Monday, August 11, 2008

Green is the new red

"Across central Washington's fruit bowl, farmers are buying vineyards, hoping to establish roots in the area and capitalize on the booming wine industry.

Authorities believe some of the buyers are living in Mexico and their vineyards are producing tens of thousands of illegal marijuana plants — a crop that could easily surpass grapes in value this year." (Thanks Leila)

Someone's just discovered what the Bekaa farmers have known for a looong time: Hash pays better than plonk.


Leila said...

It's the marijuana grow-houses I really don't like. My neighbors were growing it for sale for a couple of years. The landlord claimed he had no idea what they were up to. They ruined his house foundation with water damage.

The real issue is how grapes have become a monoculture in fertile Cal and Oregon (and Washington) valleys once devoted to multiple crops. And marijuana - illegal growers are tearing up national forests, ruining delicately balanced eco-systems, in order to grow marijuana in remote locations. They dig up hillsides, run irrigation pipes, destroy plants and habitat.

This excellent article gives a much broader picture of the 'medicinal marijuana' business in California:

Yes, you may get a prescription for Marijuana here in my town and go to Oaksterdam, a neighborhood full of pot dispensaries, where you may buy weed for smoking, or pastries prepared with marijuana if you don't care to smoke.

Since I have cancer, many of my friends have urged me to take advantage of this but I'm not interested at the moment. I'd have to get really sick first. But on the other hand I believe marijuana is less harmful than some of the pharmaceuticals my doctor prescribes for side effects.

Leila said...

Oh they have closed down "Oaksterdam" but the dispensaries move around. See this one:

These are the retail outlets for the marijuana grown in Washington and California.

Leila said...

Ain't capitalism grand? Here is Oaksterdam University, devoted to training growers for the marijuana industry:

Here's a blog devoted to matters marijuana in Oakland and California:

and here's the Wikipedia entry on Oaksterdam:

Let me just say that this all goes on across town from me. I know nothing of it!!! But I am hugely amused. Welcome to Oakland, where the weather is fine and the pot is legal.