October 12, 2010

"A kind of Marfa-meets-ganja art retreat north of San Francisco and a new economic engine for art philanthropy."

What?!

I love the way the paragraph I took that quote from has one hot link  — you know those links the NYT throws in that take you to other NYT articles? — and the link is on the word "marijuana." I know and you know what marijuana is, but what about Marfa? Eh. You either get the joke or you get that it is a joke... and move on.

Move on to the odd news about what would otherwise not be news — that you can make a lot of money growing and selling marijuana. But look! There's art in there. And pretty people. And it's medical marijuana...
At a going wholesale rate of $200 or more an ounce in the Bay Area for high-quality medical marijuana, it’s a lot simpler than raising money the traditional way, the project’s organizers point out. And — except for the nagging fact that selling marijuana remains a crime under federal law — it even feels more honest to the people behind Life Is Art. They see it as a way of supporting the cause with physical labor and the fruits of the land instead of the wheedling of donors, an especially appealing prospect in an economy where raising money has become more difficult than ever.
The nagging fact that selling marijuana remains a crime under federal law... which is so unenforced that pretty people pose in the New York Times with their pitchforks in American Gothic japery in the company of their big, sunlit marijuana plant. Tell me, how will it ever be possible to enforce those laws again? And if they are not going to be enforced, how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?

25 comments:

garage mahal said...

Sort of a capitalism meets federalism love story. What's not to love.

rdkraus said...

$200.00 an ounce ??????

Wholesale ?????????????

Jesus H. Christ, no wonder we have a friggin drug war. You could grow and sell that stuff for under $1.00 (yes one) an ounce. This is the magic of prohibition.

Never should have gone to law school. I just should have "cultivated" this product.

edutcher said...

I knew Marfa was in TX, but not much more.

As to the question, "Tell me, how will it ever be possible to enforce those laws again?", I have a feeling that, as the Lefty Boomers, with their all-consuming sense of entitlement and the idea that they can pick and choose which laws they wanted to obey (like the 2 morons in the photo), fade into the landscape, we'll find the the will to enforce those laws.

PS What, exactly, distinguishes medical marijuana from any other kind? As The Blonde has lectured me, the same effect can be achieved for any pain killer by administering it IV-push.

PPS I have a feeling ganja isn't as popular in Marfa as it is with the crowd that reads the Gray Lady.

Fluz√£o Eterno said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rdkraus said...

Eterno obviously hitting the med marijuana hard.

former law student said...

I always thought Marfa was Cockney for Martha. (Muvver? Yes, Marfa.)

Bob_R said...

We have a popular revolt from laws that some people consider bad. 55 mph speed limit. Alcohol prohibition. Paying the nanny's social security. Some of these survive public scrutiny, some don't. How's your light-bulb horde doing?

Somehow a basic respect for the rule of law has survived all of this.

Bob_R said...

Oops. Forgot sodomy. Shouldn't do that...forget it I mean.

murgatroyd666 said...

And if they are not going to be enforced, how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?

Our beloved Obama administration is suing a state because the state wants to enforce a law that the federal government passed but is deliberately not enforcing.

Why should citizens respect the law?

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?

What continual degradation? Certain laws become outdated but remain on the books because the people get ahead of the politicians and their enabling supporters, who have fed on the vast govt resources allocated to that particular enforcement.

I know its harms job security for you law profs, but if you want to promote "respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime", start advocating the repeal of stupid laws, like marijuana prohibition, like smart people have always done w/r/t Jim Crow, Mann Act, drug and alcohol prohibition, anti-sodomy laws, suspension of habeus corpus, nationalizing businesses during the world wars, etc.

Methadras said...

So they resort to gouging their pot customers to fund their nonsense? In San Fransisco no less? The shame.

Comrade X said...

how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?

marijuana prohobition is more of a gateway crime than marijuana is a gateway drug and the government/public employee union complex likes it that way.

Kevin Walsh said...

The same people who want to ban smoking everywhere are all hot on legalizing marijuana use.

The weed stinks more than the tobacco.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Famous Original Mike said...

Recently went to a wedding in Marfa. It's hell to get there from NYC, but it's a cool spot.

ndspinelli said...

The Feds have NOT stopped enforcing pot laws. The same week that Congress finally righted a longtime wrong by lessening sentencing guidelines for crack vis a' vis powder cocaine, our big bad mamma Feinstein slipped in via voice vote a DOUBLING of sentencing guidelines for those evil pot brownies. It was aided by Reid who allowed a voice vote. It's about, "protecting the children" don't you know!

The $ behind keeping pot illegal is the liquor industry. A quick look @ Feinstein's contributors shows the wine industry is numero uno for her.

former law student said...

The $ behind keeping pot illegal is the liquor industry. A quick look @ Feinstein's contributors shows the wine industry is numero uno for her.

Legal pot would lessen wine demand?I did not know this? What kind of pot should I smoke with red meat vs pork/chicken vs fish?

Recall that both pot and wine are important parts of the California ag economy. Even the threat of legal pot has caused prices to crash, making pot growing much less attractive. Keep pot illegal -- keep Mendocino green.

former law student said...

And if they are not going to be enforced, how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?

People are taking the Constitution into their own hands. The limited powers the Constitution grants the Federal government does not include a general police power.

But I'm no radical. I don't even grow wheat in the back yard, much less the whacky tobacky.

John said...

Bob R,

"Forgot sodomy"?

Isn't that kind of like riding a bicycle? Once you learn it stays with you even if you never do it frequently?

John Henry

William said...

I was recently reading an article about the Chinese opium dens. They were rather banal places. People didn't lay around lost in silken reveries of stately pleasure domes. They played board games and discussed passing events. Apparently smoking opium is an inefficient way to trigger addiction. Only a small proportion of the users were true addicts, and the addiction, itself, was fairly easy to overcome--much easier than that of nicotine. The demonization of opium smoking became its chief selling point......Something like that seems to have gone on with marijuana. A pot high is kind of vapid. Back in the seventies it was the communal sacrament of rebellion. The trappings and rituals surrounding the sacrament were more seductive than the high. Legalize it, and it will become the drug of choice for aging hippies who have crusted over. For that reason, young people will avoid it and move on to meth and Jack Daniels. In nineteenth century America, opium used to be the drug of choice for the arthritic and the elderly. For that reason it never really caught on here until it was criminalized.

ndspinelli said...

I live in Wisconsin much of the year but spend Winter months in SD. I routinely see college students party in SoCal and UW. There's a lot more pot available in SoCal and while they certainly drink, it is not the nasty, staggering, screaming kids I see in Madison. I walked through the campus last Saturday[Homecoming] and it's pretty disgusting. Along w/ condoms they should hand out doobies to UW students..less brandy, vodka, etc. and more cannabis! In Mission Beach I see hookahs and vaporizers on front decks as I walk past partying kids. It's a smile and, "What's up." On Langdon St. in Madison it's a lot of, "Fuck You's."

Former Law Student, it shouldn't be a revelation that when one smokes pot they tend to drink less. And, yes the liquor/wine/beer industry fear legal pot. This is pretty basic shit.

former law student said...

nds -- I still have a hard time picturing people sitting around the dinner table smoking pot. Now I also have a hard time picturing people on their front porch, corkscrew in hand, swilling Robert Mondavi from the bottle.

Here is a list of Feinstein's contributors:

http://www.wineinstitute.org/files/WI_Membership_List_revised_-_9.14.pdf

She also received contributions from the beer wholesalers -- $5,000 more than they gave Michele Bachmann, in fact.

Donna B. said...

nds, you are the first person I've heard say they deliberately "winter" in South Dakota. :-)

And the funniest line in the article?

“So I decided to grow up and became a marijuana farmer.”

The Crack Emcee said...

How will it ever be possible to enforce those laws again?

What laws? We enforce lies:

The first lie was the "medical marijuana" gambit, when all anyone wanted was smoke pot. (I have mentioned I know Dennis Peron, the guy who started all this, haven't I?)

The second lie is to decide you're sick.

The third lie is a "doctor" agreeing to pretend you're sick.

The forth lie is the note the "doctor" fakes for you.

The fifth lie is when the marijuana dispensary accepts your note - with a wink - and sells you the pot.

And the final lie is "it's legal."

Oh - wait - no, as this plays out for the millionth time daily, the final lie is we are a nation of laws.

jaed said...

"how can we accept the continual degradation of respect for the idea that it means something for an activity to be a crime?"

Once you start passing malum prohibitum laws, this is what's going to happen to respect for the law. Considering how many of these laws we have on the books, and how long ago this started - everything from taking $9000 out of your bank account two days running. to smoking the Demon Weed - it's surprising that people respect the law as much as they do.

Trooper York said...

Marfa is what the father of our country called his wife. Of course that was only when he took his teeth out to be sanded down and winterized.