Parents Opposed to Pot asks Virginia and New York to amend their bills to ban homegrown marijuana.
Parents Opposed to Pot asks the states of New York and Virginia to amend their marijuana legalization bills to exclude home grows. Although both states are poised to legalize marijuana, there are two possible changes that could lessen the harms of marijuana legalization: potency caps and eliminating home grows. Home grows are a major reason the black market does not go away but in fact grows stronger after legalization.
The New York bill, as it stands, allows six plants to be grown at home, and the Virginia bill allows for four. In Denver, a man tried to stop two teens from stealing the marijuana plants in his yard, killing one 14-year-old and paralyzing the other.
Just last Saturday, March 27, six thieves broke into a home grow in Long Beach, California and two of them were shot by a man who lived at the home. When police executed a searched on the home, they seized “large quantities” of marijuana, firearms and cash. Thieves consistently target home grows.
However, law enforcement is generally restrained from doing a home search until after crimes are committed. As people living in “legal marijuana” states have found, the appearance of drug sales in a home, a neighbor’s complaint of the stench of marijuana or careless overflow into the yards of others is not enough to mandate a search. Police ignore such complaints.
“After legalization, A home grower in my Pueblo, Colorado neighborhood was murdered by two men from out-of-state. They came to purchase marijuana and decided they would rather kill and steal the drugs. We also heard gunfire on our street after legalization,” says Aubree Adams, Assistant Director for Parents Opposed to Pot.
Eliminating home grows can lessen the crime associated with marijuana legalization states.
New Yorkers should be especially concerned about the harms that will come in high-density living situations. In the Bronx in 2015, Fire Captain Michael J. Fahy perished at a marijuana home grow. The fire appears to have started in a marijuana lab, a frequent occurrence in the first states to legalize. In Washington state and California, apartment residents lost their homes when their neighbors’ butane hash oil laboratories exploded, and in a few instances lost their lives. A Rancho Cordova explosion displaced 146 residents at once because of a butane hash oil explosion. Usually, the amateurs who make highly concentrated THC at home are trying to undercut the regulated marijuana market.
Home grows lead to more crime and there is no way to get around it.
Summary of Home Grow Dangers:
–Child access increases and it is impossible to keep away from children under age 21.
–Child & dog poisonings are occurring in the home, or at school when youth take the drug or edibles to school.
–Property crimes such as breaking and entering and personal injury/homicide crimes increase.
–Nuisance to neighbors is a problem (odor, people coming and going at all nights, drive by shootings).
–Squatter grows in rented units may make it harder to sell home after the growers leave.
–Landlords will be stuck with huge utility bills and drywall damage due to odor permeating drywall, requires expensive remediation.
–Hash oil manufacturing can cause explosions. At least two children died in hash oil explosions, one in Colorado and one in California.
–Every home grower is a potential drug dealer as they can turn into an illegal black market home-based seller.
— –Energy use is many times the normal household electricity consumption when growing indoors because of the extra lighting required.
Changing this aspect of the laws represents a chance to learn from other states. Colorado and Washington are now trying to put in THC potency caps on what is sold in cannabis shops.
Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.
Yesterday Rick Steves was on C-SPAN and he misrepresented marijuana legalization. For a more truthful representation of legalization, we advise our followers to listen to Luke Niforatos of Smart Approaches to Marijuana who was also on C-SPAN recently. In Steves’s home state of Washington, there’s a terrible track record of legalization violations.
At least two more child abuse deaths related to marijuana use occurred in May. In Florida, Charles Lee left a baby, aged one, alone. He went into the front yard to smoke pot with a 15-year-old and the baby drowned in a backyard pool. It is not clear what Charles Lee’s relationship is to the parents, but they had entrusted him with the child at the time.
In Salt Lake City, a father smoked pot and fell asleep on the floor. He left out a loaded gun and his two year-old shot himself. Both these incidents reflect the irresponsibility, forgetfulness and selfishness that surround using pot. Unfortunately, the victims are so young.
Drug Policy Alliance, NORML and Marijuana Policy Project are optimistic. They’re huffing and puffing now, having won 7 out of 8 states with marijuana ballots in the November election. They also smirk knowing that President-elect Trump supports states’ rights for marijuana. In 20 or 30 years, they’ll have freedom and no one else really matters. Pot lobbyists don’t explain the real picture. What if the whole country ends up just like Humboldt County?
Humboldt County Leads the Way
The oldest, strongest marijuana culture in the USA is not in Colorado, but in Humboldt County, California. Humboldt, Mendocino County and Trinity County also form this region called the Emerald Triangle. REVEAL, an online investigative platform, reported on the secretive world of sexual abuse and rapes in marijuana country. (The pop culture magazine Rolling Stone doesn’t want the public to know.) There’s politically-motivated denial and deflection, but heavy weed smokers have lots of delusions.
There were 2,000 domestic violence calls in 2015, an increase of 80% over the previous four years.* A routine domestic violence call in December led to a huge bust for guns and weed. Marijuana gained a foothold in Humboldt nearly 50 years ago, and it seems guns and weed are a way of life since that time.
See the video about the ecological damage from illicit marijuana grows
Environmentalists convinced politicians that the logging industry must stop cutting down the redwoods. So the marijuana growers found an opening and they’re clearing out the trees! Aerial views show the redwood forests pockmarked by marijuana grows. It doesn’t seem that High Times and Alternet have caught on to the irony that marijuana green is not environmentally green.
In May of 2008, approximately 1000 of gallons of red diesel overflowed from an indoor marijuana grow’s fuel room into a creek. The marijuana grower had left a valve open when pouring a larger diesel tank into a smaller one. The fuel had spread so far down the rugged stream bed when a neighbor smelled the pungent odor and investigated. He found “20 to 30 pools of red diesel” far below the spill. The environmental cleanup was a massive operation, from damage which rivals the impact of an oil spill in the ocean.
Marijuana and Fire Damages
Fires are frequent throughout California, and marijuana sometimes causes these fires, including hash oil (BHO) explosions. The massive Soberanes fire this summer uncovered several illegal marijuana sites. Marijuana growers may have started the fire.
The true irony is that when recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, these home explosions grew more frequent, rather than less. In one week of April 2014, there were four BHO explosions. BHO fires didn’t occur in California before 2010, so liberalizing pot laws and expanding marijuana access created a new problem. (In 2010, pot was decriminalized in California.)
Murders, Suicides and Missing People
If a tv news magazine were to expose the murder, rape and sex trafficking in Humboldt, reporters may be at risk. An investigative journalism report released in September revealed that some trimmigrants and girls end up getting abused or raped. The marijuana apologists mislead by insisting that murders and rapes happen because prohibition forces growers into hiding.
There were at least 22 murders in Humboldt County in 2016. Only 134,000 people live in the county. (Often it’s difficult to distinguish murder from suicide, which occurs at a rate twice the national norm.) Humboldt reported 352 missing people in 2015, more per capita than any other county in the state.
Domestic Violence, DUIs and Humboldt’s Other Problems
Humboldt County district attorney Maggie Fleming sat down for an interview with Paul Mann of the Mad River Union recently. (The entire article is in Lost Coast Outpost.) “We see DUIs all day long in this community …. There are people who are drinking or using prescription meds or smoking marijuana or using methamphetamine or heroin and driving at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Some of our fatalities are in the middle of the day,” Fleming explained.
She listed multiple factors powering Humboldt crime: high rates of driving while intoxicated; the county’s nightmarish marijuana, drug and alcohol culture; the prevalence of domestic violence and the deep-rooted poverty that inflicts childhood trauma and impairs children’s health, often with lifelong afflictions, including criminal behavior. She definitely sees the crime is a result of the drug culture. Both those with substance abuse problems and those selling drugs for financial gain instigate the crime.
“I see firsthand how marijuana is a social and environmental disaster,” a policeman from the Emerald Triangle wrote to PopPot.org. “Youth access, abuse, transient population moving in to grow or trim, associated criminal behavior all rising.”
“Where there is pot …there are other drugs…..and all the behavior associated with lives less enabled,” he said. “The money isn’t worth the social cost to our world.”
–Emerald Triangle policeman
It’s clear that having a marijuana culture adds to the use of other drugs. Those laid back from smoking too much dope will try amphetamines to get them back up again. It also leads to rampant alcohol abuse, since booze just enhances the effect of the drugs. People think the homelessness problem in Humboldt is caused by mental illness, but one social worker in the area disagrees. He is certain that rampant drug/alcohol abuse precipitates the problem. Politicians in both parties remain clueless of how drug use creates mental health problems. Their ignorance will continue as long as it’s politically incorrect to blame pot for anything.
Seven hundred homeless children without parents or guardians in nearby Mendocino County, also part of California’s “Emerald Triangle” growing region. These street kids sometimes work on the pot farms, but basically no one has ever loved them enough to care for them. They’re likely to become drug users too, and the cycle of multi-generation drug use will continue.
Pueblo is a Warning to Other Places
Four years after Colorado legalized marijuana, the small city of Pueblo is another example of how pot commercialization can destroy life for the residents. “I can no longer allow my 13-year-old to walk the dog, one mother said. There was recently a murder 3 blocks from our house.” Pueblo failed to pass two referendums which would have closed dispensaries and growing sites in the city and county. Some people think of marijuana as an economic panacea for lost jobs in the steel industry. However, it has created a huge increase in the homeless population. Pueblo doctors recently made videos showing the damage marijuana is doing to the health care in the community.
International cartels have moved into Pueblo and bought up property for their marijuana grows. The black market is booming. Russians, Cubans, Argentinians and Cambodians have come to town. Pueblo, Boulder and Denver lead the state in percentage of high school students using pot, but in Pueblo there are more problems. Fully 12% of high school seniors have also used heroin.
Is marijuana growing also going to replace tobacco growing in Kentucky and Tennessee? Will it be a substitute for the coal mines that shut down in West Virginia and Pennsylvania? When policy is driven by knee-jerk reactions without careful planning, chaos follows.
At this time, the United States has more than half of the world’s illicit drug users. Six percent of America’s high school seniors are daily marijuana users. It appears that the legacy of drug use is going to continue creating this problem for America’s children. Humboldt County is the future of our country if we continue to believe marijuana use is perfectly harmless and normal.