Cali Crazy: A Texan’s Take on the Golden State—Weed wars, wicked words and wacky women

pot

Howdy, folks. I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve been awful busy. This Texan has been in a real-live (seemingly) Alamo—over pot, no less. Except this time, our side’s got plenty of big guns and ammo and just as much gumption.

In our battle against local pot growers bringing commercial cannabis into our little county via the ballot, we’ve more than held our own. But for the duration of this war (three more weeks), we’ve still got work to do.

But we just came away victorious in a debate put on by a local nonpartisan yet partisan group. We did real good. Not bad for a few old retirees who were just gittin’ started a year ago. In case, you don’t know—I’m our Webmaster, social media admin, and marketing/opinion writer.

Now, look at us. We got a website, yard signs, banners, brochures and over a thousand like-minded fellow voters.

Wicked words this way come

Our group is a lean, mean fightin’ machine, but we need all the armor we can get. Seems like every day we get ambushed by the silliest of accusations. The latest is that we signed up a bunch of dead people in the 1,000-strong names list we published in the local paper.

During the other side’s social media hissy fit, they tell each other strongly that these dead people oughta complain to the county and to the paper. Somethin’s gotta be done, they say. Dang … a year ago, things were a lot more friendly.

No more. In the months since I got into this fight over whether to allow a bunch of growers to write our pot laws for us, things have taken some nasty turns.

The growers and those in their posse call me: a liar, transplant, a lonely man with a computer, impotent, idiot, stupid, ignorant, a horrible person, a propagandist, a f…ing moron, a parasite, a sneaky rat, a media whore, a crybaby loser, a stupid sh*t, a cretin, a manipulator, deceitful, a public nuisance, a menace to the community, a hypocrite, a fraud, and dangerous. Period.

These are pretty good, but my favorite’s gotta be this:

I’m a gaslighter.

I had to look that one up. As gaslighter is a rascal who uses repetitive lies to get people to doubt their own reality. It’s like mind control. Evidently, dictators and psychopaths use it to control others.

According to my Facebook enemies, when I’m not on my Xbox (got an Xbox One, by the way), I’m mind-controlling a bunch of old folks to oppose the growers makin’ it legal to grow up to a million pounds of pot every year. That’s enough bud to supply each county voter with up to 88 pounds.

And it’s not like all that weed will stay here. These growers want to use our land to grow it and then sell most of it out of county. California produces seven to ten times as much as it can use anyhow.

And the weird thing about everything is this: The majority of the abuse is coming from local women. Now, I get that Facebookers are primarily ladies, but the ladies I’m used to—the ones in God’s Country—act a little more ladylike.

Ahab’s after me.

There’s one in particular who really has it out for me. I’m like her White Whale and she’s my Captain Ahab. She even comes to this blog to try to dig up some dirt on me, I guess. Then she posts my posts on the local growers’ Facebook group page.

Shoot, woman—keep ‘er comin’—there’s nuthin’ like free air time and more exposure. I guess it goes to show you that obsession ain’t all that strategic.

If this spitfire wants to shut me down and save the community from the menace I’ve become, sharing my Texas wisdom with her gang of growers ain’t the best way to go about it.

Not only is she a mean one, she treats my opposition to her group’s goals as a personal attack. Instead of just chalking it up to strong disagreement, it’s like she’d like to tan my hide in the public square and run me outta Dodge.

Everything’s a conspiracy to this woman. She recently accused a fella on our side of being a paid operative. Heck, I don’t even get paid. If he’s on the take, where’s mine?

She even questioned his county credentials by lining ’em up next to hers. When push came to shove, it turns out his family’s been in these parts since the 1880s. He beats hers by 40 years.

I’m a good guy. Ask my posse.

C’mon, now, lady—as the song goes—there ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy. There’s only you and me and we just disagree. Ooh, Ooh, OOH, oh, oh, OH.

Just because I don’t agree that cannabis cures EVERYTHING doesn’t mean I’m a liar and gaslighter. My strong opinions and disagreements with you and yours over pot, doesn’t mean you gotta be so ugly. And the only gaslighting I ever done was in high school with a lighter and a belly full of beans.

Just, relax. Once this whole crazy cannabis thing is done and decided, we’ll still be neighbors . Heck, we’ll see each other at the Safeway, at county fairs, while getting gas, and maybe even at softball games—if the wife and I ever get around to having a young-un—or ten.

Well, anyways, that’s all I got. The celebrated cannabis kerfuffle in my little ‘ol California county is about to be decided by us voters … for now.

It’s been a big, bruisin’ battle. Here’s hopin’ it won’t turn into an all-out weed war.

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

cannabis

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 to the county. Hundreds, he says. This from a poser 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 farming. “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 evenmore 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

sage

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

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.