Growing & Eradication

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Uruguay Can Grow All Its Weed on 25 Acres

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Weed has to be one of the most disproportionately maligned plants of all time. All the thousands of headlines and millions of words for and against — over a crop that takes up a truly negligible amount of farmland.

For example, Uruguay surmises that it can grow nearly all of its country’s annual herb supplies on just 25 acres of land — arguably the the most controversial 25 acres of all time.

The small South American country made history when its President Jose Mujica — a physician and former rebel leader — spearheaded the national legalization of pot.

A "large" pot farm (above) is nothing compared to a "small"  corn or soybean farm.
  • A "large" pot farm (above) is nothing compared to a "small" corn or soybean farm.

Uruguayans can grow a small amount of weed alone or in collectives, but commercial sales will be strictly state-run. The roll-out of the Uruguay’s pot shops is delayed until 2015, Mujica said this week, as the country is trying to get the program right.

Uruguay needs about 18-22 tons of pot a year, officials there say. Commercial crops will be grown by the state, which estimates they need just 25 acres.

By comparison, RAND estimates the the United States’ annual supply of pot could be grown on 4,400 acres of cropland. The US has 300 million acres of harvested cropland each year, so weed would take up .0015 percent of the harvested acreage. 

If we had a proportionate conversation about the perils of corn cultivation or soybeans — there’d be no time left over to talk pot.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hemp is Back! 1,000-Plus Acres in Colorado

by David Downs
Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Marijuana’s sober sibling “hemp” — used for millennia as a food, fuel, and fiber — returns to American fields this year in another sign of the end of prohibition.

The State of Colorado — which legalized hemp farming at the ballot in 2012 — closed the application period for hemp farmers this week, and roughly, 1,300 acres of the drought-resistant, tough, cane-like plant could be sown, reports state. America has a half-billion dollar hemp industry for hemp oil, seeds, and fiber — and that is despite a federal war on marijuana and hemp which has prevented its legal, domestic cultivation. US hemp revenue is handed over to importers from Canada and China.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

California Drought Set To Punish Pot Farmers

by David Downs
Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 11:21 AM

That Sunday sprinkle of rain was not enough.

The New York Times over the weekend issued a dire report on California’s ongoing drought, with a nod to how pot farmers are going to be affected in the coming year.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dan Rather Goes on a Marijuana Mission in Humboldt for AXS.TV

by David Downs
Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

CBS News' legendary ex-anchor Dan Rather sorta comes out in favor of weed regulation in his new feature for cable channel AXS.TV.

“Unlike other agriculture, there is no crop insurance for marijuana growers. That means that many farmers will use any means necessary to guarantee a return on their investment — even when it means spraying harmful chemicals or draining a creek dry that is home to endangered fish. This needs to change,” he writes in a companion article for Huffington Post. “... we must move beyond debates on whether or not it should be legal. It is time we start discussing how we can guarantee that marijuana is not destroying the environment or poisoning the people who smoke it.”

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hemp, Hemp Hooray: Jerry Brown Legalizes Hemp Farms (If Feds Allow Them)

by David Downs
Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Hemp - the straight-laced cousin to marijuana - had been used as a fuel, food, and fiber until the feds banned it as part of the War on Pot starting in the 1930s. But now, California has legalized the production of hemp in the state — if the feds get out of the way, and that's a big if.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are Weed's Counterculture Roots in Jeopardy?

by David Downs
Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The Seattle Post Intelligencer's Jake Ellison asks Monday "can marijuana culture hold onto [its] bonds, the embrace of the weird, the goofy, the camaraderie of stoners as it becomes — with amazing speed — a commercialized industry?"

The analysis reflects a growing unease among die-hard legalizers who fear Big Marijuana as much as their anti-pot counterparts the Drug Free America foundation and major police lobbies.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pot Farmers In Fresno Overgrowing the Government

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Fresno County police have uprooted more than 136,000 weed plants this year, up from 24,000 in 2003, and have found 343 pot farms in 2013, up from 72 for all of 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

It's a classic case of the balloon effect: the nation's pot supplies normally come from Mexico, augmented by illegal grows in the Northern California wilderness. Now that cops have squeezed pot growers in US national forests, and the US-Mexico border is at its biggest military build-up since the Spanish-American War — weed growers have moved into Central Valley farmland where they can hide plants amid vast acres of bitter melon, tomatoes, and other produce.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is Drought Hurting California's 2013 Outdoor Marijuana Crop?

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Pretty much all of California is listed as in a state of "severe drought" according to the current US drought report from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

And it's appearing to affect some illegal pot farms.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Concord Medical Pot Grower Promises Lawsuit Over Outdoor Growing Ban

by David Downs
Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 4:34 PM

All across California, spring is bringing a bumper crop of bans and restrictions on outdoor medical pot cultivation. The latest: The City of Concord voted unanimously to ban all outdooor cultivation of medical marijuana last night, though affected growers promise to sue the East Bay suburb.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Humboldt County Swarming with Federal Agents This Week

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

This just in from the North Coast Journal: "Over the last couple of weeks, Humboldt County has been virtually crawling with federal law enforcement agents on the prowl for big-time weed dealers."

"Clearly the county’s black market marijuana industry is booming, and while local law enforcement didn’t want to say much about the recent raids, referring all questions to equally tight-lipped federal agencies, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said the backup is welcome. As a matter of fact, he said, 'I’m the one, I hope, who initiated it.'

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