Column: Mendocino after another first: Certified organic marijuana

Mendocino County, Calif., must have an insatiable drive to collect dubious firsts.

It was the first county in the U.S. to ban biotech crops via county ballot initiative. It was totally symbolic and political. Nevertheless, it was the first and the county seemingly dominated politically by aging societal dropouts and counter-culturists now wants to claim another sordid first.

Mendocino wants to be the first county to certify organic "medical" marijuana production. Why not? After all it was the Minnesota-based Organic Consumers Association and its California allies who take credit for the anti-biotech movement in Mendocino and California. It seems to be one and the same movement.

Organic pot growers have an ally. It is assistant Mendocino County ag commissioner Tony Linegar. In an Associated Press article about Linegar’s boss, ag commissioner Dave Bengston, writing to the California Department of Food and Agriculture asking if the county can certify pot as organic, Linegar was quoted as saying wine grapes and pears are regulated; why not pot.

Tony may claim another first; the first assistant ag commissioner who will need to carry a gun. Better be packing Tony if you go certifying organic pot.

My first trip to the county many years ago was to interview a Mendocino County wine grape grower in the mountains above Boonville.

I have been to many farms over the past 30 years, and farmers give detailed directions to their places. However, the directions I received to the Mendocino mountain vineyard were very, very, very specific, right down the color of the gate; material it was made of; how it was locked; signage and even curvature of the short driveway to the gate.


Drive down the wrong road or pass through the wrong gate in the Mendocino County mountains, and you could find yourself feeling like the Clantons and McLaurys facing the Earp Brothers and Doc Holiday at the OK Corral. Mendocino County is marijuana-growing country, and you don’t go traipsing about uninvited.

Mendocino’s anti-societal crowd is proud of its tenacity to keep dastardly biotech crops out of the county. They want to show the same grit and be first to let pot smokers know they can buy certified, regulated, pesticide-free marijuana from the same county.

If the county receives CDFA go ahead to regulate organic medical marijuana, it would be "absolutely a first" said Allen St. Pierre in the same AP article. St. Pierre is from the Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. If CDFA approves organic certification for marijuana production, the department should be the first state department to be disbanded for a lack of intelligence.

Talk about a dubious first. I am sure all Mendocino County residents and chambers of commerce would quickly rewrite their visitor brochures to proclaim the county not only the first to ban biotech crops, but the first to certify organic marijuana. What a selling point to lure families to vacation on California’s North Coast.

I just returned from Canada where that nation is mourning the death of four Mounties killed in a marijuana raid. The local paper is filled each summer with stories of raids on National Forest marijuana plantations guarded by banditos with automatic weapons. Marijuana cultivation is illegal and run by organized crime.

And now "medical" use marijuana growers in Mendocino County want the state of California to allow certification of organic pot?

Mendocino’s fame as a source for great North Coast wine is being replaced with a reputation as a county of absurdities and irrationality.

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