We are back to Indian summer weather; hot and still.  Smoke from the Idaho fires is drifting in and makes the air more oppressive.    The cattle and horses stand in the shade swatting at the incessant flies.  We could use some rain.   We all look forward to  clean air and green grass.

Speaking of green grass, this county we live in is known for its  grass.  Anytime we travel and tell people where we are from we see the look come into their eyes.  “Ahh,  that’s how they can afford to travel.”  Only it’s not.  We don’t grow marijuana.  But we sure see plenty of it in this county and you can’t drive the roads without that tell-tale skunk smell.  It is everywhere.  I snapped this shot last year along a country road.

When we moved here, we were uncomfortable with it.  We weren’t even sure if it was ethical to sell firewood or beef to neighbors in exchange for rolls of 20 dollar bills.  It felt like laundering money.

We aren’t uncomfortable with marijuana anymore.  By and large the people who we know who grow and use marijuana are thoughtful and kind, not some shady character standing in a dark alley.  But it is still illegal. Those who do grow under the California Proposition 215, rarely grow it for medicinal use.  They grow it to sell.

We personally think it should be legalized.  Just as alcohol was after prohibition.  Marijuana doesn’t seem  any worse for people than alcohol and  users tend to be less aggressive than alcoholics.    Legalizing it could save a lot of tax payers money and free up law enforcement for other more violent crime.  It could also help curtail organized crime syndicates.  As a legal product it would be  regulated and that would help ensure the quality of product and help protect the environment.  Maybe we could even make some money through taxing it.  Just our two cents worth anyway.

As the law stands now though, most people grow it illegally and they should not be surprised when they have to pay the time for their crime.  But in this county, most people don’t get convicted.  There just isn’t the resources of money and officers to get the job done and our district attorney’s office doesn’t prosecute very many of the cases that do get made.  This has brought in outsiders who come to make what they think will be easy money and we’re told it has brought in more crime syndicates as well.   These outsiders often don’t seem to care for the land, animals or the people and there are negative impacts  in all areas.   We hope someday things change for the better.  This area is a beautiful place and it deserves to be known for more than just pot.