Frustration in California

Today we are looking at an editorial in the Modesto Bee.  I am not sure which side of the issue this media group comes down on, and I think that is because the editorial wanders and feels really frustrated. That may be the emotional / legal mood in Cali just now, too.  It is also slightly or distinctly possible that I am too high to be reading the news just now?  No, that can’t be it.  Lets see what happens:

From the Modesto Bee:

“It would be tempting to crack jokes about our area’s hot new cash crop. You know, the one that grows taller than corn but looks more like a tomato plant. But there’s nothing funny about the startling number of major marijuana grows that authorities have been finding in back yards and hidden fields in the area. An increasing amount of violent crime has been associated with these large marijuana-growing operations, including three homicides in the Modesto area this summer.
. . .
Said Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, “Clearly, a lot of marijuana is being grown in the Central Valley … and it is destined for the mass market and nationwide distribution — not cancer patients.” That’s a critical distinction. Local authorities are not going after people who are growing a half dozen or dozen marijuana plants for their own personal use. Those who have legitimate doctor’s orders to use marijuana are not — and should not be — the targets of law-enforcement crackdowns.

But that’s not what we’re seeing here. Officers are hacking down hundreds or even thousands of plants at a time, and getting tips about more such grows. Modesto’s acting police chief, Gene Balentine, said there are marijuana raids almost daily. There were four more raids on marijuana plots Friday. Some suspects have been linked to Mexican drug cartels, but those arrested aren’t easy to stereotype. Both genders and all ages and ethnicities are represented.
. . .
What’s needed to cultivate marijuana — good soil, sunshine, water and fertilizer — are the same things needed to grow a nice vegetable garden. So preventing large-scale marijuana cultivation is harder. Police get tips from people who detect the distinctive odor of marijuana or who become suspicious when a neighbor suddenly nails plywood to the fence, making it 10 feet tall. Marijuana grows are easily seen from the sky.

Stanislaus [County] is not part of Operation Mercury, a joint effort of federal, state and local authorities in several valley counties. Federal officials say their crackdowns on marijuana plantations in national forests and other public lands seem to be pushing growers into other states. Similarly, Stanislaus County might be seeing more large grows because of the zealous eradication efforts in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Police say those arrested in a recent raid were from Fresno.

Regardless of where the marijuana plantations are found, authorities are convinced the intent is criminal and not medical. “Marijuana grown in this state supplies the nation,” Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. attorney in Sacramento, said at a news conference last month. “Huge amounts of marijuana growing here are flowing to the East, to other states in the East.”
. . .
Then there is a roll call of the fallen:

Law enforcement agencies from Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties have had a busy “harvest” season, confiscating and destroying thousands of marijuana plants. Some recent raids:
• Aug. 31: 271 plants, Modesto
• Aug. 29: 130 plants, Salida
• Aug. 28: 491 plants, Waterford
• Aug. 28: 187 plants, Turlock
• Aug. 27: 74 plants, Modesto
• Aug. 23, 1,800 plants, Patterson
• Aug. 22: 1,000 plants, Newman
• Aug. 22: 41 plants, Modesto
• Aug. 16: 1,500 plants, Ceres
• Aug. 16: 100 plants, Modesto
• Aug. 14: 200 plants, Riverbank

Okay, where do we start? Cops think marijuana = crime. Duh. Violence is bad. Agreed. Marijuana’s connection to violence comes from it’s illegality. Cannabis’ outlaw status is based on reasons that are not valid, true or moral. Here’s how to fix this mess: Allow the cannabis plant to be an agricultural commodity. That is what it is. Re-legalize, tax and regulate the agricultural commodity. And, since I’m such a nice guy, you don’t even have to apologize for being such a dumb ass since 1937. WTF 1937?
Original material is HERE.

[image: Google images California]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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