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Government Medicine

Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland 690

Posted by samzenpus
from the grow-em-if-you-got-em dept.
Trintech writes "According to MSNBC: 'The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year. The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it. The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.' Yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation."
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Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland

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  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by bigspring (1791856) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:20PM (#32985080)
    You know how those wacky developers are with their marijuana!
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:23PM (#32985112) Homepage

    With all the violence and protests in Oakland, a lot of pot is needed to help everyone just mellow out, man.

    Now who's coming to the Phish concert with me?

    • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:26PM (#32986300)
      All jokes aside, commercial hemp has more applications then just narcotics/psychoactive.

      Fibres from the marijuana plant produce a material stronger then cotton at a much lower cost to produce (faster growth time, higher yield per plant, able to withstand harsher environmental conditions) thus you have to oft quoted stoner conspiracy that the anti-weed movement was sponsored by America's cotton growers.

      Psychological and physiological health issues are shown to be less then that of legal Alcohol and Tobacco. With Marijuana smoke carrying considerably less carcinogens then tobacco smoke, although I'd definitely be behind a dont bong and drive campaign as reaction times are slowed down more then when using alcohol.

      I'd also like the US to stop pushing drug laws on other nations. I'd like a "happy" pizza in Cambodia.
      • by TyFoN (12980) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:39PM (#32986600)

        Fibres from the marijuana plant produce a material stronger then cotton at a much lower cost to produce (faster growth time, higher yield per plant, able to withstand harsher environmental conditions) thus you have to oft quoted stoner conspiracy that the anti-weed movement was sponsored by America's cotton growers.

        I haven't seen anyone refute this. I can imagine though that fighting the cotton growers would be about as successful as trying to kill the corn subsidies.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Fibres from the marijuana plant produce a material stronger then cotton at a much lower cost to produce (faster growth time, higher yield per plant, able to withstand harsher environmental conditions) thus you have to oft quoted stoner conspiracy that the anti-weed movement was sponsored by America's cotton growers.

          I believe it was Hearst, and the soft pulp wood guys who were often seen as starting the "reefer madness" not the cotton growers.

  • Shades of Heinlein. Seems several of his books mentioned marijuana farms.
    • by stonewallred (1465497) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:23PM (#32985938)
      RAH had the idea. I am all for legalizing marijuana. Better a devil we can control and tax than the one which is fueling the cartels and violence in mexico and South America.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572)

        Hmm, but I smell the high smell of marijuana growing being handed over to licensed only agro-corporations and individuals will be fined for attempting to grow it themselves under penalties of tax evasion. Only four licensed operation, hmm, corporate drug cartels with government lobbied grossly inflated profit margins.

        Still better than throwing away billions destroying peoples lives with militaristic raids and extended prison sentences in order to protect them from 'er' destroying the lives having a 'good

        • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:22PM (#32986284)
          Don't worry, no company will touch this and no financial institution will fund it. This whole idea has DEA bust written all over it. California can do whatever they want to legalize it but so long as it's illegal under federal statute large scale grow operations will be way too hot to touch. The interesting thing would be if the state were to grow it themselves, would pit states rights against federal drug laws.
          • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:06AM (#32986952) Homepage Journal

            Don't worry, no company will touch this and no financial institution will fund it. This whole idea has DEA bust written all over it. California can do whatever they want to legalize it but so long as it's illegal under federal statute large scale grow operations will be way too hot to touch. The interesting thing would be if the state were to grow it themselves, would pit states rights against federal drug laws.

            Wrong! The tobacco industry is geared up, ready and waiting - including having trademarked various sale names for such products. Google "tobacco companies marijuana" if you dont believe me.

            As for the Feds, how long do you think it will be that they hold out? Guarantee you they still have the methods in place to tax this, regardless of the current legality. Money will win out in this.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Darkness404 (1287218)
          Why not simply let it be sold like any other product? I really don't see what the difference is between tobacco/pot compared to corn, beans and other foodstuffs. Alcohol is slightly different because if you screw it up it can have toxic side effects but really when was the last time you heard of someone going to their local farmer's market to buy an ear of corn and it had toxic side effects? A plant is a plant is a plant. I similarly don't understand having different tax rates, unless the government goes ar
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by interkin3tic (1469267)

          Hmm, but I smell the high smell of marijuana growing being handed over to licensed only agro-corporations and individuals will be fined for attempting to grow it themselves under penalties of tax evasion.

          All I smell is hypocrisy. The "small" pot growers have their cake and eat it too right now, wanting pot to remain illegal technically, keeping serious competition down, but not really enforced so that they can sell it as they do now. The fact that others are being fined and arrested for what they're getting away with doesn't bother them enough to advocate changing the laws to allow competition.

          Furthermore, we have no reason to suspect there's going to be an increase in personal growing and use once the stuf

  • by Korin43 (881732) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:28PM (#32985142) Homepage
    Who seriously thinks this isn't going to end with FBI agents with flamethrowers and some farmers going to jail forever?
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Flamethrowers, huh? Wouldn't it be easier just to use a Bic?

    • by phrackwulf (589741) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:33PM (#32985190) Homepage

      No, no, flamethrowers is the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The FBI doesn't do the heavy stuff anymore unless its the Hostage Rescue Team. You can't get the napalm smell out of those nice suits.

      You fly back to school now, little Starling. Fly, Fly, Fly.

    • by minorproblem (891991) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:45PM (#32985278)

      If so i plan on holding a LAN party down wind... make sure you bring nachos!

    • FBI agents need to mellow up, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by catmistake (814204)

      Who seriously thinks this isn't going to end with FBI agents with flamethrowers and some farmers going to jail forever?

      It will end with the federal law being challenged and overturned. The 9th and 14th Amendments are clear on this. It is the right of the States to regulate those things not expressly reserved for the federal government. All your non-enumerated rights are belong to us.

      • by Loadmaster (720754) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:43PM (#32985676) Homepage

        but interstate commerce is domain of the federal government. Pot growing and sale is interstate commerce even if it doesn't leave the state it was grown in. Gonzalez v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005). An enumerated right does not mean that what is being regulated is specifically stated in the Constitution. That is, you cannot say that the federal government cannot regulate drugs, because it does not specifically say they can regulate drugs in the Constitution.

        • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:57PM (#32985786) Journal

          Pot growing and sale is interstate commerce even if it doesn't leave the state it was grown in.

          No, it isn't. The courts maintain the fiction that it is, but the fiction is absurd. It's no more valid than the occasional claims that <insert objectionable speech here> isn't really speech but action.

          That is, you cannot say that the federal government cannot regulate drugs, because it does not specifically say they can regulate drugs in the Constitution.

          Really? Because the 10th amendment says precisely that.

        • by catmistake (814204) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:59PM (#32985800) Journal
          I think you're probably correct in that this is how the federal government is trying to justify their authority. I believe, however, that they will fail.

          Cannibis was demonized in the 20th Century by racists. Once it is exposed that the plant is no threat to civilized society, that it is a wealth of medicene, and a ton of other really great uses, and that most citizens that are sick that cannibis can help want it, then the court will be swayed and the law will change.

          No anti-drug attorney anywhere could convince any court that the Founders would have wanted cannibis to be illegal. Every important document from the era of the Founders was drafted on hemp paper. They all wore hemp clothes and used hemp rope. And most of the Founders smoked pot, for entertainment purposes or for various ailments. George Washington was obsessed with his pot crop.

          Marijuana is not like cocaine. It's not like heroin, or even legal drugs that are abused like oxycontin. The Federal law banning marijuana makes about as much sense as banning coffee. It may be abused, but it's abuse won't be any more detrimental to society than other abused drugs. In fact, it will likely be less detrimental than alcohol, and that's already legal. But this negative effect must be weighed against the positive effect, which is tremendous. Marijuana curbs suffering. The DEA's own administrative law judge did not see why marijuana should be illegal. He ruled it should be a scheduled drug, and with expert testimony, wished to place it at schedule IV, rather than schedule I where it is now. The DEA overuled their own judge. The DEA won't be able to overrule the Supreme Court.

          • by emt377 (610337) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:26PM (#32985950)

            In fact, it will likely be less detrimental than alcohol, and that's already legal.

            A lot of people get belligerent and violent when drunk. I'd rather have them stoned. For the rest of us normal people, I don't know why the government would or even should care if I have a drink or a couple of puffs of pot. They should just mind their own business and go find something useful to occupy themselves with. To be frank I think the illicit market for dealing in contraband is far more detrimental than the contraband itself - at least for things like booze and pot. People get killed in turf wars to control the illicit trade and to show off their third-world peasant machismo, not from smoking pot.

            • by stonewallred (1465497) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:57PM (#32986146)
              Because of the children. Won't you think of the children? And the terrorists. And the way black men ply white women with jazz and marijuana then have their dastardly way with them.(And why yes, that is exactly what some clown in the federal government said a few decades ago about pot as a reason it should be made illegal.)
    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:52PM (#32985746) Homepage

      Both California and the Federal Gov are hurting for a source or revenue. Taxation will only get so far based on the Laffer curve. I honestly think we are at the cusp of legalizing pot across the board, only be taxed heavily in the process. Which of course is why they would do it in the first place.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TerranFury (726743)

        Taxation will only get so far based on the Laffer curve

        Yep... to add to this, though, AFAIK studies that have been done indicate that the maximum is well to the right (higher taxation) side of where the U.S. gov't has tax rates now...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Muad'Dave (255648)

      Think of the poor birds that live downwind! No tern will be left unstoned.

  • by phrackwulf (589741) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:29PM (#32985150) Homepage

    Somebody had to say it.

  • by ZigiSamblak (745960) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:30PM (#32985166)
    Here in the Netherlands we're only allowed to have four plants in natural light and farming cannabis on an industrial scale is only permitted in some rare government experiments.

    Didn't think we would start running behind on the Americans with our liberal drugs laws, then again the Christian democrats have been in government for quite a while.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      The difference is that you can have it for whatever reason you want. In the US, as an individual, you have to get a prescription for it from your doctor.
    • by Surt (22457) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:45PM (#32985270) Homepage Journal

      Don't move yet. The USA at the federal government level doesn't approve of this (though they are currently turning an INFORMAL blind eye to it), and may well jail anyone who actually tries to run an industrial scale marijuana farm.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:30PM (#32985168) Journal

    There's anecdotal evidence that pot smokers consume less alcohol when toking up. AND, from the government itself [nih.gov]...

    So I'm just tellin' ya, Let it go... It's over Johnny, it's over...

  • by Freddybear (1805256) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:31PM (#32985172)

    I once smoked an Intel chip, all it did was make me cry. ;)

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:34PM (#32985196) Homepage Journal

    Is it possible that in 2010, there's a sign that our society might actually be growing up a little bit? It's something small, but a good sign. I'm not a pot smoker, but the notion that there's been this prohibition on a harmless plant with medicinal and recreational uses is ridiculous. There are only a few things worse than a moralistic, hypocritical society. Saying that marijuana is evil, dangerous and should be illegal while tobacco and alcohol are huge industries with all the social and health problems they create is both moralistic and hypocritical. Worse, it's a hypocrisy fueled by the fact that so much money is involved - money that pays lobbyists who buy politicians.

    There are reasonable arguments on both sides of the debate over the illegality of crystal meth, cocaine, and some other substances. These are drugs that have had ruinous effects on parts of our society. But the debate over marijuana should have been over 50 years ago.

    Next up should be a re-thinking of the laws regarding pain medication, such as opiates and synthetics. Making their sale on the street illegal is one thing, but the fact that doctors are afraid to prescribe them, even in cases where they would be the best treatment for their patients is a shame. We've got this weird proscription against substances that could make us feel better, even for sick or terminal patients, that comes from a moralistic, Puritan streak that runs through this country. It's time to jettison that relic.

    • by swb (14022) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:00PM (#32985382)

      Next up should be a re-thinking of the laws regarding pain medication, such as opiates and synthetics.

      Amen. I get terrible "migraines" (doctor's word, not mine -- I just say headaches) and about 20% of the time a timely Midrin will help, but if that fails or I'm not timely, the only thing that helps is opiates.

      My doctor gives me *40* Percocets every six months, along with a bullshit lecture on how habit-forming they are, etc etc etc. It's hardly adequate -- I fall short by about 1-2 months and refuse to go back for fear of being labeled and cut off forever or have him force shit like daily tricyclic antidepressants on me.

      At my last visit I complained mildly that while effective, the peak duration of pain relief was fairly short, forcing me to take more pills -- was there something with a longer, sustained release? "No, that'd be just more narcotics, and we'll stay where we're at." Meanwhile, a 3 day headache is like 1/4 of my SIX MONTH supply.

      I'm pretty sure I could take 40 Percocets in a MONTH and never develop an addiction, but they'd rather have you suffer than "risk" addiction.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        Have you tried botox? Seriously - botox works incredibly well for many people with migranes. It's not addictive, you only need a treatment every 2-3 months, maybe even less frequently. Dunno how much you pay for pain meds, what with copays and all, but 100% out of pocket, botox ought to be significantly less than $500 per treatment - a few years back it was in the ~$300 range if you shopped around. I've heard that it's become less popular for cosmetic uses (not really sure why, maybe fads change, maybe

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:22PM (#32985532)

      Is it possible that in 2010, there's a sign that our society might actually be growing up a little bit?

      No, its just the economic downturn's effect on tax revenues is all. One of the major reasons prohibition finally came to an end too - in the decade or so prior to prohibition roughly 40% of the country's tax revenues were from the sale of alcohol.

      Ever wonder why it took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but the feds can ban any old drug they feel like without even a vote of the legislative branch nowadays?

      That's some bullshit right there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      These are drugs that have had ruinous effects on parts of our society

      This claim is bunk.

      The drugs have no effect. The addicts using them do.

      In my experience, the addicts have issues regardless of which drug they happen to be using. I've never seen an addict who was a normal contributing member of society before they became an addict.

      Take away every drug control law on the planet and the next year or two would result in a lot of deaths and accidents by morons that couldn't keep it together without the law

    • by stonewallred (1465497) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:10PM (#32986214)
      Just as a question, why is it any business of the government what chemicals an adult consumes? There are plenty of heroin users in the UK who have been using heroin and going to work each day and living a nice life. Most of the horror stories with the various drugs are related to the fact the drugs are illegal and cost a great deal of money which leads the users to do all kinds of things to get their fix. If joe crackhead could buy his rock like willie the wino buys his beer, at the same approximate price per high, there would be few horror stories, just as winos don't need to turn tricks and rob people, neither would drug addicts.
  • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:34PM (#32985198) Homepage Journal

    Yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation."

    Both industries go through a lot of chips.

  • Northern California (Score:4, Informative)

    by by (1706743) (1706744) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:37PM (#32985210)
    As someone who grew up in Northern California proper (and now lives in Silicon Valley), I must protest. We already have our "Silicon Valley" of maryjane -- it's called the Emerald Triangle [wikipedia.org]. Not to mention, my county has already decriminalized cultivation of the good herb (grep for "Measure G" [wikipedia.org]), at least for personal use.

    Although, it would be illegal to grow GMO weed there (search for "Measure H" [wikipedia.org]).
  • How long until these morons realize the reason it's called "WEED" is because it IS a weed. You can easily grow it in your backyard and a single, well maintained plant can keep even the heaviest smoker in pot all year long. Grow 2 or 3 and its enough for the whole family and you really don't have to do much to take care of it. The only reason the price for pot is even as high as it is now is the fact that its illegal. They aren't going to make squat on taxes on pot, because once it's legal its going to be gr
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Just like that beer we all homebrew instead of buying it?

      Weed grown as you suggest is total garbage. Much like all useful plants careful cultivation is needed. OR SO I HEARD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:39PM (#32985234)

    I'm all for legalizing pot, and I have zero issues with people who smoke marijuana. But with more and more legalization becoming a reality, I'm starting to wonder when places that do drug tests on employees will start to lighten up and quit testing for marijuana. I like to smoke now and again, but don't do it regularly because I don't want to fail a random test, and have laid off completely for weeks to get a job. I'm not a hardcore smoke so this isn't a huge deal to me, but it'd be nice to know I could be somewhere and toke legally AND definitely keep my job.

    • by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:50PM (#32985736) Homepage

      I find it completely abusive requiring drug tests for any jobs, except maybe if your job requires driving or heavy machine handling. Otherwise, what the hell as my company to do with what I do in my free time? Sure, drugs can affect my performance, but in that case they can fire me for not producing what I should; does it matter to know why?

      Here in Portugal some companies are starting to do the same, and there was a politician that wrote an opinion piece where he said "surely no one is against this measure". What the hell? I'm against it! And so should be any person who values privacy. If I'm not putting others' safety at risk, stay the hell away from my blood.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jimicus (737525)

        Here in Portugal some companies are starting to do the same, and there was a politician that wrote an opinion piece where he said "surely no one is against this measure".

        What your politician is trying to do is demonise drugs in the same way as terrorism and paedophilia - the next logical statement were you to publicly say "I'm against it" would be something along the lines of "You must be a drug-addled junkie" or "Are you in favour of more drug addicts in our society?".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alarindris (1253418)
      Don't work where you personal rights are violated. It's that simple.

      If you choose to take a job where you get drug tested, well that's your choice. There are plenty of places that don't test.
  • I think governments get that trying to stop it is a colossal waste in an era of shrinking revenue and resources and that legalizing it enables a revenue source that has thus been untapped.

    I don't think the Feds will necessarily roll over, but the smart states will realize that if they get on top of it before it becomes Federalized they can collect pretty much all the taxes on it -- production, wholesale, retail, plus licensing fees to growers, wholesalers and retailers; smart regulations will ensure only in

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:42PM (#32985252)

    What this really concerns is big business shutting out small scale farmers. Only four farms are being allowed essentially shutting out small growers. That didn't take long. It's sad because small family farms could actually make a profit growing pot but there's simply too much profit involved to allow small farmers to be allowed to play. I wonder how much lobbying went into this decision?

  • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @07:44PM (#32985266) Homepage

    The ONLY reason they're doing this is because they believe they can get ahead of the curve when California legalizes marijuana. They want the tax revenue and nothing more. This is not about freedom or fighting for what's right.

    Frankly the dominance of tax revenue in the discussion of legalization disgusts me.

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:00PM (#32985388)

    I'm just waiting for a press release from Snoop Dogg - btw I did check his twitter account before posting this - nothing ...... yet!!!.

    FOR PRESS RELEASE. Oakland, CA - Acclaimed rap star Snoop Dogg, a multi-platinum record seller, has today announced that he is moving to Oakland, California. Snoop would like to tell his fans - "the shizzle is more growing opportunities for my rap in Oaktown. Ain't nothing growin' where I am. You know, I need more green for my raps.". Snoop hopes his fans can support him while he waits for the growing opportunities in Oakland to help him record his next album.

  • Propagation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:59PM (#32985792)
    Is there much chance that major fields of pot being grown will result in pot plants showing up all over the place? I'm imagining the seeds being carried about all over through the wind, birdshit, etc. It worked for Monsanto after all.

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