Wasn’t legalization going to solve these problems? No, because “wax,” “shatter,” “budder” — the products made from BHO and sold in dispensaries — are more expensive than homemade stuff.
On November 2, seven days before pot became legal, a BHO fire exploded a car in Arcata, CA. A similar fire on January 14, 2017, totaled a home near Arcata in Humboldt County, injuring two people. It was the fourth BHO lab discovered in Humboldt County since legalization. (The photo above is from a car fire in Arcata on November 2, 2016.)
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.
It’s always sad when a young person is missing but when it involves a mother with two little children, it’s more than tragic. From all appearances it would seem Sherri Papini had a wonderful life, good husband and two young children. She went missing in broad daylight while jogging on the Oregon trail on November 2, right before she would have picked her children up from preschool.
An online report tells of teens and young women who have been abducted in the Redding/Shasta County area. Papini looked younger than her 34 years. The long blond hair, pretty face, slight figure, etc. would make her perfect for type of people marijuana growers happen to victimize.
Following news reports from the area, the most logical conclusion is that she was abducted in connection to the marijuana industry and the sex trade that is rampant in Northern California. Papini lived in was in Mountain Gate, at tiny town outside of Redding, Shasta County, an old logging area that has seen much violence in recent years as a result of the marijuana industry.
Since search crews have combed the Shasta County area, her family believes she is out of the region at this time. It would not take much to bring her into the Emerald Triangle, of which Trinity County adjoins Shasta County. Both Humboldt and Mendocino County would be logical places to look for her.
The abuse and sexual trade in the region has been reported by Reveal and Cosmopolitan. Marijuana grows and sexual abuse hide easily in this heavily forested region.
There are only 177,000 people in Shasta County, but there were 220 missing persons reported last year. Humboldt County had 352 people reported missing in 2015. With only 134,000 people in the county, it has the highest rate of missing people in the state.
Although Shasta County is not part of the Emerald Triangle, it has a similar geographic and economic situation. Shasta was formerly part of the logging industry which has been largely shutdown. When an industry feeds the economy is no longer viable, residents must look for other ways to earn a living. Too much of Northern California has been taken over by the marijuana growers who now supply 60% of the US marijuana market.
Let’s hope the Sherri Papini is found, and found alive and well and comes home to her family. The family has set up a Facebook page and a reward. (Above photo from Facebook)
By Anonymous from Maryland I support your organization and everything that you are doing. Thank you for your work to protect children from the drugs and drug dealers.
My 17-year-old daughter was murdered, in a murder-for-hire scheme because someone thought she set up a drug robbery. The killer was paid in marijuana because the killer had a fix. He needed his weed. The person robbed testified that the killer was paid in $400 cash and $200 of marijuana.
Testimony indicated that my daughter did not rob anyone.
(The murder took place in 2005; the murderer is up for parole next year.)