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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 3—Holy Holisticism, Batman!

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Talk about crazy. California is blazing the crazy trail with every holistic “remedy” under the sun. Jeepers, Batman—it’s like there are snake oil salesmen on every corner of every city and town in this gorgeous, zany, backward-from-frontward Golden State!

Oil pulling. Essential oil therapy. Urine drinking. Sun gazing. TriVibamins (something to do with “Light Particle Gatekeepers”). It’s all so bewildering to this Texan. Call me simple, but this stuff just don’t add up.

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What ever happened to going to the doctor once a year, having your blood analyzed, eating your veggies and taking a couple of vitamins here and there … and just workin’ hard and livin’ right?

Not sure what to make of all this holisticism. But people around here seem to swear by it. My dentist wife’s patients tell her all about it; and she smiles and listens and helps them keep their mouths healthy.

Snake oil crazy

Take this oil pulling. From what I can tell, you swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for 20 minutes. This supposedly draws out toxins in your body and improves oral and overall health.

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Toxins? Isn’t that what a snakebite’ll give ya? Or spider venom? Shoot—if a wasp stings me, I plaster some cold mud on it like my dad showed me. Does that draw out toxins?

Essential oil therapy, huh. Kinda sounds like what happens to my hair while I sleep: The little Italian grease monkeys come out and pump away. Come morning … all natural mousse. It works so well my wife says I look like a Who from Whoville.

A taste’ll teach ya

I drank my urine once. By accident. I peed in my water bottle on a road trip and then forgot and took a swig. At first I thought it was old, warmish sour lemonade. Then it hit me. The only health benefit I got out of it was to aid my memory so as to never drink my pee again.

Sun gazing? No need for a Texan’s take on this one besides this humble piece of advice: It’s pretty dumb to stare at the sun. Nuff said.

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My wife and I ran into the TriVibamin thing at a hot springs resort in a little nearby town that’s even smaller than ours. From what I can tell it has something to do with vibrating the atoms in vitamins. So … Viba- and -amin … vibrating vitamins. Get it? Nope.

Shake it up

“Because Your Energy, Vitality & Good Heath Depend Upon The Light Particles You Absorb” is what a brochure says about TriVibamins.

If light and vibration are good for you, I must’ve really benefitted from riding shotgun in a friend’s old rattling pickup during all those scorching-hot Texas summer high school days.

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David Kozlowski, Old Ford Chevy Chevrolet Pickup Truck Blue Red Rust, Jacksboro, Texas Feed Mill. All rights reserved.

This Texan just doesn’t get why eating right and exercising and common sense preventives don’t do the trick for these crazy Californians. It’s like they’re always looking for something new and nutty when the tried-and-true works every time.

This holistic stuff is kinda like a religion around here. Takes more faith than most, too.

Maybe I should start pushing something just fresh enough to believe in. Like pleasingly packaged bovine excrement that when sniffed vigorously for 20 minutes is sure to purge all toxins and every last scrap of common sense.

Sound crazy enough to sell? In California, it just might.

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, part five is in the works. Stay tuned.