Criminalize Marijuana!

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California will vote on an initiative this November to legalize marijuana. It might even pass. But it turns out that the pot growers of Humboldt County are having second thoughts about the whole thing:

Recently, “Keep Pot Illegal” bumper stickers have been seen on cars around the county. In chat rooms and on blogs, anonymous writers predict that tobacco companies will crush small farmers and take marijuana production to the Central Valley. With legalization, if residents don’t act, “we’re going to be ruined,” said Anna Hamilton, a radio host on KMUD-FM (91.1) in southern Humboldt County.

….Legalization could take many forms. But the conventional wisdom here is that fully legal weed might fetch no more than a few hundred dollars a pound, as more people grow it and police no longer pull up millions of plants a year. Illegal marijuana “is the government’s best agricultural price-support program ever,” said Gerald Myers, a retired engineer and former volunteer fire chief who moved to the county in 1970. “If they ever want to help the wheat farmers, make wheat illegal.”

I guess pot cultivation will be a little less fun when it becomes just another business. On the other hand, surely there’s a benefit to being able to go to sleep each night not worried about DEA agents busting down your door and hauling you off to prison?

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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