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Marijuana is California’s Biggest Cash Crop

The American Way Hiding Behind a Smoke Screen.

Get caught with more than 20 grams of marijuana in Florida and you’re guilty of a felony that can get you give years in jail. Less than 20 grams you get only a year.

Similar laws apply across much of the US in the continued prohibitionist mentality that is responsible for drug cartels undermining society across most of the Americas, but in California, marijuana is seen as an economic boon and is now the state’s largest cash crop.

For Americans suffering from conditions as serious as glaucoma and MS, or as subjective as joint pain and anxiety, you need only find any number of obliging doctors who will write you a prescription to buy legal medical marijuana. This has encouraged new waves of marijuana cultivators this century who grow huge plantations where hippies are bought in to trim the weed for $20 an hour – though new trimming machines threaten to put the poor hippies out of work – Ned Ludd, where are you now?

But business is business and whereas the Hell’s Angels muscled in on the marijuana growing business in the 70’s these days it’s the Mexican cartels and gangs from LA who grow their own in the Californian hills or rob marijuana growers at gun point and make off with their crop.

Governer Schwarzenegger is reportedly eager for the tax money legalised marijuana could bring and the state will vote on it in November 2010 though Obama seems unlikely to risk much political capital supporting the idea though he did admit that inhaling was the point when he smoked in his youth.

Even if marijuana is legalised in California for recreational use, many stoners fear that it will end up in the hands of the big tobacco companies who will pump pot crops full of fertilisers and the art and underground culture of growing weed will be lost, usurped by big commerical interests.

So tough times over all for the Californian economy and those home-grown entrepreneurs and organic farmers but of course solace can be drawn from the wise words of Freewheelin’ Franklin, the wise Freak Brother who told us:

Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.

Read more about California and the marijuana business in the Guardian