Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Hemp is coming! Hide the children! Grab your pitchforks! Have a conniption! Go apoplectic! Write a sternly worded letter to the SLO County Board of Supervisors!
Good grief, people! Get a grip! Hemp will not be the end of life as we know it any more than cannabis has led to a complete breakdown of civilization! Of course, that hasn't stopped our local supervisors from capitulating to a handful of hysterical NIMBY-centric constituents and voting 4 to 1 in favor of a 45-day "urgency ordinance" to curtail commercial hemp growing in unincorporated areas of the county.
"I think supporters should understand that in 45 days none of the fundamental questions in play here are going to be anywhere close to being answered," 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson commented during the board's June 18 meeting, pointing out that all the 45-day wait will do is disrupt spring planting.
Thank you, voice of reason Bruce! Where you at, 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill?
"I certainly don't oppose hemp," Hill said during the meeting. "I certainly do appreciate everybody who sees value in CBD."
Yeah, but you still voted for the urgency ordinance! WTH?
And strangest yet, even Mike Brown of the Coalition of Agriculture, Labor, and Business (COLAB) disagreed with the urgency ordinance. It's all so confusing, these shifting alliances!
Edna Valley letter writer and grape grower Bob Schiebelhut is sure he and his family, including his aged parents, will be "subjected to unreasonable noxious odors and potential contamination of our grapes from the hemp oil and wind conditions. Hemp also serves as a host to mites."
Oh crap! Mites!
Edna Valley resident George Christensen also wrote to the supes about the "overwhelming unpleasant stench attributed to the illegal cannabis growth," which he's worried will be worse with legal hemp growth. His children and grandchildren are at risk!
Michael Lau, also of Edna, frets about the effects on his young children, the "increased neighborhood traffic, nuisance of overwhelmingly strong odors, nuisance of bright lights at night, and the involuntary exposure to the concentrated chemicals emitted by cannabis operations, which can trigger severe medical problems, especially to small children." That's not to mention the "criminal activity" he claims hemp cultivation will bring to the area.
Holy guacamole! The sky's really falling out there in Old Edna!
Shannon and Olivia Faries of Old Edna also clearly got the form letter and wrote (copied and pasted?) about "increased traffic, nuisance of overwhelmingly strong odors, nuisance of bright lights at night, and the involuntary exposure to the concentrated chemicals emitted by cannabis operations, which can trigger severe headaches, asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems."
Schiebelhut also worried about "migration of the hemp's oils and skunk odors on our grapes." Hemp sounds worse than the people-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors! But who knows, maybe hemp will make your wine better!
"It's really wet with a deep grapy color and notes of skunk and mites. Gold medal!"
Gerry Barry also wrote the supes about this "troubling matter" that may require "a personal meeting ... in the future." He finds the "glowing hot houses and odors inconsistent with my quiet enjoyment of my primarily residential property."
Hmm. Also, no one's allowed to grow hothouse tomatoes around Gerry, got it? Too much glowing!
Realtor Kristi "Random Capitalized Words" Donati, who "worked with Several home owners within the Edna Valley," wrote, "We already have one individual who is illegally growing Hemp and Cannabis within the valley. I am told the County has no budget to inspect and regulate Hemp and Cannabis operations in the County."
Donati added, "We do not want to be like Santa Barbara County," which apparently is a real hellhole! Who knew?
This level of NIMBY hysteria is usually reserved for homeless shelters and drug rehabilitation centers. Farming in general can be a smelly business, but I don't hear people screaming about a moratorium on broccoli, cabbage, or Brussels spouts!
And lest we forget, our Founding Fathers were super into hemp. George Washington's beloved Mount Vernon had scads of the stuff, which was eventually removed because of Harry J. Anslinger and his war on Mexicans and black jazz musicians. In spring of 2018, Dean Norton, director of horticulture at Mount Vernon, started planting hemp again since the Virginia National Assembly legalized it. Pretty sure a lot of school kids visit Mount Vernon without suffering asthma episodes! Just sayin'!
Heck, Washington encouraged citizens to sow hemp widely, and our fledgling republic allowed farmers to pay taxes with it! But, hey, Old Edna, have a freaking meltdown why doncha. Sheesh!
Speaking of meltdowns, do you throw your used pizza boxes into the blue recycling bin? Well, you're a monster, and I blame you for the upcoming 14 percent increase in SLO's recycling rates.
Now that China doesn't want our recyclables (and attendant trash) anymore, it's costing a lot more to sort out the actual recyclable materials from all the "wish-cycling"—stuff like wax-covered milk containers and single-use plastics and filthy SpaghettiOs cans.
According to SLO City Councilmember Aaron Gomez, "We're at over 30 percent contamination."
What are you doing, people? May I draw your attention to iwma.com/what-to-do/curbside/? It ends with a helpful tip: "No medical waste and explosives." Word! Δ
The Shredder smokes hemp and wonders why it's not working. Send ideas and comments to email@example.com.