I may be a native Californian, but I often find myself shaking my head.
“Medical marijuana” is being grown all over the place, inside houses and out. My brother lives up in the Green Triangle. Over the past few years, his picturesque little town nestled among the giant redwoods has begun to look like the movie “Deliverance”. I went up for a visit not long ago and took a nap on the sofa. The window was open and I thought I smelled a skunk. The scent was so strong I was afraid to lean my head out the window. Later, my brother asked if I’d noticed the smell. Oh, yeah! His neighbors are growing pot, a field of it. For medicinal use, of course.
No walking in the woods anymore. Some growers have trip wires, guards with guns and pit bulls to guard their plants.
Not that the growers are limited to his remote area.
No one seems to believe or care that marijuana is a gateway drug to other more harmful “fun”. I know people will argue with me about this, some from my own family already have. Marijuana makes one mellow. Like, hey, Dude, whatcha doin’? Nothing, man. How’s about you? Just chilling. Puffs the ambition to do anything right out of people. (I have to wonder if marijuana was involved in the Belly Button Biodiversity Project being conducted in North Carolina where scientists are contemplating their navels and wondering what kind of bacteria grows down there. I kid you not!)
But I now have hope. The “tree huggers” are upset because the north coast pot farms are taking a toll on the environment. In 37 miles of remote forest, they counted 281 pot farms and 286 greenhouses. (Apparently we have a lot of sick people in California, desperately needing a joint.) The explosion of marijuana growing (studied by aerial imagery, no less) is endangering the spawning grounds of coho salmon in the Eel River. It seems growers’ fertilizers, soil amendments, miticides, rodenticides, fungicides, plant hormones, diesel fuel and human waste are ending up in the river that is lower because water is also being diverted to water the crops. Hence, cyanobacteria now flourish and are killing the tiny creatures eaten by salmon, steelhead and trout, decimating the fish population we have paid so many dollars to restock. Oh, and dogs are dying from eating the algae, too.
I have no plans to swim in the Eel River. Not now or any time soon, I can promise you.
I’m praying all those on-fire environmental activists that destroyed the lumber industry will now do an even better job of ridding us of the marijuana industry and all it brings.