Washington Monthly has a really interesting piece about the pot-growing history, lore, and culture of Humboldt County and Cali's fabled "Emerald Triangle." Here's a snippet that should make anybody who's on the fence vote in favor of the Golden State's watershed Proposition 19, which would give towns and cities the right to regulate and tax sales of marijuana:
As much as today’s younger growers may admire the environmentalism of the first homesteaders, their primary concerns more often center on economic survival. When I was in Humboldt County, in the remote town of Alderpoint, I met a former small-time indoor grower named Obadiah Switzer, who belongs to an expanding sociological category in the Triangle: second-generation growers. The adult son of “truck gypsy hippies,” he looked like a clean-cut fireman and talked like John Wayne. Whatever bohemian adventurism had inspired his parents seemed lost on him. “My whole life I’ve been here, and weed’s always been gettin’ grown,” he said, letting out a short laugh. “There’s no romance here for me.” He might as well have been a longshoreman’s son in Baltimore.
While many in his parents’ generation were up in arms about the heresies of indoor pot, [second-generation grower Obadiah] Switzer was focused on mobilizing the county to protect itself against the disruptions of legalization. He had recently become the Humboldt County representative of a group that was informally calling itself a union of marijuana growers. And the union was against Proposition 19.
To Switzer, the initiative to tax and regulate marijuana was just paving the way for far-off industrialists to corner the market. “It’s about stealing the economy from the people it’s been built by,” he said. “What’s gonna happen is there’s gonna be a shitload of minimum-wage jobs out there. And all these people that have subsistence incomes or a little bit better in the cannabis economy, their work is gonna go away. And they’re gonna be able to get a minimum-wage job.”
Reason.tv's latest gives both sides of the case for and against Prop. 19. Take a look and make an informed decision: