Our farm was able to develop and expand because we did not face onerous regulations. This point is of utmost importance; if we want farmers to focus on good stewardship and producing quality crops, we must create regulatory policies that support them in doing so.
Farming is harder work than 99% of our populace chooses to do, yet it is of total necessity to maintaining the populace. Piling onerous regulation on the people we depend on to produce our food while demanding that they do so at prices that do not pay them a living wage has created a vast system of agribusiness with massive human and ecological consequences.
Reclaiming America’s Farming Heritage from Big Ag
This is an open plea from small farmers and business owners who pour heart and soul into their land and their businesses. In pre-deregulation days (before big corporate lobbying got going), farmers used to have farm-support programs. These policies evaporated during the 1960’s as corporate leaders set government policy to push 2 million farmers off their land into the cities.
This move was billed as for their own good, because it would provide them with steady wages in factories. The actual result was removing the landed populace from ownership of a means of production to provide a steady stream of poverty-stricken people to keep wages down and consume ever-increasing quantities of purchased goods. (See Lisa Hamilton’s incredible Deeply Rooted.)
America’s Big Con on Small Farmers
A hundred years ago, Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, a disturbing novel that portrays the harsh factory conditions of the early 1900s. It is disturbing and sad to see history repeat itself as humans are fed adulterated by-products that rob them of their full physical, economic and spiritual potential. Feeding corporate profits while failing to fully feed the human body. A system that honors a triple bottom line of environmental, economic and human needs will create bounty for future generations.
We should support small farms by giving them access to cannabis as a cash crop to buy the pickup trucks, build fences and homesteads and put people back on the land. The time has come to reevaluate our ability as a nation to support the people who are willing to work hard enough to call themselves farmers.
We need a return to a system of craft farmers; producers embedded in localized economies maintain themselves by reputation, Safeway doesn’t. Cannabis as a cash-crop creates the potential for fulfillment of the Jeffersonian ideal, a return to sensible thinking and a removal of a values-based judgement about a plant that has been a part of human pharmacopoeia and daily use for as long as there have been humans.
Come Into the Light, Move Forward Together
Cannabis farmers and cannabusinesses are emerging from the shadows to claim our rightful place as contributing members of society. The more we come together in open communication and sharing of knowledge, the better we’ll be at producing the finest craft cannabis in the world. To do so requires safe, happy communities and an environment that is honored and stewarded for future generations.
We have done well on our own, together we can do better!
We thank our Assemblymember Jim Wood for introducing AB 243 and for his open-minded approach to communication. We are thrilled to be part of the conversation and look forward to the process of creating regulations that will honor and enshrine the contributions of craft cannabusinesses to society.