Editor’s Note: Pandora Young recently visited two medical marijuana dispensaries in downtown Los Angeles and in Sherman Oaks. This may be the last summer when recreational pot possession is a crime in California – if Proposition 64 passes in November, medical marijuana will no longer be the only legal way to obtain and use cannabis products.
When we speak of legalizing marijuana we are really speaking of the Great Cannabis Debate. Come November, Californians will vote on Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which could bring safety and security for both cannabis consumers and farmers, and the sales taxes accrued could provide much-needed revenue to our state.
In February of 2013, the employees of Wellness Connection, a medical marijuana provider based in Auburn, Maine, were worried about their product. They’d observed mold and fungus on their plants too often; bugs were infesting their work areas. Some of the chemicals they were being asked to use, such as the insecticide pyrethrin, had known health effects.
In his sunny office on the edge of town in Arcata, California, Scott Greacen pulls up a slideshow on his large high-resolution monitor. As wildflowers sway in the wind outside a window, a woodsy guitar solo starts to play along with the pictures. Greacen mutes it; he wants to focus on destruction.
Rural Trinity County is home to 13,500 people in Northern California and marijuana production is rampant there. Along with Humboldt and Mendocino counties, Trinity comprises California’s “Emerald Triangle,” a region known for its prolific marijuana farming. Hayfork is Trinity County’s second largest town, and an area of concentrated production.
As California voters prepare to make a historic decision about legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, promises and omens have become part of the debate.