Food Chain Radio Show #750 • November 5, 2011
Which government should be in control: Local or Federal?
Marijuana was made illegal in 1937. Today, you may not legally consume any part of the plant, unless you have sneezed more than once since birth, in which case you are now eligible to consume the plant as medical marijuana.
Thus, we have an interesting dilemma for all concerned: How does one obtain legal medical marijuana from an illegal marijuana farm?
The good folks in Mendocino County, California crafted what they believed was a reasonable, home-grown solution to the dilemma by simply normalizing the farming of medical marijuana. Nearly 100 farmers agreed to participate in a county program that allowed for a maximum of 99 plants per farm. Each farmer paid the county sheriff $50 per plant to superintend production and enforce environmental rules and security procedures.
When the Mendocino County Sheriff took control of medical marijuana farming, business blossomed for farmers like Matthew Cohen, whose Northstone Organics featured home deliveries to surrounding communities. Everybody was happy: Mendocino County made money; farmers made money; and those in need had their need satisfied. Other counties looked on the success of Mendocino County and began to make their own plans to take control of medical marijuana farming.
Just when everyone was getting down to the business of living happily ever after, heavily armed agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency brought a battering ram to Matthew Cohen’s front door, and chain saws to his medical marijuana garden. Said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, “We are making this announcement… to put to rest the notion that large medical marijuana businesses can shelter themselves under state law and operate without fear of federal enforcement.”