressure some of our outlaws into the light.”

That’s the line that Richard, Matthew, Virginia, Rex, Estelle and Ryan will be selling to their conservative base (and liberal associates – see below the fold).  And truthfully, most of the financial or business conservatives won’t give a damn.  Those who will care are religious conservatives and safety/”transient” conservatives.  And this is going to be a very tough sell as I’ve written before, likely to be sold by avoiding the subject altogether.  When it’s appropriate they will lament and play tough against the homeless/drug/poverty problems in Eureka, Garberville, etc..  But when those constituents are not looking, they will quietly speak about from 50,000 ft above, Weed Inc. is a necessary change because, what choice do we have (btw, can you all donate to my next campaign?)

Weed Inc. is no different from any other money making industry from a political perspective.  In fact, we are at a juncture in history where it’s clear that conservatives really don’t care about the “rule of law” or almost anything else when money is concerned.  W. made clear that “in general money trumps *sigh* peace sometimes“.  As we in Humboldt can show, conservative’s seemingly hard and fast principle of the rule of law is similarly nothing more than a rhetorical principle that is malleable if high profit margins are at stake.

In the end it’s all about the money and I don’t know if CCVH’s well place money in Richard Mark’s lap will be enough to sell this.  It seems like right now their sense of urgency and desperation may be giving even those who might otherwise be on board with a proven boondoggle second thoughts.

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