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Both cases were delivered on my doorstep this morning when I picked up my copy of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Okay, so I guess that there's room for definition in the area of "major arson". Quoting "the judge said that the Teasdale man would never be able to repay the  $3.2 million it cost to fight the Lost Lake Fire".  To me, that sounds like some kind of a big deal.

From the other article two pages away, "A California man faces up to life in prison after being found guilty of operating a marijuana farm on U.S. Forest Service land in Iron County".

So some arson, some pot, but then what?

To me, the pot farm, except for where it's at, sounds pretty mundane. Some local folks noticed something and called the cops. Surveillance/investigation followed. Long story short, dude gets snagged with 80 pounds of bud, and then "the raid" gives the DEA another 4,211 plants to charge against.

So, what the hell, why not charge for a potential life sentence? "DEA will continue to stand steadfast with our federal, state, and local partners to keep dangerous drug trafficking organizations from setting up grow operations on public lands in Utah".

Oh, yeah, "public lands"! Of which all too little good stuff is left thanks to cattle grazing, sheep grazing, mining, abuse by motorized vehicles, and oil drilling. Oh, did I leave pot farming off of that list? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that there have been a few "grows" over the course of the last ten years, but, purely acrerage wise, not enough to notice.

So, anyway, back to the guy who confessed to burning down the forest. Dude had a pissing match with his significant other and decided to go out back to ...? But, anyway, according to his confession, some trees got in his way on his journey, and already being upset, he reasonably decided to make nature pay the price. "Fuck it, you don't like me, and I don't like you, so I give you FIRE." Or something like that.

In any event, $3.2 million later the U.S. Forest Service unilaterally decrees leniency. "Because of the amount of damages and the low probablity that significant recovery will occur , we have decided not to attempt recovery through restitution in this action".

In all fairness Lance Durfey has been sentenced to 180 days in jail. And the prosecutor said "the Forest Servive will likely collect money from Durfey in a different manner, such as from tax returns."

On the other hand, the only thing required to avoid having a tax return is to have income underwithheld. So, just put the extra "takehome" in a bank account, and give it to Uncle Sam on April 15.

Oh, and the couple of bucks extra interest that ends up left over. Feel free to enjoy a latte!

Originally posted to oldpotsmuggler on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:27 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our drug laws should be an embarrassment for a (41+ / 0-)

    modern civilized society.

    I'm reminded of the dark ages when we burned the mentally ill as witches.  

    We need to start holding our elected official accountable for this disgrace.  

    Thanks for bringing this sad, but important news to us, oldpotsmuggler.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:32:34 PM PST

  •  I ran into a grow operation on public land (27+ / 0-)

    when I was working for the BLM.  Adjacent landowner was growing five acres of barley on Uncle Sam's side of the fence.  Doubt he got life in prison though.

    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

    by happymisanthropy on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:57:07 PM PST

  •  What a great piece of writing. (10+ / 0-)

    Good job dude :)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:14:29 PM PST

  •  USFS personnel are put in danger (10+ / 0-)

    in both of these scenarios. You know, I like pot but I also love some very cool people working for the US forest service and it is getting pretty scary out there for them between smugglers (very serious drug cartels moving a whole lot of product) and the type of pot farmers you describe but even they are scared now, really scared about what has been going on lately. All parties may at times give a wide berth (from what I've heard) but this shit is not even funny.
    The arsonist, yeah he should definitely pay restitution.

    •  But there is a very easy way to (28+ / 0-)

      remove the dangers of illegal marijuana trafficking.

      Not so much you can do to remove the dangers of arson.

      This better be good. Because it is not going away.

      by DerAmi on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:31:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the Eel River basin, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendy Slammo, KenBee, kyril

      there's a legal requirement to monitor an aggressive non-native species, the Sacramento pikeminnow. Last year, the groups asked for a waiver because it was too dangerous for the fish biologists to go to their established monitoring points due to illegal marijuana grows on national forest and PG&E lands.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  diarist wrong on forest grows (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, elfling

        it is a big big problem treatening whole watersheds with poisons of all sorts, including the threats from the gangs and cartels as well as greedy growers guarding the crops from other criminals.

        None of it is cool or funny or

        acrerage wise, not enough to notice.
        google earth east of Eureka/Arcata. That isn't the world's biggest concentration of tomato growers. Those are clear cuts as well.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:00:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They pull amazing amounts of water out of the Eel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee

          River, and are probably taking more than the legal rightsholders. I can pull some references for that if anyone wants.

          In the north coast area, the problem with pot isn't intoxication. It's illegal growers who spill diesel into creeks and clearcut and leave caches and spills of nasty, toxic herbicides, and huge deposits of trash when they're done. All this washes into the river, where the salmon live, or try to live.

          There are people up here lovingly and responsibly growing organic pot for medicinal and other uses on their own land. I don't really have a problem with that; I'd like to see it legalized, so that they can do their work in peace alongside the grape growers. But the people who take and grow on other people's land, including public lands, are uniformly bad news and create big problems.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:16:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Property rights take precedence over human (8+ / 0-)

    rights and public servants are very proprietary about the public lands they are given to manage. Property is to be owned and controlled. That it is preferred is probably related to the fact that most of it stays put. Humans as property were a lot of trouble. Even cattle are a lot of work. So, keeping track of things is preferred to keeping track of people. Maybe the latter's mobility even accounts for the antagonism they spur. Maybe that's why people don't like people, because they move away. So, to compensate for this annoying habit, there's this impulse to restrict other natural functions (communication, association, reproduction, recreation, manipulation and ingestion). Think of the rituals and prohibitions associated with taking in sustenance. What's the lesson? That if you don't conform to custom, you don't eat -- "no free lunch" even before meals had to be paid.

    The central human conundrom seems to be how to make other people hold still while we move around. Mobility seems the most vexatious human attribute. Things that move are vexatious because they frustrate our memory of where they are supposed to be. Change, especially a change in location, is a challenge to memory and, therefor, to pride.
    What our judicial system aims for is compliance; for people to stay put and not move, unless they get permission. The difference between private lands and public lands is that the former can be totally exclusive (everybody keep out), while the public lands are only accessible to permitted uses. That permits for permitted uses have to be issued, even though the uses are abusive, is testament to the fact that the real objective is to control people, not preserve the assets of the land. Which is why, for example, the EPA has been issuing permits to pollute for decades.

    Human rights are a real nuisance. That communication and religious association and the rights of people in detention were addressed in the amendments to the Constitution constitutes a sop. That is, the framers said "ok, we'll recognize those, but nothing else."
    There are no provisions for human rights in the Constitution. Given that slavery was declared a legal status, there couldn't be. What the Creator handed out will be recognized by Him on judgement day. That is, in fact, the Cons' position. The Constitution gives a few people the power to tell everyone else what to do and property rights make it possible to enforce the rule of law by restricting the access to sustenance for those who don't obey. Private property is actually a component of a grand enforcement scheme. That's why property has priority.

    The theory and the behavior are entirely consistent. There is no hypocrisy. There is only deception. First is the lie that there is respect for human rights. That's the come on. That's the con, as in "confidence game."

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:51:21 PM PST

  •  Here's my story (23+ / 0-)

    I joined the Army reserves in 2005.  I had an arrest on my record for pot possession and I have never stopped smoking.  I haven't been the best soldier in the world, but my pot smoking has nothing to do with that (if anything, its the alcohol).  After six and a half years and multiple drug tests that I knew I should fail, but for some reason never got in trouble for, they finally got me just as I was ready to reenlist and get promoted.  Let me emphasize that the weekend my promotion packet was approved was the same weekend I failed a drug test for pot.  I was ready to reenlist, get promoted, and give up the weed, but prohibition finally caught up with me.

    If the drug test is supposed to "ensure military readiness and fitness", how was this pothead able to get a 99 on the ASVAB (131 GT score), serve successfully for a year in a war zone, and get recommended for promotion?  I have a hearing pending to determine whether I get a General or an Other than Honorable (i.e. Dishonorable) discharge.  Honorable is off the table.

    Mind you, I have gone months without showing up to drill and didn't get kicked out.  I've shown up half drunk, and been called out on it, without any formal disciplinary action.  Most of the time I've been in the reserves (including the entire year in Iraq) I've been overweight by Army standards.  I've had multiple fitness test failures.  None of these things were considered bad enough to kick me out of the Army.  But the fact that a drug test showed that at some point within the previous month I smoked pot was enough to immediately begin separation proceedings.  This is wrong.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:18:53 AM PST

    •  WRONG!!! Multiplied by millions of times (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbr, Bisbonian, Woody, Turbonerd, slothlax, pengiep

      wrong. Oh, and way to common.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so are you arguing that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG

      you should have been dishonorably discharged or that you should have been promoted?

      •  I think he is pointing out (13+ / 0-)

        that the whole thing is ridiculous.

        People who relax at night with a joint rather than a beer are demonized and accused of not being able to function.

        WRONG.  I've known too many very successful people who used pot to relax and some use it to keep from the big bad drug, alcohol.

        You can smoke pot until you are silly and maybe have a headache but you can still function and snap out of it.

        Alcohol - is the root of so much death in America, especially when one uses alcohol and then gets into a car and drives, picks up a gun, gets mad at his spouse for not looking at him the "right way" or whatever.

        Prohibition of pot is economics......  

        The DEA
        The Pharmacuetical Companies
        The Alcohol Industry
        The Lawyers
        The Judges
        The Prisons for Profit

        It all adds up to continued illegality for something I'd much rather have legal than alcohol.  People who have been drinking can be quite unstable and do some crazy things (I know, been there, done that).

        And if you were a cop - would you rather arrest a bunch of people stoned on pot or drunk on alcohol?  Yeah, the stoners are easy targets.

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:45:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i know plenty of people (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep, mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler, slothlax

          who did fine and smoked as well.

          i do disagree that you can snap out of it if needed, at least not in my experience, and not watching people I know. their thinking was impaired as if they were drunk when it came to decisions, driving, talking, walking, etc, which is why i feel alcohol and marijuana should be treated similarly.

          i just couldn't figure out which side he was arguing, that the military should have enforced its rules earlier, or that the rules are dumb.

          •  Its a fair question (5+ / 0-)

            Both.

            The rules are dumb, as evidenced by the fact that I use the substance but was able to get a promotion recommendation. The assumption is that smoking pot is inherently bad, which in my experience is patently untrue.

            But if this is a rule they want to take seriously, then don't give out free passes along the way then all of a sudden come down on my head after I've been around for six years.

            I'm no martyr. I knowingly broke a rule and was caught. I will be punished and thats the way it works. But I just think the whole thing is absurd.

            There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

            by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:02:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i can agree with that (0+ / 0-)

              I think what you're trying to say is that they were inconsistent. if they're going to let it slide, let it slide; if they're going to be strict, be strict.

              •  Just be competent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee

                Its not like my unit was being lenient, they were never notified of my positive results.  Its hard for me to justify getting punished for this thing that supposedly makes you incompetent when the Army wasn't competent enough to do anything about it the first three times they had me dead to rights.

                All that said, given the illegality of the substance and the need to cavort with a criminal element to get it, there are valid reasons beyond the direct effect of the drug to discourage its use in the military.  But ultimately that just circles back the underlying problem of making something illegal that shouldn't be.

                There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

                by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:31:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093, mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler, KenBee

          the banks, who would have gone under without the profits from money laundering.

          the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

          by happymisanthropy on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:29:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, there's two even bigger (6+ / 0-)

            The Timber Industry.  And the Textile Industry.

            Hemp could effectively drop the bottom out of cotton, paper and synthetic textiles industries if grown commercially in the United States.  It's better for the land, rapidly renewable and consumes no petroleum products (other than those needed to run machinery for harvest and processing).  It makes a strong and soft fiber product which is biodegradable -- read that as cloth and all kinds of paper products.  It can be used to make fiberboard and plywood and pressboard and rope.  It grows just about anywhere in North America.  It does not require heavy-duty chemical fertilizers.

            Hemp and its by-products -- one of which is NOT weed, which is another variant altogether -- could quite literally relegate King Cotton and Big Timber (which, by the way, means Koch Industries) to the sidelines within a decade if it were legal.

            The threat of both THC-bearing and non-THC bearing hemp is so great that to preserve the economic status quo, all variants of the plant must remain illegal -- which is a classic example of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

            The ground is being cut away around the opponents of hemp.  Hemp oil shows up in soaps and toiletries.  Hemp cloth and clothing in trendy stores, all imported.   When I was growing up, you might have seen a few hemp bracelets in a natural food store or head shop, but nothing more.  Now you can by hemp towels, sheets, shirts, underwear...

            The medicinal uses of marijuana are becoming undeniable.  As a recreational drug, it's less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.  As a pain and nausea management tool, it has few equals in pharmacy.

            The push to legalize it and tax the heck out of it is growing.  It's a source of revenue we've ignored for decades.

            Someday, our descendants will shake their heads at our stupidity the way we shake our heads at the people who believed that bathing would make you sick.

            History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

            by stormicats on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:03:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  They used to call that "Undesirable" Discharge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      meaning the Armed Forces didn't want you around because you were a major nuisance in some way.

      The levels below that are "Bad Conduct" (they caught you doing something seriously illegal) and "Dishonorable" (which really means they didn't want to waste a firing squad on you). And those require a full court-martial.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:34:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you were at you End of Obligated Service (5+ / 0-)

      I don't think they can keep you past that date for administrative action, unless they've changed the UCMJ and MCM (in all fairness it's been a while since I've been involved with either).  If you were re-enlisting, couldn't you just elect to take a discharge, get an entry in your record for the Article 15 proceeding and an honorable disc?  I don't think they can keep you past your End of Service to run an ADMIN board on you.  And if they can't they can't find you unfit to get anything but an Honorable. Like I said, it's been years since I played these games, but I used that to a good sailor's advantage once who got popped on a test right before he was getting out.  

      The CO was pissed that this kid, who was a high-performer and had been Command Advanced to E-4 got popped on a random sweep for PRP (Personnel Reliability Program, the nuke handlers) members.  He was getting out anyhow, because his rate was closed to advancement above E-4 at the time and he wanted to go to college.  So the CO orders an Admin board, which of course finds him worthy of an OTH. Problem was, that his End of Active Obligated Service (EAOS) was like a week away and the board results had to be approved by message by the Bureau in DC.  Somehow, and to this day, I don't know how, his paperwork was lost until he was on the COD back to the mainland and discharge at the Naval Station at Treasure Island.  By the time the ADSEP approval came back, he was a civilian and home with an honorable discharge and an RE-1 reenlistment code if he chose to ever come back.

      One mistake should not cost someone their whole life.  Period.  Especially a young kid from Mississippi who wanted to go to college.  

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by jo fish on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, my ETS is March 11 (0+ / 0-)

        I have a board hearing this weekend.  So we'll see what happens.  This is the reserves we're talking about, I could definitely see it taking them too long to get the paperwork through before I ETS regardless of how the board rules.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:34:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile, in adjacent Colorado... (17+ / 0-)

    ...Marijuana dispenseries are legally proliferating in abundance in the Denver area, openly advertising the variety and quality of the buds they keep in stock; you want "bubba Kush", "sour diesel", "bluberry", or would you like it in edible form in a "Star Bar"?  Apparently, it's rather easy to find physicians willing to certify "patients" for the necessary state-issued card to make you eleigible to shop for your "prescription", and since legalization, there are some marijuana-friendly coffee shops springing up, although you have to bring your own to the premises since it's legal to possess and grow up to six plants for personal use, but not to sell (except dispenseries).

    This is the way it should be, and may become more widespread over the next decade.  Legal pot farming on private land would quickly run the Mexican cartels and grow operations on public land out of business.

  •  Washington and Jefferson (13+ / 0-)

    Both grew Hemp on their Farms.  Hell, some places in
    Colonial America made Hemp cultivation a Requirement.

    The Hemp fibers are damned tough. Items made from
    Hemp fiber are extremely durable.

    The Hemp seeds can be processed into cooking oil and
    the crushed seeds can be used to feed farm animals.

    Legalizing Hemp production could provide lots of Tax
    revenue to the States.

    Legalizing Hemp Production would also Destroy the
    Corporate Tobacco Business in short Order.

    Corporate Tobacco is spending millions to BRIBE Congress
    to Make sure that Hemp stays Illegal.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:22:09 AM PST

    •  Hemp seed also makes excellent (8+ / 0-)

      fishing bait.

      Every tackle shop sold it when I was a kid.

      I believe it was the cotton industry that lobbied hardest to get rid of hemp ... It was serious competition.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:38:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cotton and the chemical industry too (6+ / 0-)

        Hemp fiber was a competitor to Dupont's nylon and other artificial materials.

        "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

        by rocksout on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:12:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Randolph P. Hearst (7+ / 0-)

          i.e. The Hearst Paper Company got hemp illegal, used propaganda (i.e. Reefer Madness) to demonize pot to begin with.

          -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

          by MarciaJ720 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:47:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I wasn't so optimistic (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, mrkvica, ladywithafan

            I'd say there was collusion.

            "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

            by rocksout on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:05:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  True Marijuana is a slang term and not a drug (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee

            Before the invention of the Hemp Decorticator during the Great Depression "marijuana" was a slang term used by Mexican migrant workers for wild tobacco plants which was used to villianize the entire genus of cannabis plants to promote prohibition.

            Even today marijuana is still just a slang term for the dried female flowers and leaves of only the varieties of cannabis plants that produce significant concentrations of the only scheduled cannabinoid, Dronabinol (THC), out of more than sixty cannabinoids found in cannabis resins.

            Wealthy and politically powerful people like William Randolf Hearst and Andrew Mellow felt threatened by hemp paper and fiber production as the costs of production declined after the invention of the Hemp Decorticator. The slang term "marijuana" was first linked to cannabis plants by the sensationalized stories about crazed Mexican's committing horrific crimes under the influence of "Marihuana".

            "Marijuana" was originally created as a rhetorical device to frame the case for the prohibition of the the entire genus of cannabis plants to prevent hemp from competing with other sources of organic and synthetic fibers. Today "marijuana" is still used as a rhetorical device to frame the debate by vested interests to shift the debate away from the science around the cannabinoids in cannabis resins.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:32:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We were actually producing less hemp when it (5+ / 0-)

          was outlawed than we'd produced back in colonial days.

          It was an all time low.  Manila rope didn't need to be tarred, so it had killed the cordage market.  We had plenty of trees, the government was giving away timber leases so wood pulp paper, while much lower in quality, was much cheaper.  Jute was being used for all the rough cloth uses like sacking that hemp had once been used for.

          However, there was a new machine going into to production that had the promise to make hemp competitive again for many uses, from paper to cloth.

          But it hadn't gone into production yet.  In 1929 we only had something like 600 acres of hemp growing in the whole US.

          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

          by JesseCW on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:15:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've also heard (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKinTN, mrkvica

      that it can be grown with less pesticide use but I don't remember the details.

      An unsuccessful shoe bomb attack resulted in nine years of inconvenience for every flier in the country. It would be nice to think [this diabolical act] might lead to some similar inconveniences. --mrblifil

      by Debby on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:37:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How Do You Figure? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming
      Legalizing Hemp Production would also Destroy the Corporate Tobacco Business in short Order.
      First, how do you figure that this will occur? I know lots of folks who smoke both tobacco and marijuana.

      It's not clear if you are conflating hemp cannabis and gets-you-high cannabis. Which is it? There are considerable practical differences.

      Not sure if corporate tobacco is concerned with the production of hemp, which would be for fiber. Did I miss something?

      "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

      by paz3 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:33:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hemp is a Generic Term (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        that is commonly used to Describe ALL the different
        varieties of a Plant known as Canabis Sativa.

        Certain Varieties are grown for making Fiber.

        Other Varieties are Grown for Smoking.

        They are Different Varieties of the SAME Plant.

        On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

        by Brian76239 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:14:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Steady change (7+ / 0-)

    A few years back, the absurdity of the guy getting bust for the plants would have been overlooked and dismissed.  

    I hope that within the next 4 years I will see the Biden/Obama twos step news reveal, much like with gay marriage.  

    The loose cannon Biden will make a gaffe about how he doesn't care what some adult puts in his or her body when it's time to relax, the fallout will occur.  Obama will later make a similar statement, the effect of which will have been blunted by Biden's "reckless" comment.

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:52:38 AM PST

  •  The hypocrisy continues. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elkhunter, mrkvica, slothlax

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:14:24 AM PST

  •  Even if cannabis were legal everywhere (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, slothlax, KenBee

    I still think 10 years for growing on protected land could be appropriate (4000+ plants is not a backyard grow, and I'm pretty sure this guy didn't give two damns about the environmental damage). I think it would be far smarter to legalize it everywhere, then this guy could compete with the legit growers in CA where he is from, or be discouraged from setting up a grow for personal gain and/or cartel profit.

    •  Tax Evasion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler, SmartAleq
      I still think 10 years for growing on protected land could be appropriate (4000+ plants is not a backyard grow, and I'm pretty sure this guy didn't give two damns about the environmental damage).
      Some years ago a friend said to me that drug dealers were really being punished for tax evasion.

      One has to wonder where all the former "black market" cash used to buy and sell cannabis will go in states that legalize cannabis? Will it reemerge and thus be subject to taxation? Logic implies that it will...

      "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

      by paz3 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:56:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's such bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bunsk

        If they want people in the pot industry to pay taxes then freaking legalize it already! Most growers I know would be perfectly happy to be able to pay taxes, declare income and not have to sneak around in a cash economy trying to be inconspicuous to the IRS because you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Declare the income and get busted by the DEA. Don't declare and get busted by the IRS. You can't freaking win. Nobody wants to be an outlaw, FFS, these are just regular people with an unusual gardening hobby and don't need to be made into felons over a damned plant. It's so stupid.

        "Nothing's wrong, son, look at the news!" -- Firesign Theater

        by SmartAleq on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:01:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  many do pay taxes (0+ / 0-)

          they have obvious things they are paying for so they make up some bs to claim as income from consulting or whatever...but, hell yes, legalize it and tax them , but some growers in norcal were famous for funding opposition to legalization efforts. Some of them have a lot of karmic burden to bear. All those people in jail for stupid shit like possession are part of the cost that provided their income.
             So legalization might well be the end of business as usual at $1500/pound.

          Wise ones purchased grape property and other farmland.

           

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:12:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He should be busted according to how much damage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler

      he did.  If he used hundreds of pounds of fertilizer and a shitload of pesticides, he ought to be paying to repair the damage and serving a few years.

      If not, well....

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:17:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ten years for growing a plant? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpotsmuggler, SmartAleq, KenBee

      You are the end product of the enforcement / prison industry propaganda machine. TEN FUCKING YEARS? A half million in costs to the state? A family with no father for TEN YEARS? Environmental damage the problem? Corporations cause billions in damage and the penalties are strictly civil. Really, only in America and the Moslem world do we have these kinds of penalties.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:12:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pay a pittance for a grazing permit on the same (0+ / 0-)

      parcel, and the place would be well and truly trashed by a thousand sheep. I mean, just even the smell is so bad that wildlfe will stay away for months. And a clear cut?

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:51:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  aside from the grower clear cuts, poison (0+ / 0-)

        in the form of rodenticide, traps for humans and deer and out of control fertilizer and weed abatement issues, it's so way cool. not.
        And then there are the endangered fish kille3d by growers who suck the last of the water after the subsidized alfalfa , wine and suburbia interests suck it up. legally..as long as cor[porate graft and grifting is considered legal.

        Who loses most directly: the local tribes, fucked again by the relative lack of federal enforcements for any of this. Even they get shot at.

        your point about the grazing lands as a subsidy for sheep and cattle is correct, a pittance in cost, over grazed land and dead wolves part of our burden.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:18:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  These guys do a ton of environmental damage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      with the illegal grows on forest service land.

      Every year, there's a cleanup on a short stretch of the upper mainstem Eel River. This is just one of the piles the volunteers picked up, in 2012.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:53:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was just reading about that! (0+ / 0-)

        I came across a grow the FS didn't know about.
          The place was littered with spray paint cans: huffers!

        the cleanup further down river I was reading I think was homeless encampments,  tons of material removed or burned.

        here's a good link to the recent LA Times editorial on the recent court ruling leaving MJ a class I drug. ugh.

        la times article on court ruling

        Mendocino County still fighting the fed trying to get at their zip tie program registry people, those who signed up to be legal med MJ growers.Hunted by the Feds.

        serious police activity on the rez. good! meth, guns, gun enhanced charges, heroin.
        I saw all this other stuff looking for the cleanup article, I guess it must be in a comment somewhere on LCO probably.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:43:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The zip tie program is dead (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee

          The feds forced the sheriff to discontinue it. Pity, because it met many local needs rather well.

          Here is an article about the Eel River Cleanup in 2011. My daughter and I have participated for several years, and found all sorts of interesting and uninteresting trash. Jared Huffman (now our congressman) came to observe the staging last year, which was good to see. In 2012, my group filled a pickup truck with a discarded trailer and several snags of wire fencing that would have been devastating to fish had they been washed into the river (and they would have, during the December rains, had we not removed it).

          That's not even the full load, and it was one of many.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:34:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do you think a life sentence for growing (0+ / 0-)

      on protected land could be appropriate because that, not 10 years, is what he will likely get?  Or perhaps they will split it and he will only get 40 years.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:37:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something's wrong. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, 6412093, DWG, mrkvica, oldpotsmuggler

    I'm laughing so hard but it's not really funny except the irony.

    Hope the grower gets relief on appeal, that's a ridiculous sentence. Only crime is prosecutor's and the state's.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:14:28 AM PST

  •  The US is an insane asylum (4+ / 0-)

    A horticulturalist gets life; an arsonist gets a latte; the banksters get richer; the DHS reads our email; and the military invents wars to use their toys to kill people.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:35:13 AM PST

  •  I just finished reading (5+ / 0-)

    a book  by an ex-DEA (federal drug enforcement) agent, and was considering writing my own diary on the insanity of our drug laws.

    This diary plainly points out the horror of our mindless drug felony sentences, imposed on tens of thousands of folks annually, for minor offenses, at crippling costs to society and the destruction of the sentenced persons' lives.

    While the grow guy was abusing federal lands, people who illegally mine on federal land don't get felony convictions for it.

    Meanwhile, the drug wars have transformed most of central and south America into vast swaths of criminal enterprises, ruled by gangsters and those they control, including the presidents of those countries.

    A former president of Mexico is a fugitive from his own country, and his brother was sent to prison for murder, and drug trafficking was behind those crimes.  And that's only what's known.

    How can we survive our own complicity in the creation and maintenance of vast narco-states on our own borders, and the costly, racially-influenced, imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of our own citizens for trivial violations?

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:44:54 AM PST

  •  People growing on public lands (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, RMForbes, KenBee

    is actually a huge big deal. They take it from all of us - make it impossible for people to use our own land, the land we own as American citizens.

    In my area, if you were in the national forest and happened upon a pot grow, you would expect that people were around to defend it with guns and you would high-tail it out of there. Whether or not this particular guy had guns (I'd be surprised if he didn't), these grows are incredibly intimidating and keep everyone out of huge swaths of public land.

    That offense is totally different from growing pot on your own land. It's serious and it should be treated as such.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:40:08 PM PST

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      Cannabis will save the world but not while it is still an illicit drug. But when the States started to stop enforcing the federal prohibition of alcohol it didn't take that long before the 18th Amendment was repealed.

      Marijuana is still in Schedule I of Nixon's Controlled Substances Act but THC was authorized for medical use by the FDA and removed from Schedule I by the DEA in late 2010. Marijuana is not a drug like the cannabinoids found in cannabis resins, it's a colloquial slang term and once enough people understand the facts this ridiculous prohibition will end.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, so just fry the bastard and get it over (0+ / 0-)

      with.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:38:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, the owners and operators of these (0+ / 0-)

        usually don't get caught.

        Now the police arrive and nobody runs because they know they will get out soon and as they only work there aren't going to be costing the taxpayers much. Day laborers, migrants, imports from Florida all at one 50 person arrest, none local. And no BigShots.
            Meanwhile many sheriffs, much equipment, messy cleanup, jail costs, little money available unless the grower screwed up and was found with cash. And then the guns are a possibility, the growers actively  defend against invasions, always  maybe a problem for the popo. In short, it's a costly losing hand the locals have, only when they confiscate cash can it 'pay'.

        Meanwhile the owner operator is somewhere else, possibly even tipped off, it's a corrupting influence all over, especially in generally impoverished norcal.

        This poor bastid that got caught by the feds is a show trial, the feds have busted very few of the enormous grows that are already doubling, they are bragging about it at places in public, in online forums in south humboldt county.

        The Feds are harassing the easy to find medical mj coops and attacking Mendocino's legal grow effort, and little else.

        And they haven't really attacked the backwoods grows for years.  A few for show, but with so ,many obvious ones it's, well, obvious to the locals.
           The Feds have stopped funding local police agencies who are now responding by making easier grow house busts and traffic stops.

        At this time of the year they have found cash in 6 figures more than a couple of times, the harvest is in, and Humboldt product is going nationwide, and getting caught sometimes.
           They can confiscate and usually get to keep the cash to share with and help fund the DA's office as well. Hum's DA share in 2011 was $500,000 iirc.

        One source for online info up there is Lost Coast Outpost. There are several others but that's a good start  No, this is a show trial, the fed atty's are career minded, not people minded.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:03:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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