The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department caused quite a stir on Facebook last week with a somewhat confusing post that appeared to offer a warning to cannabis farms.
"Believe it or not growing cannabis, aka the devils lettuce, is still illegal in Stanislaus County," the grammatically challenged post began. "No legal recreational growing permits have been issued yet."
The post went viral, garnering more than 1,200 comments and nearly 600 shares, we presume largely because of the Reefer Madness-esque "devil's lettuce" reference. But there are some other issues, as well. First, Proposition 64 makes it legal for folks to grow up to six plants for personal use on their property, something Stanislaus County can't undo, meaning planting up to six stocks of the devil's lettuce is not, in fact, illegal. Second, according to the Modesto Bee, the board of supervisors issued the county's first recreational cultivation permit Feb. 12, meaning whoever handles the sheriff's Facebook page hasn't been following along. (We hope whoever runs the Stanislaus eradication team is better at keeping up with their homework.)
But the bigger issue is devil's lettuce. Really? Is this 1955? If the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department plans on continuing this public information effort, we suggest it diversifies the nomenclature. To that end, we suggest the department review the Drug Enforcement Administration's intelligence report "Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel," which was unclassified last year and lists no fewer than 250 names for cannabis. Among our favorites: Bambalachacha, Burritos Verdes, Love Nuggets, Smoochy Woochy Poochy, Bobo Bush, Broccoli, Dirt Grass, Giggle Smoke, Fuzzy Lady, Little Green Friends and Dinkie Dow.
National Geographic published a story April 8 detailing how large-scale trespass grows continue in California's forest lands, even after the legalization of recreational Bambalachacha last year.
The article's reporter tags along as local biologists Mourad Gabriel and Greta Wengert, who run the Integral Ecology Research Center in Blue Lake, follow a state eradication team carrying out a bust in a stretch of national forest off State Route 36. After the bust, Gabriel and Wengert move in to clean up the pesticides and rodenticides left behind, explaining how both can have toxic legacy effects that harm and kill wildlife.
The story goes on to note that while California's budget put an additional $2.7 million toward eradication efforts, it allocated no additional funds to clean up raided or abandoned Burritos Verdes grow sites.
Two dozen California cities and counties have filed a joint lawsuit against the Bureau of Cannabis Control, arguing that its decision to allow statewide door-to-door Love Nuggets delivery violated the terms of Proposition 64, which gave local governments the power to ban recreational Smoochy Woochy Poochy business within their borders.
In crafting its regulations, the bureau noted that while the ballot measure gave local governments the ability to ban Bobo Bush businesses, it did not give them the ability to ban transportation. A Los Angeles Times analysis found that some 80 percent of California's 482 municipalities — including the city of Fortuna — have banned recreational Broccoli cultivation and/or dispensaries, meaning that without delivery services, a majority of the state would have to commute to purchase legal Dirt Grass.
California recently got a grave warning in the form of a 2019 harvest projection from the San Francisco-based firm Vessel Logistics. The projection found that the state has issued permits for the cultivation of more than 1,140 acres of Giggle Grass, which could lead to the legal production of 9 million pounds of Fuzzy Lady.
That's awesome, right? Not exactly. The same projection estimates that the permitted retail industry can likely only move 2.2 million pounds of Little Green Friends, meaning the legal market is going to be flooded, likely depressing prices and hitting the small farms operating on the tightest margins the hardest.
This is obviously ominous news in Humboldt County, where some farms are reportedly opting to lay fallow this year so they can avoid licensing fees and taxes while waiting to see how the market shakes out, hoping the demand for — and consequently the retail price of — Dinkie Dow goes up before next spring.
Thadeus Greenson is the Journal's news editor. Reach him at 442-1400, extension 321, or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @thadeusgreenson.