Oakland and Weed

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by itcheroni, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Recently, I walked into an establishment in Oakland, pointed at a certain plant, paid for it and sales tax, and walked out. No medical reference needed or anything. I couldn't believe it. Oakland is roughly as legal as Amsterdam now in the weed context. Google Measure Z and F.

    I'm a little mixed about all this. Although I approve of the decriminalization of marijuana, I hate the prospect of government interference. Oakland has already shown support for the "big business" marijuana growers, making it hard for the smaller scale growers. Basically, you have to pay a set amount for a permit and carry a certain amount of insurance, so only large scale farms can absorb the set costs, in addition to a percentage tax on revenue(different from sales tax). This is no different from the entrenched large financial firms. I wouldn't be surprised if the four largest marijuana farms in Oakland lobbied to get the regulations/taxes this way.

    I just want to be able to grow a single plant to use for my martial arts training without fear of being arrested. Why does it have to be so complicated?
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what's your connection between some weed and martial arts training?
     
  3. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Oh, I just like to get a good high and work out or spar. It seems strange to most people but it's one of my favorite things to do. Joe Rogan knows exactly what I'm talking about.

    http://blog.joerogan.net/archives/2264
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #4
    Oh OK. Sounds energetic. I'm usually watching a movie, walking in the park or in the kitchen. :p

    So, the situation over there is that it is legalised, in a form that favours large-scale cultivation, but it hasn't been decriminalised so that you can grow it yourself? A kind of similar situation like running a bootleg still? Sounds a bit backwards, but I'm not surprised that big money is calling the shots.
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    Well I know that last week when I was ripped I started doing all sorts of flying spinning kicks and such. That **** gave me a ton of energy:p

    Edit: I LOVE working out after a good toke.
     
  6. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    From what I understand it's all still "illegal" except the cops won't bust you for possession and if you buy a permit and jump through some hurdles, they won't bust you for growing and selling it. I don't think they've made any rules on individuals growing it themselves. In Amsterdam, it's okay to sell it, have it, and smoke it but not to grow it. I can definitely see the government keeping growing a plant oneself illegal, forcing us to go out and buy it--and probably arguing that it is "safer" and that they're just watching out for us.

    Of course, federal laws trump all this. It's funny, nothing is really "legal" yet but the federal level and Oakland have taken the view of "let's ignore it." Oakland of course has financial incentives. If Ashcroft was still AG, I doubt Oakland would get away with any of this.
     
  7. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #7
    I understand your desire to be completely legal but without the permits you won't be.

    Now, let's also be realistic here. One guy growing one plant in his house/outside is going to be the least of police concerns, especially somewhere like California. If you just tend to yourself I doubt you'll ever have a problem.

    They have so many other people to deal with on an illegal basis that a normal citizen growing one plant for personal use just isn't going to be a big deal. Granted you won't be legal either but I personally don't think you'd have a problem.

    If it worries you that much then just stick to buying it instead of growing it.
     
  8. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    The fact that I can get away with something is beside the point. What if it were illegal to grow your own vegetables and you could go to jail if you did. Being able to buy vegetables from large farm producers who probably uses the most chemicals is little consolation. The fact that the local police are being lenient on the topic, for the time being, is also little consolation. It is up to their benevolence whether I go to jail or not. I'd rather have rights.

    Oakland isn't doing this because our jails are overflowing with drug possession offenders or because our police are overburdened. It is purely financial and the new laws are reflecting that. So the marijuana business is becoming just as perverted and exclusive as so many other industries, while ignoring problems that could so easily be fixed.
     
  9. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #9
    Hey, you can bicker and moan all you want but the facts are right in front of you. Either pay up for the license or grow illegally but confidentially.

    You should be thankful that your state even gives you the option to perform these activities legally. A majority of cannabis that is grown and smoked in the United States is done illegally on local, state and federal charges.
     
  10. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I clearly understand the legality of the situation, but you clearly misunderstand the point of my post. This is an internet message board. In case you're unfamiliar with them, they're for expressing thoughts and sometimes rants. This thread is about marijuana's legality in Oakland and how convoluted it is. Somehow you latched onto my example of growing a pot plant and distilled it down to only that point. I've never grown a marijuana plant and I probably never will. But as the laws are being crafted now, shouldn't I advocate that these laws make sense?
     
  11. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #11
    The laws certainly aren't going to be in favor of someone who wants to grow one plant for personal reasons. It's a slow process but it will change eventually. I'm sure one day you'll be able to go into your garden and grow a decent amount of plants just as you would any thing else.

    If you want to look at legalities then read about Alaska's law. If I'm not mistaken you grow up to 24 plants in your home without penalty.
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    What's needed is a comprehensive state law. Two houses down from me they've been growing marijuana for the last three years. The previous two years they had about 1500 square feet devoted to cultivation. This year they added about 7 or 800 square feet. Each plant probably takes about 9 square feet. I don't smoke so I don't know what the retail value is but I'm sure it's substantial.

    As neighbors, they're not bad although this time of the year I no longer go to Starbucks via the alley. The scowls I get from their gardeners (?) are simply not worth it. The worst part of the year is yet to come though. It's nicknamed skunk for a reason and so many plants in such a small area is a guarantee that the entire neighborhood is saturated with the scent. For me and many others, it's nauseating.

    The city can't do anything though because the operation itself is legal. The growers have kids as do most of the neighbors and my concern is that somebody is going to come by with guns drawn.

    The longer pot is only quasi-legal, the more problems there will be.
     
  13. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #13
    I agree with you. I'm an avid gardener and I'd love to grow a few marijuana plants every summer (although if it were legal, I'm sure growers would have a hard time with novices letting male plants mature).

    The reason big business is leading the way on this is simply that they have the strongest arguments. Oakland is after money and marijuana has turned out to be a potent (pun intended) money-earner. It'll be interesting to see where this leads.

    I too wondered about the martial arts connection, Blue. The last time I had a smoke I spent a few hours 'dancing' to Mad Professor tunes.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    Thats really not cool.
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #15
    Unfortunately, my family is dealing with some health issues that legal medical marijuana would actually help with. However, because of our professions, regardless of how helpful, in Illinois we can't obtain or use a substance that would help. So, instead, we have prescriptions for practically every known medicine to treat certain symptoms, some of which cost in the thousands per dose.

    I support legalization, but regardless of how you come out on that argument, there are people who really could benefit from the medical legalization. It's a shame so many people game the med-marijuana system in other states to get it for recreational use.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Out of curiosity, how much is the permit that would allow you to grow for personal use? Is it prohibitively expensive, or could a regular user still save by growing their own after paying the permit fee?
     
  17. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #17
    Is your family regularly drug tested? It's sad that you're forced to use prescription pills which are expensive and often times dangerous.
     
  18. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #18
    I really like what Oakland's trying to do. It puts growers in an industrial area, not a residential one. One guy I read about was trying to create a cooperative type of building where people could rent individual spaces and grow their own or people could experiment with hybridization.

    In Michael Pollan's book, The Botany of Desire he posits that marijuana took an enormous evolutionary leap when Reagan declared his "War on Drugs". Full legalization would undoubtedly result in another quantum leap in marijuana's evolution. It could also make California the center of marijuana hybridization, which would bring in huge bucks.
     
  19. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #19
    Neither of us is drug tested, but we won't take anything that is illegal for personal and professional reasons. If it were legal, we'd be setting up a doctor appointment tomorrow to discuss the benefits/risks.
     
  20. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #20
    Guess I don't really know what to say. I'm not sure what's it is like to let some silly law preside over my health but I suppose that's just me.

    Hopefully you and your family won't have to wait too many years for Illinois to come around but until then good luck.
     
  21. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #21
    That being said, anyone from Ca who would be willing to mail me some blowpops, I'd love to say hi. I just can't find them in my dimestores anymore.
     
  22. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    From what I've read, I think the permit is 5k, but you also need to carry about 3 million in insurance, and there is a tax of about 1.5 or 2%. They will most likely raise the tax into the teens very soon. So it's really a business consideration and not something you can slowly dip your feet into. My numbers might be slightly off but that's the gist.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Well that's certainly prohibitive for someone who isn't growing large quantities for sale. And while I don't necessarily have a problem with taxing and regulating the industrial growers, it's just lame to have no exemption for someone who wants to grow a couple plants at home.

    It's a policy that just benefits the big business folks at the expense of the little guy.
     
  24. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #24
  25. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #25
    Well, all of this is in the context of medical marijuana, first of all. But it doesn't sound like the city is actively seeking to restrict the ability of a medical user to grow for personal use at home.

    What it looks like is the same debate over the role of big business versus the mom-and-pop type of operations that we see play out in other industries. But there's no reason we can't have both high and low end product available. Just like there's a market for both Coors and Fat Tire, there will be a market for cheap, mass-produced weed as well as high-quality artisan stuff.

    The problem is that the rules need to be clearly spelled out so that small businesses can compete with the big ones. I certainly understand that the state would have a compelling interest in safety, and thus require things like proper wiring or a fire suppression system or certain basic security measures. But how much can you grow in your house or yard before you are considered a commercial grower and should be subject to these requirements?

    And, of course, the whole debate here in California could change drastically come November if the voters actually decide to take Peter Tosh's advice and legalize it. And I suspect that if they do, the size of the medical marijuana user base will shrink considerably.
     

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