There are a lot of reasons that the County of Humboldt, and more specifically our sack of shit Supervisors, need to put a stop to new cannabis applications coming in to the Planning and Building department.
It’s quite a laundry list, really. First off, the ordinance they passed this year is a mess rife with inconsistencies, loopholes, and policies crafted into the ordinance that allow for way to much cannabis on far too large of a scale.
Then you have the fact that the ordinance is bound to face multiple legal challenges, both from those who hate the idea of cannabis in Humboldt and from those who feel like the Supervisors didn’t just roll over and give them everything they wanted. (Though, from THC’s perspective, it sure seems like it’d be tough for growers – excuse us, farmers – to ask for a whole heck of a lot more.)
The potential for environmental catastrophe has not been reined in by this ordinance. No, it’s just opened the way for even more of it. (Big thanks to our area’s environmental groups for bowing down to their marijuana masters and keeping mum on the adverse effects Humboldt’s environment. More on how they encouraged and protect the green rush here, here, and here.)
Perhaps most troubling of all is the fact that the Supervisor’s essentially rolled out the red carpet for big growers – and particularly those of the criminal element – to come in to Humboldt and blow up the countryside with enormous grows that are only dubiously legal yet still recognized by the County as being in good standing because they’ve begun the process of applying for permits. The big-time players that regularly degrade the environment and destroy the social fabric of our communities are only going bigger now, rather than responding to the “punitive” measures the County put in place to restrict such over-zealous growers, and more like them are arriving every day.
Visit any unincorporated area of the county with a little bit of tree cover, and you’ll hear from any and every local resident that things have gone from bad to worse. Whether it’s rumors of Mexican cartels, Bulgarian crime syndicates, or the Lillyputians, there’s no denying that crime associated cannabis is on the rise.
And the Supervisor’s just don’t seem to give a shit. It’s one thing to try and capitalize on a valuable revenue source from an untapped industry that isn’t going anywhere. (Until even more criminal/corporate interests out-compete them in the Central Valley, of course.) But it’s another thing entirely to welcome violent criminals and criminal organizations to take root in our backyards, threatening the safety of our communities all the while.
An easy, and boy do we mean easy, step to alleviate some of this would be to place a firm moratorium on accepting new cannabis applications and permitting new grows beyond the 2,300 or so people who have already put in their papers.
The newly created Cannabis Division in the County is just another dysfunctional extension of the bureaucratic mess that is our County’s Planning and Building department, and there’s absolutely no indication that the Division’s creation has alleviated any of the problems the Planning department whined about a few months back. (See the video of today’s Supervisor’s meeting if you want to hear about how the marijuana back-log is jamming up the County’s legitimate business and further screwing growers and non-growers alike.)
No new grows would allow the County to at least attempt to take stock of the mess they’ve placed us all in, and allow some . Now, we are absolutely not fans of the term enforcement or some of the terrible injustices that have been carried out in its name against many of Humboldt’s well-meaning citizens, but until our County, State, and Federal officials responsible for enforcement show that our ordinance has some teeth, then the crime that comes with cannabis won’t slow down.
If the Supervisors don’t take such an action, well, just take it as an indication that they don’t care about Humboldt’s safety, or the communities that have to deal with the fallout of marijuana gone wild. They just want the money from pot, and to hell with everything else.