The headline is telling -- Don't blame Humboldt -- on a column that's focused on the minority vote statewide. Humboldt does not come off blameless in Prop. 19's defeat; its residents have voted with their wallets. They profit from the status quo of hyperinflated Prop. 215 grows and cannabis prohibition for everyone else. They argued strongly against Prop. 19 while claiming to support legalization, but come 2012 we'll hear the same arguments all over again.
No, it's not fair to blame Humboldt for losing an election that wasn't even close. But it is fair to hold Humboldt (and Mendo and Trinity and Lake) accountable for their actions as they impact other residents of this state. What we witnessed in this election was the birth of the neo-prohibitionist, who relies upon prohibition as a farm-subsidy system for their crops.
Legalization upsets the apple cart with rules, regs and taxes, and some folks just can't deal with the concept of having to compete in a regulated marketplace with lower profit margins. But regulations are coming, with or without Humboldt's consent, and the Humboldt vote gives ample evidence as to why they are needed. The current system of unregulated patient-growers and dispensaries is bad business, bad medicine and bad public policy, but I guess the message in Humboldt and elsewhere is this: If you're making money, who cares?
It's easy to get cynical after 20 years in the news business, but every now and then something happens to remind you why you got into journalism in the first place. The HSU investigative reporting team undertook a large project, worked through some interesting challenges to get the information they needed and then helped readers make sense of what they found.
I read a lot of stories about pot, but I haven't read anything like this before. Accordingly, I'll be sure to use my reporter's nose to look for more instances of "smelly" warrants in the future. Thanks are due the HSU investigative students, whose curiosity was anything but idle.
In Print This Week:
Nov 19, 2015
vol XXVI issue 47
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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