Meet The Conservative Tea Party Republican Who Legalized Pot Cultivation to Save His Town From Bankruptcy

Adelanto turns from prisons and predator drone manufacturing to pot in hopes of generating jobs.

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Adelanto, California, population 32,000, is a little city in the middle of the desert, the kind of place you pass by without even noticing on the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

Like many of the cities in sprawling San Bernardino county, it faces severe financial problems, teetering on the edge bankruptcy. For a time, there was even talk of dissolving Adelanto and absorbing it into its larger neighbor Victorville.

But then, along came Johnny "Bug" Woodard and his big idea: Save Adelanto by legalizing marijuana. Woodard, a self-described gun-toting Tea Party Republican, decided to run for city council on the promise of turning around the town's finances by allowing the mass cultivation of cannabis within city limits.

 "I had already picked out some property in Arizona to move my family to Arizona, because I really didn't think I'd be elected," says Woodard. "I mentioned the 'M-word.' Mention the 'M-word': political suicide."

But something surprising happened: Woodard won his race, defeating an incumbent and entering the office with a mandate. Adelanto's voters had booted out most of the previous city council and the mayor after they had tried to patch the budget with a utility tax hike, a wildly unpopular move in a city with an unemployment rate above 10 percent. Woodard's outside-the-box proposal seemed to make sense for a desert town with lots of cheap land and giant warehouses that hold everything from windmill turbines to predator drones.

The victory at the polls was only the beginning of the political battle, though, as entrenched local interest groups (such as the local school district, the sheriff's department, and representatives from the three prisons that provide many of the jobs in Adelanto) all lined up against his proposal. City council meetings could stretch to midnight and beyond as Woodard's proposal underwent eight months of heated debate.

The other council members studied the issue and the new mayor visited Colorado to check out its legal pot situation. Then, slowly but surely, everyone came around and supported Woodard's plan. The ordinance passed with a 4-1 vote, positioning Adelanto as the first Southern California city to legalize marijuana cultivation on a mass scale. And already, investors are flocking to buy up the land, generating a large spike in real estate prices.

"For years and years our city was treated as a bad stepchild by all these other cities, and now we have an opportunity, if we do this right, to be the ones they look to. It's going to be a role reversal," says Woodard.

This story originally aired on March 29, 2016.

For a glimpse at what's going on in Adelanto, watch the video above. Scroll down for downloadable versions. And subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel for daily content like this.

Approximately 6 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alex Manning and Weissmueller. Music by Josh Woodward, The Rope River Blues Band, and Silent Partner.

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  1. “I had already picked out some property in Arizona to move my family to Arizona, because I really didn’t think I’d be elected,” says Woodard. “I mentioned the ‘M-word.’ Mention the ‘M-word’: political suicide.”

    Mexicans?

    1. No, silly, the other M word, Mormons!

      1. Oh. Mitt Romney is fucked, then.

        1. Romney fucked? He’s about to win the Republican nomination.

          1. Of course he’s fucked. Don’t Mormons fuck like rabbits?

    2. Market?

    3. Montenegrins?

  2. Minge.

  3. Adelanto turns from prisons and predator drone manufacturing to pot in hopes o generating jobs.

    Another crazy who hates the children and wants the terrorists to win.

  4. Adelanto’s voters had booted out most of the previous city council and the mayor after they had tried to patch the budget with a utility tax hike, a wildly unpopular move in a city with an unemployment rate above 10 percent.

    What? Are you trying to say that most people don’t really believe that higher taxes are the solution to all problems? Have the democrats been lying to us?

  5. Wait a minute… how can this city legalize cannabis in a state where cannabis is illegal?

    1. They can’t. Freedom is a nice dream though.

      1. California dreamin on such a statist day…

    2. Has an entire town ever been seized under asset forfeiture?

      1. Sacramento and the Obama justice dept are lickin their chops right now.

        1. Better yet, after the grand seizure, they can turn the entire place into a giant re-education camp for marijuana addicts, it’s for the children!

          1. Or a new sheriff’s facility to do hellfire missle armed predator drones test firing.

            1. In addition to being for the childrens’ children it is also for officer safety.

      2. In 2014 police seized more property through civil asset forfeiture than all the burglars combined in the US. This typically happens without judicial overview. The US currently has 25% of the world’s prisoners but only 5% of the world’s population. We jail people at higher rates than Hitler did in Nazi Germany or than Stalin did during his heyday in Russia. We even jail people at higher rates than they did in South Africa during apartheid. This is largely due to our War on Drugs. Even these insane rates of incarceration did not decrease the use of illegal drugs. Nor has it ever decreased use. Drugs continue to be available in every elementary school and maximum security prison in the country. I for one am unwilling to live in a police state where police use tanks, armored vehicles, and flash bang grenades to break into American homes so that our prosecutors can promote their zero tolerance drug policies. Our kids will not be protected until someone other than these prosecutors asks for ID. Legalize and regulate in 2016!

      3. In 2014 police seized more property through civil asset forfeiture than all the burglars combined in the US. This typically happens without judicial overview. The US currently has 25% of the world’s prisoners but only 5% of the world’s population. We jail people at higher rates than Hitler did in Nazi Germany or than Stalin did during his heyday in Russia. We even jail people at higher rates than they did in South Africa during apartheid. This is largely due to our War on Drugs. Even these insane rates of incarceration did not decrease the use of illegal drugs. Nor has it ever decreased use. Drugs continue to be available in every elementary school and maximum security prison in the country. I for one am unwilling to live in a police state where police use tanks, armored vehicles, and flash bang grenades to break into American homes so that our prosecutors can promote their zero tolerance drug policies. Our kids will not be protected until someone other than these prosecutors asks for ID. Legalize and regulate in 2016!

    3. They are just allowing cultivation of medical cannabis within city limits.

      1. Eric Garner was “only” selling loose cigarettes

        1. Actually he had just broken up the fight that the cops were called about.

          1. But he had cigs on him.

            1. Which were legal. There is no proof he was selling.

    4. I guess the same way they can legalize illegal aliens even though they are illegal.

    5. I guess the same way they can legalize illegal aliens even though they are illegal.

  6. Just think of all the revenue they’ll get from legalizing pot. Then they’ll overspend and be short of revenue with no way to raise more revenue. It truly is a gateway drug.

    1. There’s always pimpin’.

    2. Right, staff, taxes are a gateway drug.

    3. “How did we spend $18 million on Doritos?”

  7. OT: Woman arrested for selling Donald Trump branded heroin

    A Troy woman was arrested Thursday for selling “Donald Trump” branded heroin. The heroin was packaged in dosage-sized bags stamped with the words “Donald Trump,” police said.

    1. And:

      According to court documents, a detective arranged for a confidential informant ? who is attempting to “obtain favorable consideration” on a pending charge of possession of a controlled substance ? to purchase a bundle of heroin from Hall through someone who has purchased up to ten grams of heroin from Hall more than 30 times.

      1. Is the favorable consideration because of the controlled buy or the emotional devastation of seeing Donald Trump written on the packages?

    2. I would have thought he would be more associated with LSD

  8. Today’s wacky obscure dictator: Jos? Gaspar Rodr?guez de Francia

    From wiki:

    Francia had a very liberal view of sexuality. He made marriage subject to high taxation and restrictions, and insisted he personally officiate over all weddings. Francia kept a ledger of all the women he slept with, and despite having no close relationships he sired seven illegitimate children, the oldest being Ubalda Garc?a de Ca?ete. When he caught her prostituting herself outside his palace, he declared prostitution an honourable profession and that all whores should wear golden hair combs. They thus became known as “peinetas de oro” (gold combs) in order to humiliate Spanish ladies, as it was a Spanish fashion.

    Francia lived a spartan lifestyle, and apart from some books and furniture, his only possessions were a tobacco case and a pewter confectionery box. Francia left the state treasury with at least twice as much money in it as when he took office, including 36,500 pesos of his unspent salary, the equivalent of several years’ pay.

    Francia died on 20 September 1840. Sensing his mortality, he destroyed all his papers and refused medical aid, even lashing out at a physician with his sabre. His daughter later burnt all his furniture after his death. He was given a state funeral where the priest eulogised him. Some old Spanish families later stole his corpse, dismembered it and threw it into a river, making later efforts to retrieve his remains unsuccessful.

    1. His interest in astronomy, combined with his knowledge of French and other subjects considered arcane in Asunci?n, caused some superstitious Paraguayans to regard him as a wizard capable of predicting the future.

    2. If you’ve never read, “Autumn of the Patriarch“, you should

      Its a literary exploration of the archetype of the Latin American strongman. Some of the details mentioned above sound like they were thrown into the stew. e.g. “Arbitrarily declaring all prostitutes to be aristocrats”. Peculiar habits. A bizarre mix of lecherousness, frugality, great fondness for children, merciless brutality, surrounded by people who both worship and despise him, etc.

      once you get past GGM’s ‘repeated-attempts to write the longest sentences ever’ (one i believe goes about 4-5 pages), it becomes more readable.

      How’s army life treating you?

  9. ” in hopes o generating jobs”?!

    Is the editor some drunken Irishman? Probably named Gillespie or something.

    1. derpy!! Hadn’t gotten a letter ina while to pass on to the rabble. Do you have a “permanent” address now? Assigned overseas or homeside? Hope all is well.

  10. And so it begins.

    While Trump was never popular outside of his loyal slice of GOP voters, a raft of new polls show his national position hitting new lows, including with groups that are supposed to form his base.

    Trump was never popular, nobody likes him, he’s a loser.

    Plenty of people criticize Trump for his constant puffery, always bragging about how he’s the smartest and the bestest and everything he touches unfailingly turns to the finest gold, including his constant references to how he has a yuuge lead in all the polls even when it’s not true – but Trump knows people love a winner so he constantly lies about what a great winner he is. He’s a huckster and a con-man, but you have to play his game if you want to beat him.

    We’re all familiar with the “throwing away your vote” argument – if you vote L you’re throwing away your vote because the L candidate can’t win – as if it matters who you vote for. If you voted for Gary or for Mitt in 2012 your vote didn’t affect the outcome and if you voted Obama your one vote didn’t, either. But somehow people do still want to vote for a winner, there are a lot of people who vote for who they think can or will win rather than who they want to win. However much you have to lie about it, convince those people that Trump can’t or won’t win and you’ve got an edge.

    1. looking at a chart of Trump’s actual “Favorability Ratings” (that’s whacked from the RCP polling #s they cite in the NBC article)…. it seems to show that he’s held pretty much identical positions with the “general public” all through his campaign.

      IOW, the situation they describe is not “new”, and has been the case the whole time he’s stampeded through his primary wins.

      and it really says nothing about the general election – and neither does head-to-head polling now, any more than similar polling last September would have provided certitude about who would win the primaries.

      I agree with your read about “What this is”…. mostly just teenage-girl psychological games elevated to “political journalism”. = UHM WE TALKED TO EVERYONE AND LIKE NO ONE LIKES YOU AND THINKS YOUR FAT JUST ASK

      and its pretty much going to be the M.O. for the next 8 months. and worse.

    2. The thing with voting for the L is that if we get 5% then the LP will be considered a major party and won’t have to waste time and money on ballot access.

  11. OT:

    Mesa, Arizona police union goes to Facebook to defend murderous cop. Some copsucking in the comments but most people are calling them on their bullshit.

    1. …the county attorney warned Shaver’s wife about if she where to comments after viewing the video files of the murder of Daniel Shaver? He was concerned about a fair trial for the accused, and warned about possible criminal charges being brought if she were to comment, so she decided not to comment…

      No words.

    1. Bees attack mosque worshippers

      Well, no wonder. Don’t worship mosques!

    2. DAMN, I just popped in to post that and make a joke about bees hating Muslims.

      Curse you and your spawn to the 7th generation, GILMORE? .

  12. Remember the asshole that used a drone to film hookers and then get them and their customers arrested?

    Well, guess what, he’s even more of a scumbag than previously thought.

    1. I’m having a hard time distinguishing his M.O. from that of the FBI re: ‘Domestic Terrorists

    2. Bates called his bust a “shock to me and my family,” adding–rather hopefully, we think–“I hope this will all be worked out in the coming days or weeks.”

      Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

  13. 8″Once I saw the draft of 6274 bucks,,, I admit that my friend’s brother was like really generating cash in his free time with his PC. His uncle’s neighbor has done this for only 9 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car …
    JD!650
    ??
    ??? http://www.alpha-careers.com/?…..-in-home-/

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