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The Good New Days

PHOTO Gracie Malley

Joint Opinions

The Good New Days

A longtime cannabis farmer looks towards the future.

It’s easy to complain in these dark days of the emerging legal cannabis industry. There seems to be no limit of negative stories about how the combination of state and county taxes and regulations are bringing us down and, that as a result, the corporate giants may take over the cannabis world. As we witness the demise of so many of our colleagues’ brands and businesses, it is tempting to hide our heads in a pile of weed and cry for the good old days.

But wait a minute. Who’s to say we won’t be yearning for the present times in the future? I have no doubt that exhausted gold miners back in 1850 often kicked themselves for leaving comfortable homes in other parts of the world in their quest for treasure in the mountains and rivers of California. The difficulties they encountered as they eked out meager quantities of gold dust, while living in hardscrabble conditions, make our lives look like Easy Street. Yet I can guarantee that 30 years later, as they drank champagne in elegant San Francisco drinking establishments, they yearned for the “good old days when we were simple miners.” Time has a way of glorifying the past and burning away the hardships.

Yes indeed, we can reminisce for hours about being cannabis outlaws and about how easy it was to grow it, dry it, trim it and stick it in a plastic bag and sell it right away. No taxes, no fancy packaging, no rules and regulations to fret about. Yet how easy it is to forget the stress that came along with living illegal lives, with never being able to fully be ourselves when out in public. We humans tend to see the past through rose colored glasses, ignoring the daily anxieties when they don’t fit into the perfect picture. In retrospect, life was pretty darn good. Even though we were pioneers, we certainly had it easier than the forty-niners. Plus we had the bonus of getting high on great weed. But honestly, life back in the early days of growing cannabis certainly had its challenges.

Likewise, right now as we struggle through this quagmire of new regulations, we have challenges that seem overwhelming. However, I am not the only one who is starting to feel a slight let-up in the doldrums of daily issues. Or maybe more realistically, we are just becoming familiar with them and learning how to cope in a more relaxed fashion. As more time passes, I trust we will adjust to the new system and hopefully new and better ones will fall into place. Before long, we’ll be fondly remembering the good old days right after legalization in 2018. “How innocent we were,” we’ll chuckle with knowing smiles.

What at present may seem like a tremendous burden becomes a glorious memory as time passes. The few of us craft farmers who are still standing in this business are already reflecting on what we have been through and how we have made it this far. “Remember that year they changed the packaging wording three times?” We are the pioneers of the legal cannabis business in California. We are the core group of tenacious companies dedicated to surviving and committed to sharing the best of the best with the rest of the world. We are still riding the roller coaster. We’re in for the long haul and proud of it.

So while we may be bitching today about adapting to the changes, I have no doubt that in the future we will be bragging about it. Already journalists come to the survivors asking for stories of the transition to being legal. Documentaries are being made and cannabis museums are opening in a few places across the state. We are history, while we continue to make history and the world wants to know the stories.

It’s quite an odd feeling, one day you are a young and vital member of your community and in the blink of an eye you become a “respected elder.” How did that happen?  I often wonder if those wonderful fellow outlaw/grower friends who are no longer in their bodies were still alive, what would they think? So many stories are lost with them. Nevertheless, it is up to us to carry on as best we can and tell our own stories.

To that end, a group is beginning to form here in the Emerald Triangle, spearheaded by the indomitable Pebbles Trippet. To quote Pebbles, who has been a peace and cannabis activist since the early 60s, there is a need for “An elders council of the cannabis community that embodies the knowledge of the whole derived from decades of experience from the underground. By gathering that knowledge, we can better prepare for the unknown future.”  

What is especially heartwarming are the younger folks nurturing the process. They recognize the value of the lessons to be garnered from the elders. Thanks to people from the younger generations, such as Casey O’Neill, Jenn Procacci and Phoebe Smith, a few gatherings have already been held with ideas and stories shared. This feeling of respect for all is definitely part of the “good new days” and a great step into a bright new future.

TELL US, does cannabis help you stay hopeful?

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Maxcatski

    March 28, 2020 at 7:16 am

    These are the good new days, indeed. As a long time skier and cannabis aficionado, I always refer to the bad old days, before fat skies and high speed chair lifts. Before the highway was twinned and the cars got better. Before warm clothing and amazing portable music. And especially before cannabis became legal and accepted (I live in Canada). Yes, we used to have fun but these truly are the good new days. Enjoy!

  2. YearofAction

    March 21, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    We can act to replace the threat of corporate giants taking over the cannabis world, and look forward with the hope of corporate giants buying the cannabis that we the people grow.

    Simply reconstructing the malformed federal definition of marijuana to make it carefully deschedule cannabis, by revealing the prohibitions of cannabis use that were originally intended by the 2nd, 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments, will literally replace that threat with that hope. It will also facilitate the separate removal of marijuana itself from Schedule 1, so that is actually two things to hope for.

    We can make good use of our time while we are stuck at home during the coronavirus lock-down, by contacting our current and future members of Congress about reconstructing the definition of marijuana to make it uphold our Constitution.

    We can present them with a simple definition that is respectable, sensible, truthful, understandable, verifiable, and respects the Necessary and Proper Clause like this:

    Sec. 802.
    (16) The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L., which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is their intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

    This could replace the current definition that is abstruse, bewildering, circumlocutory, deceptive, equivocal, and disrespects the Necessary and Proper Clause like this:

    Sec. 802.
    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 1639o of title 7; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

    The more people that tell them how to reconstruct the definition, the more likely that they will do so. The day that the federal definition of marijuana is reconstructed to uphold the Constitution, will indeed be a good day.

    “If one person does it, then they will think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. If two people do it, in harmony, then they’ll think they’re both gay, and they won’t take either of them. If three people do it, then they may think it’s an Organization, but if fifty people – can you imagine if fifty people do it each day? They’ll think it’s a Movement, and that’s what it is.” – Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant

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