“Thousand of pounds not in the track-and-trace system are transported out of state and go all around the country,” M says. “That’s the national market, which is a whole other world from the California market. “ His pal S operates on the national black market level and does quite nicely.
Times have changed and are still changing, but some things have remained the same. Back in the day, as best I can remember, there were hip capitalists, along with idealistic hippies. In the 1970s, I interviewed the head of a cannabis corporation who had investors and employees, paid wages and grew a large commercial crop in Mendocino. If cannabis capitalism is alive and well, so is the counterculture with its music, alternative lifestyles and sense of community.
Marijuana never was the devil weed, unless you believed the drug warriors. Pot never destroyed Eden in Mendocino, Humboldt and all across the Emerald Triangle. Ranchers overgrazed, loggers cut down the forests and vigilantes hunted and exterminated most or at least many of the Indians.
I didn’t get stoned with M and S. We didn’t smoke any weed, but we walked around the garden smelling the flowers of the ripest cannabis plants. I suppose we got high in a way, out there under the sun in what had been a productive orchard and where the land was still producing a “cash crop.” That’s what Ray Raphael called it in his groundbreaking book, Cash Crop, published in 1985 and that explored the economics of marijuana in northern California. Thirty-four years later, it’s a bigger cash crop than ever before.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction