Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State–part 7–Cali cannabis kookiness


The little ol’ California county I now call home is neck-deep in controversy concerning the wacky weed. And the way I see it, the hubbub is entirely self-inflicted—like what happens when a city slicker monkeys around with a gun and shoots his dumb self in the foot.

How we got here

Because California lawmakers saw fit to legalize recreational marijuana last November, counties have until January 1, 2018 to wrangle their own cannabis ordinances in order to regulate the stuff before the state steps in and regulates it for ’em. It’s all about local versus state control. And from what I’ve seen around here, California counties need all the control they can get.

Anyways, our local county government, made up of five “supervisors” began the ordinance crafting process in good time and in good order in September of 2016. Problem is that after soliciting applications for folks to be on their “Cannabis Working Group,” the supervisors settled for five people, four of whom are growers.

Poisoning the pot

And to top it off, our supervisors defend their lopsided group by pointing out that their application process was open to folks of all marijuana persuasions—yea or nay. They say that it’s not their fault that only potheads signed on. Now why do you suppose that happened?

Is it because normal everyday folks are kinda busy … I don’t know, working jobs, taking care of their youngsters and generally going about their lives? And that maybe, just maybe, those who love weed and claim it cures cancer and wanna sell it for big bucks were locked and loaded and ready to jump right in?

Hey, there, supervisors—let’s leave off the blame dodging and butt covering and take responsibility—Texas style. Y’all were elected to come up with ordinances for all issues your county will face. Don’t shift blame; do your dang jobs.


Deciding whether to allow cannabis cultivation, dope dispensaries and everything else unleashed on us by the knuckleheads in Sacramento in our county is your responsibility. If you wanna kick the work to a working group, that’s on you. But make sure you do it right by balancing the representation. And a working group with four marijuana growers and one wanting to grow, ain’t balanced.

Duped by dopers

In fact, it’s a bit like signing up a bunch of foxes to design a hen house. And the whole silly show has played out just about like you’d expect. The working group shot for the moon by writing virtually everything they could ever want into a pipe dream of a pot ordinance only to shoot themselves in the foot with their greed, arrogance … and incompetence.

And then they couldn’t see through the smoke to realize they woke up the bear ’til it was too late. The opposition formed, letters and emails flooded the supervisors’ mailboxes, and the local paper began printing opinion pieces from citizens who DO NOT want commercial cannabis cultivation in their county. Same goes for dope dispensaries.

And then there’s this wannabe rancher/farmer who keeps harping about all the jobs commercial cannabis is gonna bring into the county. Hundreds, he says. This from a rustler who’s got a reputation for cheating investors and lobbing lawsuits. At the cannabis meetings, he goes on and on about pot plants being nothing but agriculture. “It’s just agriculture,” he mutters when things look like they aren’t going his way.

Mister, marijuana ain’t tomatoes. And you know it.


Working group ain’t working

So here we are with less than three months to go and no ordinance. And the supervisors and their working group have been “working” on the silly thing for over a year now. And this while most other California counties have either passed theirs or passed moratoriums to give them more time.

So, now the next step is a “public hearing” where people—yea or nay—can tell the supervisors why we should or shouldn’t vote on a moratorium and why commercial cannabis should or shouldn’t be banned in our county. This is when the growers will again go on about how they want to come out of the shadows and get all legal and regulated. And that if the supervisors pass a moratorium or ban commercial growing, they’ll be “forced” to grow illegally in order to feed their families.

Hey, grower—no one forces anyone to break the law. You could always do something else to feed your family. You know, a career choice that doesn’t allow you to work the system and grow up to 99 “medical” marijuana plants because some shady doctor prescribed that many to a patient. How about getting a gig in which you need not be a “caregiver” who supplies sick folks with weed?

Sick spliff

Now, lemme say right here and now—I’m not against genuinely sick people using pot to help them get through chemotherapy and deal with the ravages of other diseases and conditions. What I AM saying is that medical marijuana, granted by California way back in 1996 and refined legislatively since, has been and is being abused like it’s nobody’s business. And, caregiver—you know this good and well.

Now some of you growers may truly care about sick folks. And maybe your hearts are in the right place on this issue. But c’mon, now—prove it to me and to your county by obeying the law and being realistic and sensitive to your neighbors concerning this high-stakes issue.

Go ahead and keep growing your medical weed. But be sure to keep the stinky commercial grows outta this beautiful county. Folks here love the clean, non-diverted lakes, rivers and streams and the piney, fresh air.

They don’t want more crime, more joblessness, more environmental damage, more dead wildlife from poisons, guard dogs, ugly fences, private security and transient and seasonal weed workers. And they don’t want marijuana even more accessible to their youngsters with dope dispensaries on main street.

I gotta admit it—I love this nutty, crazy county. And I want it to stay the way it is—or maybe even get better. No commercial cannabis would go a long way to that end—says this California cowboy.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 6—Automatic trash can dumpers, sage ceremonies and one inconvenient corpse


California garbage men—I mean, sanitation technicians—never had it so easy. They grab a roll-around plastic can, wheel it from curb to truck, place it in hydraulic hands and push a button. Voila! The truck lifts it, dumps it and sets it back down. They then wheel it back.

As long as it’s not too far from the curb. Or too heavy. Or too hard to get to because of a snow berm.

No more sore biceps or achy backs and plenty of juice left over for twelve-ounce curls come quittin’ time.

In Texas, the sanitation technicians are known as garbage men who, rain or snow, hot or cold, can be counted on to step around or over kid’s bicycles to empty your light—or heavy trash can.

California law require us to use (and buy) specially designed cans that make their modern can-dumping marvel and energy saver possible. More importantly, it keeps worker’s compensation claims down, which saves 2017 budget money to spend on important stuff like:

—$30M to protect illegal aliens from deportation

—$118M Startup cash for new marijuana tax department

—$6B additional funds for state employee pensions

Now that’s thinking. Safety first. Less wasted dollars on injured waste management workers in our California counties. More for wasteful programs created and managed by wastes of good legislative seats in Sacramento.


Sage is all the rage

This Texan recently learned a little somethin’ about sage. It’s an herb used by California hippies to ceremoniously cleanse homes, businesses, and ventures of any and all sorts from evil spirits, negative vibes and other spiritual drags.

In Cali-speak, sage has come to mean not only the plant but also the cleansing ceremony. When a local mentions “a sage,” other locals know it as a cleansing, purging, spiritual event.

After a little digging, I uncovered its origins in Native American rituals whereby medicine men used the plant to cleanse and as incense. Around here in our little town, a sage is performed by a resident spiritualist who is typically also a massage therapist, homeopathic practitioner and/or enthusiast, and green everything proponent.

This is how I learned about a California-style sage. Rumor has it that a sage practitioner was performing the ceremony for a buyer’s new property prior to his and his family moving in. Apparently the seller was also present. During or after the ceremony, the seller noticed something in some brush he initially thought was a deer corpse. Turns out the dead deer was a dead dude.

Oops. Once the remains were removed and an investigation completed, this may have called for a re-sage. Or maybe a super sage. I guess positive thoughts and good vibes are no match for partially decomposed bodies.

Silly me

I always thought sage was something you put in your stew. Or your wise old grandfather who saved you from doin’ dumb things cuz he’d done ’em when he was a young man and learned the lessons for you.

Sage. Live long enough and in some different places, you may just learn something new. Gotta laugh at life and silly herbal ceremonies. Especially here in California.

Now there’s some sage advice for ya.

State-sponsored anti-discriminatory discrimination? Way to fight “discriminatory” laws by discriminating against other states, California.


Image may be subject to copyright.When California deems other states’ laws as discriminatory, what do they do? They pass discriminatory laws to fight these discriminatory laws.

“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights,” trumpets California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

So in the spirit of prejudicial law dismantling, California has assembled a prejudicial law (AB 1887) that restricts state-funded travel to Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas.

“While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back,” says Becerra. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

Make no mistake—California is committed to the intolerance of intolerance. Especially with beliefs they cannot tolerate.

It seems that California lawmakers considers any community in any state as their community and will not tolerate discrimination against any LGBTQ member in any community…because they’re part of California’s (global) LGBTQ community, you see. Wait…what?

We are the world. Or at least the nation. Or maybe just the state.

Which discriminatory laws of other states prompted heroic measures like AB 1887? Here’s one:

Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” (House Bill 1523) prohibits the state from discriminating against churches and businesses that believe marriage should be between one man and one woman and who decline to provide services to facilitate same sex marriages because doing so would violate “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”

Here’s another:

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 149 shields faith-based and private child placement agencies from state-sponsored discriminatory measures. This means that if these agencies refuse to provide any service, including adoption or foster care services, on the basis of their religious convictions, the state will not retaliate against them.

So rather than “opening the door to discrimination” as opponents claim, the bills actually close the door on state-sponsored discrimination against the free exercise of religion—in theses cases—the violation of religious entities sincerely held beliefs.

Chucking the discriminatory First Amendment

State retaliation against religious entities, which violates the First Amendment separation of church and state, is an unconstitutional practice California champions and demands that other states employ…or…dun dun DUN! They’ll wield the incredibly intimidating travel ban.

It seems that Texas and the other pariah states are shaking in their boots. Here’s a response from the Texas Governor’s office: “California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation and relocating to Texas.”

Snark attacks and giggles aside, the crux of this debate is this:

California considers faith-based entities sincerely held beliefs concerning gender, marriage and sexuality backward and discriminatory. They will not tolerate discrimination in any form, but don’t seem to realize that using state power to discriminate against entities they deem discriminatory is a form of discrimination. And so is their silly travel ban.

Or worse—they know very well that they’re doing the very thing they decry, but justify it based on their sincerely held beliefs. Beliefs that run counter to theirs “send all of us several steps back,” as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra so sanctimoniously pronounced.

According to Becerra, California will not tolerate people being “deprived” of their “precious” rights—except those people whom California seeks to deprive of their constitutional religious liberty rights.

Dear Governor Brown and California lawmakers,

If your voters allow you to abuse the power of your state to discriminate against citizens and private businesses, that’s their failure. Why would you expect other states to believe as you do and jettison the constitutional separation of church and state? Do you truly believe that your beliefs about gender, marriage and sexuality trump others’ beliefs?

A travel ban? Really? AB 1887 makes you look arrogant, small-minded and silly. Sorry, but your bill is as impotent as it is self-important.

Here’s a time-tested truth: Your sincerely held beliefs about marriage and gender are the product of a relatively recent zeitgeist and are shared by a minority. Notwithstanding, the Constitution protects your right to hold them.

Vast majorities in societies worldwide for centuries have embraced sincerely held beliefs regarding marriage and gender. Don’t they deserve the same protection?