Personally, I am not a pot smoker. This is not by personal choice.....I kind of like it....but it is the overwhelming choice of everyone who knows me. Apparently, after two hits of da kine I become the most annoying human since the Sham-Wow guy. Rather than become all drifty and stoney...I get wired and try to fix stuff and philosphise about it ad nauseum.
I also don't drink scotch. I think there may be parallels in the whole marijuana behavior thing.....but I survived 18 years with a crazy, drunken banker for a father (do adjectives like crazy and drunken need to be tossed in before nouns like banker anymore?).
I don't drink gin, either. Unless it is really, really hot.....and there are English people around. Or malaria.
My dad worked in New York and Jersey City in banks. Dad was a bottle of gin a day type guy...maintenance. Three martini lunch? Routine. Plus the BarCar on the Erie-Lackawanna on the way home....and the bottle of Boodles waiting in the den back at the house.
Living with him was nuts....
Visiting him later in life was an extreme sport....sort of like hanging with that Iranian guy....I'm a Dinner Jacket, or whatever his name is. You never knew what to expect. Hugs and kisses....or nuke Israel.
One time on a pass through from France, I heard that Dad had stopped drinking and smoking. (I still have PSTS about cigarette smoke after a childhood of being trapped in Studebakers driving around Orange County in a nicotine fog, looking for new houses to move into).
So, dinner with Dad seemed like a possibility.
We agreed to meet at The Palm....or The Palms...or some such famous NYC steak place. I think there had been a notorious mob hit there....which was not a big deal for a banker from Jersey City.
We got a nice table, and the captain and waiters rushed over to fawn: "Can we bring you gentlemen a cocktail?"
Dad: "Thank you, yes. I'll have a Scotch and soda."
"Dad, I thought you stopped drinking!"
"Well, I did: Gin.........."
He was serious.
Scotch and soda is Coors Light to an old-school banker.
Anyway, I don't drink any of that stuff....and Coors, either for that matter.
But I don't have any particular negative judgements against those who do......and I have made a living for forty years enabling gin, Scotch and Coors drinkers.
I actually really like marijuana as a plant. It grows really well in Carmel Valley, and is a beautiful thing all by itself. Beats the hell out of orchids, and is a whole lot easier to grow.
And....beautiful orchids may gain you the envy of the old biddies in the Garden Club, but a pound of orchids won't buy you three weeks in Costa Rica.......airfare, massage, rainforest and surfing included. A pound of orchids won't pay two months mortgage, and pay for the maid and gardener......and dinners in The Village. A pound of orchids would be a huge greenhouse full of anxiety. A pound of pot is one plant....grown outside in God's sunshine.
Somewhere around Ronald Reagan the whole thing went south for the local marijuana industry. There used to be a sign nailed to the phone pole across from the Corkscrew, just above the Kiwanis sign and the Rotary sign: Welcome to Carmel Valley, Carmel Valley Rope Growers.
Back then there was a real hardware store, the Village House...that made a killing selling irrigation pipe and fittings. Murphy Lumber dealt with the wood. The bars were full, the restaurants were full.....of locals, not tourists or dickheads from town (my apologies to the clientele of Cafe Nazica). You could buy breakfast in The Village. The Summerhouse, Sweet Retreat, the Chatterbox, the Iron Kettle. There were actual fun bars: the Buckeye, Wills Fargo, the Swollen Zit, the Stirrup Cup, Village Pizza, Robles del Rio. There were restaurants: Graciella's, Will's, Fernand's, Plaza Linda. No one pretended that the Stirrup Cup....aka the Running Iron...was an actual restaurant.
We were caterers, with a kitchen where Heller Estate's tasting room is now. We did our catering number...but every day we had Cachagua people stopping in to load up on good beer, good wine and whole 12 pound roasts of New Yorks and rib-eyes.
The money all came from Sinsemilla.
Later on....as in all economic bubbles....the knuckleheads started spending more of the funds on white powder and less on strip steaks and fine dining and irrigation. The line at Gordon's house on Holman Road (when the porch light was on.....) was longer than the line for dinners at Graciella's...
The County parlayed federal money into suppression of marijuana to bolster the Sheriff's budget.....and Cachagua reverted to a West Coast Appalachia.
Gene-Gene the Love Machine....once famous for wheel-chair Santa Catarina sinsemilla....also once famous for trading a pound of Santa Catarina for six months in New Zealand, Laos and Thailand......and the purchase of an elephant........now lives at Rippling River.
When Obama....who famously parlayed his internet skills and networking into a national movement....won the election he set up an Open Government site to seek out input from his netroots supporters. You could ask any question, and folks would vote on your question's validity, relevance, and importance.
After a month or so of millions and millions of individual inputs....the top six topics on the Open Government website were all about legalizing marijuana.
I kept hammering away about Ag policy and Tom Fucking LimpBallSack....down around Topic 300 or so.
At the famous Web Town Hall the results were the same....and Obama pissed all over the pot people. "Heh, heh....I guess this tells you all you need to know about the internet...." The number one question proposed for his internet town hall meeting was about marijuana.
I'm sorry....but didn't the internet turn you from a junior douchebag Congressman from a rustbelt state more famous for corruption than progress into the most powerful person in the world? Maybe that was some other Hawaiian half-breed motherfucker.......
Some of us geeky types have been working like dogs for ten days to put together a stimulus grant application to employ local contractors to tear out the old concrete "causeways" across Cachagua Creek and the Carmel River, and replace them with rail-car bridges......or just tear them out so the Steelhead have a fighting chance.
We found a dozen or more concrete barriers.....one of them so serious it has been ruining the steelhead harvest for forty years. There is intense competition for the stimulus funds. Projects must be "shovel ready"....ready to fly next week.
David Patterson....the non-hooker hiring governor of New York..... said it best about the stimulus process: "Projects must be "shovel-ready". Now every motherfucker with a shovel thinks he's ready......"
The total cost of removing all six indentified causeways, and replacing three of them with rail-car bridges runs to about $350,000. It will help the steelhead immensely, help the community, and provide some desperately needed work for some of our local contractors. A one-time shot.
Obama not actually making fun of marijuana legalization....and maybe sending a back-off message to douchebags like our Sheriff Mike Kanalakis.....would put a couple of million dollars a year into our local economy.....Permanently.
And it is not like the pot is not being grown and sold and smoked anyway. The local stuff is traded and sold among friends. The gangs and the Mexican Mafia are making the real money.....and they are not buying pipe at Murphy's.....or having dinner on a Wednesday at Will's Fargo.
Anyway.....it is not just the weird stoner internet community that is calling for legalization.....or discreet absence of enforcement. Here is a graphic from The Economist....the most conservative financial journalists on the planet:
On March 5th.....once more (The Economist called for legalization 20 years ago) they brought up the subject again.
Drugs are a main reason why the United States....bastion of freedom....has five times more citizens in prison than the world average. Why one in five black men spend time in prison.....and on and on. The president of Brazil is on board, along with three other colleagues from South America. Study after study shows that legal drugs are a medical issue.....illegal drugs are crime issue. Illegal drugs fuel crime. Countries with vicious drug enforcent programs have the same or worse evidence of drug use than countries with lax enforcement.
Personally.....I don't care about the consumption issue. I am a Champagne guy.
I would really like to buy irrigation equipment for my damn chervil in The Village.....instead of having to drive to Gonzales.
And what would it be like to have decent restaurants in The Village again?
And......One thing you can say about stoners......
They know how to eat!