Crystal Clear Glasses and Unbleached Rollies

A white paper on behalf of the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012.

A stubborn thing, your lordship, is the soil,
And he who must it hoe
Waters it with the salty drops
That from his face do flow
Raising your glasses, think
Of this hard toil,
And find it meet,
the People’s health to drink
– Hungarian Poem

“Marijuana and hashish, together with wine, are the most important inebriants of humankind.”
– Christian Ratsch, Plants of Love

The state of California is the world’s fourth largest wine producer. (2) The California wine industry pumps $33 billon a year into the state’s economy, producing California’s No. 1 finished agricultural product. (3)

California is also one of the world’s emerging Cannabis production powerhouses. California pot growers have been involved with 40 years of pioneer marijuana breeding, the last 15 years of which have also involved Proposition 215 – the California medical marijuana laws – some of the most liberal medical pot laws in the United States. Based on the quantity of marijuana authorities seized last year, California cannabis was worth an estimated $17 billion or more. (4)

In 2012, California will once again have the opportunity to legalize and regulate Cannabis – not just as a medicine prescribed by a doctor, but also as a social drug or “preventive medicine” or “recreational substance”. Given how close the 2010 California ballot initiative on marijuana legalization was – 46% for to 54% against – California’s Cannabis activist community is duty-bound to look for ways to more closely approximate the California voter’s vision of what a legal market would look like when constructing any future initiative.

Polling from Feb. 2011 from the Economist indicates that 58% of Americans – and over 62% of those living in the Western United States – favor legalizing Cannabis when the question is asked this way:

    30. Some people say marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco. They say it should be regulated and taxed and made illegal for minors. Do you agree? (5)

Given the current estimated 62% support for an alcohol model and the reputation of both Cannabis and wine as popular relaxants with minimal start-up costs relative to other drug economies and few other barriers to economic participation, the next question for those attempting to formulate a popular legalization initiative is: To what degree are the economies alike? How do they differ?

This paper will compare and contrast the following aspects of these two social relaxant/euphoric crops and ancient medicines:

    A) Sacramental history;
    B) Medicinal history;
    C) The histories of each crop in California;
    D) The size of each economy and the number of people each industry employs;
    E) Tourism;
    F) The average sizes of farms and gardens;
    G) Taxation;
    H) Innovation in production and distribution and mode of administration;
    I) Cultivation methods and sustainability;
    J) Labor practices;
    K) Awards for excellence in breeding and production;
    L) Pharmacological risks;
    M) Harm reduction techniques and responsibility education;
    N) Existing regulatory models in California and elsewhere, and finally
    O) The social costs to California taxpayers of the side-by-side medical and prohibition models compared to the probable cost of the side-by-side medical and wine models.

Hopefully, through this process some intelligent and informed conclusions will be able to be reached regarding the applicability of the wine model as the model to replace the prohibition model and take its place along side the medical model in the California Cannabis economy.

A) Sacramental Histories

The production of fermented drinks probably predates the cultivation of corn and root vegetables. (6) Wine figures predominantly in religion as a sacrament, not only in Christianity and Judaism, but in much older traditions. The Sumerians worshipped Gestin, known also as “protector of the vine”. The Egyptian god, Osiris, was worshipped as god of wine, as was the Greek god Dionysus and the Roman god Bacchus. (7)

Almost all Jewish holidays and rituals involve wine. (8) Wine is mentioned in the bible 256 times. (9) Jesus performed His first miracle, turning water into wine, at the wedding in Cana. (10) During the last supper (11), Jesus created the ritual of the Eucharist, and wine became a symbol of his very life-essence—His blood.

Perhaps wine’s role as the earthly representation of Jesus’ life-blood was the reason most California priests were bootleggers during Prohibition. Many Rabbis also bootlegged. (12) Californian Roman Catholic monks make wine to this day. (13)

Cannabis, too, has a long history of sacramental use. (14) Like wine, evidence for its use predates organized religion. (15) The goddesses Kali, Ashera, and Freya are all associated with Cannabis, (16) as is the god Shiva (17) and the prophets Shayk Haydar (18) and Zoroaster. (19)

Cannabis serves as the central sacrament to the Islamic Sufis, (20) the Vedic Hindu religion of India, the Persian religion of Mazdaism, (21) the Coptic Christians (22) and Rastafarians. (23)

Many scholars consider the “keneh bosem” mentioned in Exodus 30:23 of the Hebrew and Aramaic versions of the Bible (the earliest versions) to be Cannabis, which would positively identify it as the main psychoactive ingredient in the holy anointing oil. The anointing oil is where we get the Greek word “Christ” and the Hebrew word “Messiah” from – both terms mean the “anointed one”. (24)

The evidence is also accumulating that Jesus used Cannabis – during his baptism, for His miracles and the healing that He and His apostles performed. (25)

B) Medicinal

Wine has a long history of use as an early form of medication, being recommended variously as a safe alternative to drinking water, an antiseptic for treating wounds and a digestive aid, and as a cure for a wide range of ailments from lethargy and diarrhea to easing the pain of childbirth. Ancient Egyptian Papyri and Sumerian tablets dating back to 2200 B.C. detail the medicinal role of wine, making it the world’s oldest documented human-made medicine. (26) Persians called it the “royal medicine” for its anti-depressant and analgesic effects in moderation and its sedative effects in larger doses. (27)

Evidence of Cannabis being used as a medicine dates back to the Bronze Age: 3300–1200 B.C. (28) Nearly two pounds of still-green cannabis was recently found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert. (29) Medical marijuana historian Christian Ratsch has recently noted

    “If you study the history of medicine with care, you cannot help but realize that there are few other medicinal plants that are so widely distributed and consistently used in medical systems and doctrines around the globe. For more than six thousand years, hemp has been used as a medicine wherever it has found the company of humans.” (30)

The first issue of the Journal of the International Hemp Association notes that Cannabis is useful in the treatment of insomnia, inflammation, various psychoses, digestive disorders, depression, rheumatism, migraine, neuralgia, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, parasites, appetite disorders, childbirth, lactation, menstrual cramping, glaucoma, alcoholism, drug dependence, asthma, pain relief, bacteria, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dystonias, neurological disorders and anxiety. (31)

Within the long history of Cannabis medical literature there are many differing opinions about the risks – and many differing opinions about the causes of those risks – but as to the effects of Cannabis, its reputation as an anti-depressant, stimulant, and as a soporific/hypnotic/relaxant/nervine/anxiolytic/sedative has remained a constant. (32) Using Cannabis to relieve stress and depression is often thought of as “non-medicinal” because a doctor is seldom involved, but awareness is growing in the California public – awareness of the efficacy of Cannabis as a preventive medicine for healthy people to stay healthy, and awareness of the fact that medicine – especially herbal medicine – does not always require a doctor.

C) Histories of Each Crop in California

California’s wine industry dates back to the Franciscan monks who planted grapes in Southern California back in the 1700’s. (33) The history of California’s wine industry was summarized nicely in Terry Robards’ The New York Times Book of Wine:

    “California’s hospitality for the grapevine was discovered almost immediately by European immigrants who were accustomed to tables graced by wine. The arable plains and broad valleys and the accommodating climate prompted early settlers to begin planting vines as soon as they could stake out vineyards. … The first grapes planted in 1769 were a variety of the European Vitis vinifera family brought from Mexico by the Franciscan Father Junipero Serra, who founded the earliest of California’s missions at San Diego de Alcala. As he moved up the coast, establishing a chain of missions as far north as Sonoma, vineyards sprouted in his wake, providing wines mostly for medicine and the celebration of the Eucharist, but also for table use among the friars. … By 1900 some of the finest were winning prizes at the annual Paris Exposition and California was well on it’s way to becoming a top contender in the world market. The wine industry continued to grow until its destiny collided with another cruel working of fate – Prohibition. During the 14 years following 1919, the industry, with the exception of a few wineries that continued to make sacramental and medicinal wines, was almost totally wiped out.” (34)

In the 1920s there were “256 wineries in Sonoma County, with more than 22,000 acres (89 km2) in production”. During the Prohibition period, however, commercial winemaking declined. At the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, fewer than 50 wineries in Sonoma County survived. Even as late as the 1960s, only 12,000 acres (49 km2) were vineyards. But wine consumption in American began to grow, and by 1999 Sonoma County had over 49,000 acres (198 km2) of vineyards owned by more than 750 growers and 180 bonded wineries. Of the 250 wineries existing in 2007, over half are less than 20 years old. (35)

Of course, changes in the law can change which grapes are planted. For example, during Prohibition in the U.S. (1920–1933), vineyards in California expanded sevenfold to meet the increasing demand for home-brewing. However, they were largely planted in varieties with tough skins that could be transported across the country to home wine-makers and the resulting wine was of low quality. (36)

Prohibition had some unforeseen stimulating effects upon the wine industry, described in detail in Edward Behr’s Prohibition – The 13 Years That Changed America:

    “Though some Californian vineyards were ruined by Prohibition, certain Napa Valley wine-making families became exceedingly wealthy: in fact, grape production, far from declining, increased tenfold between 1920 and 1933, the main reason being the manufacture of dried grape and ‘raisin cakes’. These were allowed, under a provision of the Volstead Act, to prevent farmers from going under entirely. The aim was, officially, to allow householders to make ‘non-intoxicating cider and fruit juices for home consumption to the extent of 200 gallons (1000 litres) annually’. The ‘raisin cakes’ were easily turned into something else. Wholesalers used demonstrators (often attractive, well-spoken young women) in large stores to draw attention to the winemaking propensities of their ‘cakes’ or ‘bricks’ while ostensibly warning against fermentation, their straight-faced cautionary patter urging buyers ‘not to place the liquid in a jug and put it aside for twenty-one days because it would turn into wine … and not to stop the bottle with a cork because this is necessary only if fermentation occurs’. The ‘bricks’ were sold with a label, which read ‘Caution: will ferment and turn into wine.’ Biggest beneficiary of all were the Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley whose owners, Charles and Bertha Beringer, were the first to take advantage of the obscure Volstead Act loophole.” (37)

The California wine industry has seen some decline in the last few years, in part a result of the global economic crisis. (38)

The story of Cannabis in California begins in 1913, seven years before alcohol Prohibition, when Cannabis was first prohibited statewide. The 1913 law received no public notice as it was passed as an obscure technical amendment by the State Board of Pharmacy. (39)

The history of Cannabis farming in the United States – and in California – is summed up nicely in Jason King’s The Cannabis Bible:

    “Varieties of marijuana originating in India have been grown throughout the Caribbean and bordering coastal nations from Mexico to Brazil since 1834, when the British brought indentured Indian servants to their Caribbean colonies. Marijuana use did not become illegal in America until 1937, and large-scale commercial importation of hashish and marijuana into Europe and North America did not commence until the early 1960s. Marijuana growing began in North America during the 1960s. At first, seeds cleaned from illicit shipments of marijuana were casually planted by curious smokers. … some of the tropical varieties regularly survived until maturity in coastal Florida, Southern California, and Hawaii, where the climate is warm and the growing season is long. … In the early 1970s, a handful of growers began to produce sinsemilla. Seedless plants are created by removing male plants from the fields, leaving only the unfertilized female plants to mature. Instead of setting seeds in the first receptive flowers, the female plants continue to produce copious additional flowers, covered by hundreds of thousands of resin glands. By the mid 1970s, sinsemilla was becoming the primary style of domestic marijuana production. … Purple varieties gained popularity, largely following on the coattails of the extraordinary Purple Haze of Central California. By 1980, commercial sinsemilla cultivation had become much more common. Professional growers developed Sativa varieties that were both high-yielding and early-maturing, and police awareness of commercial cultivation increased, especially in the western United States. … Skunk No. 1 was originally a three-way hybrid combination between a Colombian/Afghan hybrid and an imported Mexican Acapulco Gold plant. This combination was inbred in California for several generations until the stable combination known as Skunk No. 1 resulted. Although Indica makes up a quarter of Skunk No. 1 and contributes to its branchiness and compact bud structure, Skunk No. 1 is primarily a sweet-smelling Sativa hybrid rather than an acrid-smelling Indica, so the name “Skunk” is actually somewhat misleading. Despite its general uniformity, there are several different bud forms in Skunk No. 1, ranging from red, hairy buds with small bracts to large bracts with copious resin glands. The Original Haze is a late-maturing variety from Central California and was almost always grown in greenhouses, allowing it to finish in December or January. Original Haze was always a connoisseur stash, and even in the 1970s it sold for as much as $200 an ounce. … Early California is a very early maturing Indica/Sativa hybrid introduced in the early 1980s from California. It is relatively true breeding and stable. California Orange is another California Indica/Sativa hybrid well known for its distinctive orange color and flavor. … Early Girl is a well-known commercial California seed variety from the late 1970s.” (40)

The recent history of Cannabis in California is mostly focused on the State’s pioneering of medicinal marijuana, beginning with Proposition 215 in 1996 and Senate Bill 420 in 2003. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, was approved by initiative with a 55% majority, allowing people with cancer, AIDS and other chronic illnesses the right to grow or obtain marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a doctor. SB 420, or the Medical Marijuana Protection Act, was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis and established an identification card system for medical marijuana patients. (41)

In 2009, California State Assembly member Tom Ammiano introduced the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, which would remove penalties under state law for the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for persons over the age of 21. When the Assembly Public Safety Committee approved the bill on a 4 to 3 vote in January 2010, this marked the first time in United States history that a bill legalizing marijuana passed a legislative committee. On September 30th, 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law CA State Senate Bill 1449, effectively reducing the charge of possession of up to one ounce of Cannabis from a misdemeanor to an infraction, similar to a traffic violation, with a $100 fine and no mandatory court appearance or criminal record. The law became effective January 1, 2011. (42)

D) Sizes of Each Economy and the Estimated Number of People Each Industry Employs

According to the California-based Wine Institute, which represents over 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses, as of 2010 there are:

  • 3,364 bonded wineries – nearly all family-owned (the number increasing nearly every year since 1965), (43)
  • 4,600 grape growers,
  • 531,000 acres of wine grapes,
  • 197 million cases of wine sold per year.

Impact on the United States economy:

  • $17.9 billion in retail value of wine sales.
  • $121.8 billion in economic value.
  • 820,000 jobs.
  • $25.8 billion in wages

Impact on the California economy:

  • $61.5 billion in economic value.
  • 330,000 jobs.
  • $12.3 billion in wages.
  • 20.7 million tourists.
  • $101.5 million in annual charitable contributions from California wineries. (44)

Additionally, the industry makes $14.7 billion in state and federal tax payments.

The 300,000 tons of grapes grown and 17 million gallons of wine produced in California every year may have something to do with California being known as the “Grape State”. (45)

Due to the semi-illegal nature of the Cannabis industry, it’s harder to quantify. As well, there seems to be many different ways to evaluate the total worth of any particular agricultural industry. One source claims California Cannabis is worth “$17 billion or more, dwarfing any other sector of the state’s agricultural economy.” (46) Another source claims that California’s “pot crop” is worth $14 billion, which “crushes the wine crop which comes in at $2 billion.” (47) Yet another source repeats the $14 billion dollar figure, claiming that represents a number “nearly double the state’s second biggest revenue generator, dairy.” (48) There exist estimates of between 800 and 1,000 medical Cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles County alone in 2010. (49)

According to California NORML:

    “Based on experience with the wine industry, the total economic activity generated by legal marijuana could be nearly four times as great as retail sales, around $12 – $18 billion. Amsterdam-style coffeehouses would generate jobs and tourism. If the marijuana industry were just one-third the size of the wine industry, it would generate 50,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages, along with additional income and business tax revenues for the state.” (50)

E) Tourism

Almost 4.5 million people visit Napa Valley each year, making it a very popular tourist destination in California, and “The World’s Best Wine and Food Destination” as awarded by TripAdvisor’s 2010 Travelers’ Choice Awards. (51) Full-day guided tours of the Wine Country generally include lunch and cost about $60-$100 per person. (52) There are at least 6 wine festivals (53), there are wine “limo tours” (54) and one “wine train”. (55) California NORML calculates the “tourist expenditures” of the California wine industry at $2 billion. (56)

The Cannabis industry will likely create even more tourism than the wine industry, as it will be much more novel to try “legal” recreational Cannabis for the first time. The California medical model itself has created a California pot tourism industry, with some people coming from “as far away as Massachusetts and New Jersey”. (57) California NORML predicts that, if Cannabis were legalized in California, “Amsterdam-style coffeehouses would create jobs and be a magnet for tourism.” (58)

Tourism is how some of the Cannabis growing regions of California plan to adjust to the inevitable price drop a completely legal market would bring. (59) In anticipation of the tourism industry, Cannabis-friendly cultural festivals have sprouted up in the Cannabis-growing regions, “Reggae on the River” and “Reggae Rising” being prime examples. A marijuana museum is also anticipated. (60)

One analysis put it this way:

    “The Emerald Triangle region of Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt counties can be to marijuana what the Napa Valley is to wine. Humboldt County, already the home of California’s thriving, marijuana tourism industry, is anticipating the creation of some 50,000 tourism jobs should marijuana become legit.” (61)

F) Average Size of Farms and Gardens

The average size of a California farm is 374 acres. (62) The average size of one of the 275 vineyards in Mendocino County is 50 acres. (63) The average size of a wine grape growing farm in Japan – a wine economy that stresses quality over quantity – is only one acre. (64) There are advantages to small family farms and many scattered wineries all over the place when it comes to winemaking. According to one source, “A corporation requires quarterly results. A family can afford to take a long-term view.” (65) According to another source, “Generally, the closer a wine is bottled to the vineyard where it was produced, the better it is likely to be.” (66)

The current medical marijuana model has significantly limited the size of Cannabis gardens in California. According to Cannabis activist Chris Conrad, “The California default guidelines in (the medical marijuana bill) SB 420 protect from arrest only 8 ounces of bud and 6 mature or 12 immature Cannabis plants per patient.” (67)

G) Taxation

The sales tax on a gallon of wine is about $1.27, with 20 cents going to the State of California, and 107 cents to the United States Government. This works out to about 25 cents per bottle. (68) As was pointed out in source #43, California wine sales result in $14.7 billion in state and federal tax payments. The state’s top tax collector estimates that taxing pot like liquor could bring in more than $1.3 billion annually. (69) Speaking about the possibility of one day seeing nation-wide legalization, a CNBC economic analysts point out that:

    “Tobacco and alcohol sales generate over $17 billion in federal tax revenue. States tax tobacco and alcohol and benefit as well. … Assuming comparable taxes to tobacco of 40-50% (excise and sales tax), a $40 billion marijuana market would yield $16-20 billion in taxes.” (70)

Harvard University economist Dr. Jeffrey Miron has written a paper entitled “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition”. This paper is endorsed by over 500 economists, including Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman. In this paper, Miron concludes that instituting legal regulations will save the government $7.7 billion just by not having to enforce current prohibition laws ($2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels). He goes on to state that tax revenue could range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6.2 billion if it were more heavily taxed like alcohol or tobacco. (71)

H) Innovations in Production, Distribution and Mode of Administration

André Tchelistcheff is generally credited with ushering in the modern era of winemaking in California. Beaulieu hired Tchelisticheff in 1938. He introduced several new techniques and procedures to the region, such as aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost prevention, and malolactic fermentation. (72)

Today there are many innovations in the wine industry, not just in California but all over the United States, including reclaiming desert regions with vineyards (73), micro-oxygenation (74) and advanced filtration technology (75). It appears that innovation will always be a part of the wine industry, as one wine maker noted, “the great thing about wine is that there is no recipe” (76).

Wine marketers, too, have innovated, using social media to reach out to consumers (77). There are many different iPhone Apps for the wine lover, from a beginner’s guide to a guide to pair the right wine with the right food to a data base with over a million different wines listed (78).

The latest innovations in the Cannabis market have been ice-water micron screen hash-making (79), fluorescent lights (80), high-intensity discharge lights (81), and light-emitting diode lights (82), all with spectra tailored to meet the needs of the Cannabis plant. High-efficiency plasma lighting should be widely available within the next few years (83), as well as more innovations in greenhouse technology (84).

In the last few years, there has been the development of commercially available self-contained grow units such as the rotating garden (85), vertical garden (86), and grow tents (87). There is also renewed interest in organic farming (88), in part due to the discovery that all chemical fertilizers are radioactive (89).

Electric trimmers (90), hand-held bud grinders (91) and a beeswax-dipped hemp twine pipe/bong ignition utensil – avoiding the sulfur found in matches and the butane found in lighters when smoking from a pipe (92) – have also become popular recently. Rolling paper technology has continued to evolve to the point where unbleached organic hemp rolling papers are now available in all sizes (93).

I) Cultivation Methods and Sustainability

The wine industry has put lots of effort into environmental self-regulation and sustainability-driven innovations in the last ten years. (94) Unfortunately, not every farmer voluntarily adheres to environmental self-regulation, and damage is done to the environment in the form of rivers being drained to the point of dryness (95) and with corporations that have “drenched the land with chemicals” (96). In most of California less than 1% of wine grapes are grown organically, but in Mendocino County nearly 20% of vineyards are certified organic (97).

When compared to the rest of the United States, California is leading the way. Out of 28,289 acres of organic grapes grown in the USA, 24,434 acres were grown in California. Out of 121,066 acres of organic fruit grown in the USA, 75,855 acres were grown in California. (98) According to the US Department of Agriculture:

    U.S. producers dedicated approximately 4.8 million acres of farmland—2.7 million acres of cropland and 2.1 million acres of rangeland and pasture—to organic production systems in 2008. California remains the leading State in certified organic cropland, with over 430,000 acres, largely (over 40%) used for fruit and vegetable production. (99)

The USDA calculates that there was 922,095,840 acres of farmland in the United States (100), which would mean that only slightly over 0.5% of United States farmland is organic. 842,000 acres of grapes were grown in California in 2010 (101) – 24,434 acres of those were organic, which equals roughly 2.85% of the total. Obviously, there is room for improvement in this area, and the wine industry is slowly responding, with California leading the way.

The Cannabis industry, too, is attempting forms of ecological self-regulation, and may have helped to promote organic farming and gardening in the United States, including California. In the Fall/Winter 1985 issue of the west cost growing periodical “Sinsemilla Tips”, a reader’s poll indicated that 34% of the growers who responded chose organic fertilizer, with the number increasing to 46% for those who were only growing for themselves (102).

High Times magazine, the longest-running and most popular Cannabis-oriented magazine in the world, has featured cover stories on organics at least a dozen times since 1995 (103). At least seven High Times articles on California growers since 2002 extol the virtues of organic growing methods (104), including reporting on the Namaste Center for Sustainable Ganja Farming, Communities Addressing Pollution Pot, Clean Green (a sustainability certification organization), and the “Humbolt Growers Association”. Toxic chemical fertilizers and water management are brought up as concerns by these groups.

There is also an attempt at self-regulation in quality-control, in the form of “Steep Hill Analysis Laboratory”, “where California growers and dispensaries submit their products to make sure they’re pure, pesticide-free and properly measured for potency” (105). It’s safe to say that Cannabis farmers are far more likely to be farming sustainably than regular farmers, and their legitimization will only increase opportunities to make sustainable agriculture the rule rather than the exception.

J) Labor Practices

In early 1966, famed Californian labor activist and United Farm Workers organizer César Chávez, along with the National Farm Workers Association, led a strike of California grape pickers. The strikers encouraged all Americans to boycott table grapes as a show of support. The strike lasted five years and attracted national attention. In March 1966, the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare’s Subcommittee on Migratory Labor held hearings in California on the strike. During the hearings, subcommittee member Robert F. Kennedy expressed his support for the striking workers. In the early 1970s, the UFW organized strikes and boycotts to protest for, and later win, higher wages for those farm workers who were working for grape and lettuce growers. The union also won passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which gave collective bargaining rights to farm workers. During the 1980s, Chávez led a boycott to protest the use of toxic pesticides on grapes. Bumper stickers reading “NO GRAPES” and “UVAS NO” (the translation in Spanish) were widespread. He again fasted to draw public attention. UFW organizers believed that a reduction in produce sales by 15% was sufficient to wipe out the profit margin of the boycotted product. These strikes and boycotts generally ended with the signing of bargaining agreements. (106)

Today, critics of the wine industry maintain that the industry still “relies wholly on exploited, severely underpaid workers.” (107) A more detailed analysis reveals that:

    “The wine industry’s exploitation of its workforce reflects a restructuring of California agribusinesses’ labor force in general across the past two decades, which has shifted back toward a reliance on undocumented immigrants after several decades of utilizing a more settled labor force.” (108)

Given the industry’s continued use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers, it appears that most wine workers have not had their pesticide concerns addressed for the last 30 or 40 years. Today, 80% of wine production in the United States is owned by a small number of huge wineries. (109) An overwhelming majority of grapes are purchased and made into wine by a mere 7 corporations. (110) The large producers appear to benefit from “tax breaks that made losing money-producing wine very profitable.” (111)

Similar to the propensity displayed by large, significant and influential minorities within the Cannabis community with regards to environmental concerns, the Cannabis community is rife with activists who have concerns over potential unfair concentrations of wealth within the Cannabis economy under certain legalization models. (112) For example, in her efforts to thwart Proposition 19 – an initiative that even supporters now admit “attempted to create a business model that clearly favored some over others” (113) – Cannabis activist and attorney Letitia Pepper pointed out that:

    “ … one of the yes people said “Oh and you know if you only pass Prop 19 it will be wonderful because Mexico has said if 19 passes they will legalize marijuana in Mexico too!” Well of course they will. If you can’t grow marijuana here, guess where the big commercial growers are gonna go and grow it? In Mexico. And they’re gonna pay people some tiny minimal wage that won’t do them any good, and they’re gonna bring it back and sell it to you.” (114)

And it wasn’t just the opponents of Proposition 19 that spoke out against it the authors admitted attempt to “bring a degree of corporate structure to the marijuana industry.” (115) Valerie Corral, executive director of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, stated that “This plant should not follow in the path of Coca Cola, Marlboro or Merck.” (116) Medical marijuana entrepreneur Stephen DeAngelo argued that:

    “Society has a chance to get it right this time,” he said. “We didn’t get it right with tobacco. We didn’t get it right with alcohol. We put those potentially dangerous substances in the hands of corporations who had no interest other than making as much money as possible. Do we want those kinds of companies getting their hands on Cannabis?” (117)

Legendary lawyer J. Tony Serra, champion of the downtrodden (legal, economic, racial or otherwise) expressed similar concerns:

    “Once it is legalized the greedy corporations will get their hands in it and it creates this corporate moral disability. Some large dispensaries already practice acts of corporate moral disability. I want it to stay with the mamas and the papas. The small and unique places. I want the government out of my closet. It should be free, man.” (118)

Omar Figueroa, co-author of a different 2010 California legalization initiative, was also critical of the monopolistic elements of Prop 19:

    “I’ve for it, but it’s not legalization. … I’m not excited about it. … It takes away people’s economic liberty. … I would withdraw my support for it if there were efforts being made for a decent alternative in 2012.” (119)

Communities Addressing Pollution Pot put it this way:

    “By limiting the size of Cannabis farms, we could ensure the pot market stays horizontally integrated, supporting as large a number of small growers as possible, rather than industrial-scale “weed factories” that will extract maximum profits at any cost.” (120)

It appears, given the large number of Cannabis activists who are outspoken against wealth concentration and a denial of economic liberty, the voice of César Chávez will live on – not only in the modern day labor movement in California agriculture but in some of the most influential people in the Cannabis industry. There is little doubt in the mind of this author that by becoming legitimate, the Californian Cannabis producers and retailers will have a positive intellectual and financial effect on the struggle for social justice in California.

Growing advice columnist Ed Rosenthal, suggested the “tomato model” (121) as the ideal model to prevent concentrations in wealth. While there is truth to that argument, the “hysterical uninformed parent” vote seems likely to thwart tomato model efforts in both fundraising and in efforts to persuade a majority of Californian voters.

But there is reason to believe that the concentrations in wealth found in the wine production industry will be avoided in the Cannabis production industry under the wine model. The low start-up costs of commercial pot growing and hashish production (hundreds of dollars minimum) when compared to commercial wine growing and bottling (thousands of dollars minimum) should by itself prevent much of the wealth concentration in the future legal Cannabis production industry, while the huge number of retail outlets allowed – at least one per 2500 if not one per 1250 people in each locale – should be sufficient to prevent concentrations of wealth in Cannabis retail should the wine model be adopted.

Another reason that vast concentrations in wealth should not be as much of a concern in the future legal Cannabis industry is due to the diversity of the number of different strains and the diversity of the number of cannabinoids between different harvests. When asked to explain why there are dominant corporations in the beer industry that have a stranglehold on market share but not as much of this in the wine industry, wine wholesaler Michael Denny replied:

    “…people who drink wine seem to celebrate the incredible diversity. Most beer and spirit drinkers tend to be more brand oriented and like consistency in the flavor.” (122)

If a diversity of choices is as valuable to the consumer of Cannabis as it appears, then a diversity of sources will also continue to be valued and encouraged.

Finally, there is the matter of the background checks in the wine production permit system “to make sure there’s no record of criminal behavior.” (123) Clearly there will be legal battles ahead to prevent Cannabis criminal records from being used to deny access to the now-legal Cannabis economy. Clearly, there will be plenty of incentive for the entire industry to invest in further initiatives and further reforms, as some of the most talented growers, breeders and hash producers are also in possession of Cannabis-related criminal records, and more than a few of them are still in jail. At least some of the money generated from the anticipated “green rush” of the wine model will be used to address the remaining clemency issues along with any remaining stigma and discrimination that the wine model itself does not immediately remove.

K) Awards for Excellence in Breeding and Production

According to one source, there are 2,800 different types of grapevine, a majority of which are of wild grape species, there are 600 cultivated wine grape cultivars, and 600 cultivated table grape cultivars. (124) According to Nicholas Hebemont, master viticulturist (grape scientist) of early American winemaking, the quality of wine depends upon “the soil, culture, kinds of grape, and particularly on the skill of the person who makes it”. Herbemont made a strong case for small-scale breeding when he pointed out that “experiments hitherto made have been on too large a scale, which precluded the multiplying of them as much as they should have been.” (125)

Production methods can vary greatly between producers. Consider, for example, the amount of control of variety of color and taste there is within production:

    “It is the grape skins that hold the pigment that imparts color to wine. If the skins are removed from the juice after the grapes are crushed, white wine will be produced. Thus, a great deal of French Champagne is produced from black grapes. If dark-colored skins are allowed to remain through part of the fermentation, a pink or rose wine will be produced. The longer the dark skins remain with the fermenting juice, the darker the wine will be. … all grape skins add certain extra properties to the wine. One of these is tannin, an astringent element also found in tree bark and tea leaves, which also exists in the grape stems. Its presence gives a wine backbone and hardness during its youth, but this hardness will soften later on. … This tannic quality is one of the elements of longevity, whereby most good red wines need several years or more of bottle-age before reaching a supple maturity.” (126)

Clearly, the most pivotal moment in the history of California wine production had to have been “The Judgment of Paris,” a tasting by French and British judges that pitted California against Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignons on May 24, 1976.

The story of the Great Vinous Smackdown is retold in the recently published Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine, written by George M. Taber, the Time magazine correspondent who covered the event. The tasting featured nine French wine experts, among them Odette Kahn, editor of the influential Revue du Vin de France; and Christian Vannequé, sommelier of the 3-star Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent. The French wines were no less reputable and included the 1970 Haut-Brion, the 1970 Mouton Rothschild, and the 1973 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles. But when the scores were tallied that afternoon at Paris’ InterContinental Hotel, it was the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from Napa that finished first among the whites, and the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, also from Napa, that was tops among the reds. According to Taber, one unnamed, aggrieved Bordeaux chateau owner later told Spurrier, “You’ve spat in our soup.” (127)

Today, California produces many award-winning wines, and almost as many award-bestowing tasters (128). A favorite Californian wine appears to be the Carbernet Sauvignon. According to one wine taster:

    “The situation, the soil, and the climate in the small area surrounding Rutherford are all three ideal for the cultivation of the Cabernet Sauvignon vine, indeed, so far as is known, the best of all in the United States, and it is the red wine from this grape which is generally recognized as being the finest the country produces.” (129)

On the 30th anniversary of the “Judgment of Paris”, the “California Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines placed first through fifth, followed by four wines from France’s hallowed Bordeaux region” (130), which continued France’s multi-generational humiliation at the hands of California wine-makers.

Cannabis breeding and growing awards have been popular since the first Cannabis Cup was held in 1987 in Holland (131). In 1995, North Americans began to win Cannabis-growing awards in Holland when Vancouverite Darren Morgan won third place with his “Love Bud” (132).

After the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, small informal contests between breeders became more formal underground gatherings. Sometime after the new millennium, these gatherings became more official still. The 2007 winners of the Best Buds” category of the San Francisco Cannabis Cup was “Grape Skunk” by the NorCal Collective. The “Best Hash” category was won by Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic for “Temple Ball”. In theBest Eddibles” category it was Re-Leaf Herbal Center for Medicated Lemonade (133).

In 2010 High Times magazine sponsored the First Annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. Winners were – for best edible: “Greenway Compassionate Relief” for “The Biscotti”; for best concentrate: “Leonard Moore Cooperative for “Ingrid” ice-water extracted hashish; for best Indica: “Mr. Natural Incorporated for “Cali Gold” (O.G. Kush crossed with Columbian Gold); and for best Sativa: “Green Bicycles” for “God’s Pussy” (134). When the wine model is adopted and California is allowed to compete with the Europeans on an even playing field, no doubt there will be similar “Judgment of Paris”-esque upsets and, inevitably, some of Holland’s 300 million guilder ($195 million USD) marijuana tourist industry (135) will shift to California.

L) Pharmacological Risks

The most famous study of different popular drugs compared and contrasted were the Henningfield and Benowitz study of 1994. Both researchers rated alcohol as more likely to cause withdrawal, reinforcement, tolerance, dependence and intoxication than marijuana. (136)

Alcohol is a very toxic substance. Just 8 times an average “euphoric” dose can equal a lethal dose (137). Cannabis, on the other hand, is very non-toxic. It is estimated that a lethal dose of Cannabis is thousands of times the “euphoric” dose (138). There is no actual known lethal dose for Cannabis because there are no deaths by overdose on record (139). Even smugglers who had their hash baggies burst in their bellies have not died of overdose, according to the Canadian Government’s own pot researcher, who admitted as much under cross-examination (140).

Alcohol withdrawal is very serious, sometimes resulting in death. (141) Cannabis withdrawal is mild (142) and does not result in death or even unpleasant side effects such as the famous caffeine-withdrawal headache (143). And while leading researchers into marijuana smoking admit that there are no known marijuana-only smokers that have gone on to get lung cancer from smoking marijuana (144), there is a large, Europe-wide study from the British Medical Journal that suggests that 1 in 10 of all cancers in men and 1 in 33 of all cancers in women are caused by past or current alcohol intake (145). There is also such a thing as “fetal-alcohol syndrome”, but no such thing as “fetal-Cannabis syndrome” (146).

The special relationship between Cannabis’s prohibition and its reputation was accurately assessed in the 1987 Merck Manual: “…the chief opposition to the drug rests on a moral and political, and not a toxicological, foundation.” (147)

M) Harm Reduction Techniques and Responsibility Education

“Harm reduction” as applied to both performance enhancing and medicinal drugs is a concept that has been with humanity for a very long time. There is an ancient Latin maxim: “No valid conclusion as to the use of a thing can be drawn from its abuse.” (148) The 16th-century Chinese master herbalist, Li Shizhen, explained that: “hallucinations and an unsteady gait” come through the immoderate use of Cannabis (149). Casanova summed it up most poetically. He said; “In wise hands, poison is medicine. In foolish hands, medicine is poison.” (150)

In his pivotal book on the true meaning of freedom – “On Liberty” – John Stuart Mill wrote:

    “– the class of dealers in strong drinks, though interested in their abuse, are indispensably required for the sake of their legitimate use.” (151)

More recently still, the 1997 WHO Report on Cannabis pointed to “dose”:

    “– mode of administration, physiological and pharmacological differences, complexity of performance tasks, situational demands during testing, and the prior drug experience of the subject – ” (152)

… as factors involved in proper Cannabis use.

Harm Reduction has been defined as “helping drug users minimize the dangers to themselves without mandating that they stop using drugs”. (153) When applied to Cannabis, harm reduction clearly means education, quality control and a safe point of sale. Education means teaching about the hazards of prohibition, but also about “smarter smoking” methods. “Smarter smoking” means focusing on the following factors: possible allergic reaction, familiarity, dose, mindset, setting, strain, quality, purity, potency, smoke cooling, clean ignition and clean mode of administration. It is important to learn how to identify chemical fertilizer, chemical pesticides, mold and other contaminants or adulterants that might – unlike Cannabis – actually be harmful to ingest even in small doses (154).

It is also important to understand how and why Cannabis works as it does – many researchers in California are beginning to grasp this complex medicine. (155) In The U.S. National Dispensatory of 1894, it is written that “the plant richest in resin grow at an altitude of 1,800 to 2,400 M.” and that the effects of Cannabis “varies with the individual’s temperament”. (156) In Cushny’s 1906 “Pharmacology and Therapeutics or the Actions of Drugs” the effects of Cannabis are described as “a mixture of depression and stimulation … its action … seems to depend very largely on the disposition and intellectual activity of the individual. The preparations used also vary considerably in strength, and the activity of even the crude drug seems to depend very largely on the climate and season in which it is grown, so that great discrepancies occur in the account of its effects.” (157)

According to the 1972 Merck Manual, “Many of the psychological effects seem related to the setting in which the drug is taken” (158). According to the 1982 Merck Manual, “an occasional panic reaction has occurred, particularly in naive users, but these have become unusual as the culture has gained increasing familiarity with the drug” (159). A more recent source noted that Cannabis’s effects are dependant upon “the dose of the drug and the underlying psychological conditions of the user” (160). As researchers learn more about dose-effect, setting-effect, strain-effect, cannabinoid and terpinoid effect relationships, Cannabis effects will become easier to predict and control … and shop for.

The truth is that any harms that may come with Cannabis misuse can be – if anything – mitigated, and to well below the level of the trivial. If we choose to look at Cannabis use without understanding the difference between black market use and a regulated market, we risk, once again, assessing Cannabis harms incorrectly, basing our conclusions only on the effects of unregulated distribution and uneducated use. If re-legalized, Cannabis could, once again, be re-regulated to mitigate harm.

Finally, the re-emphasis on harm reduction as applied to Cannabis is also an opportunity to introduce better harm reduction education as applied to alcohol. Alcohol harm reduction, too, is ancient and very much dose-related. The Greek poet Eubulus believed that three bowls (kylix) were the ideal amount of wine to consume. Today’s standard 750 mL wine bottle contains roughly the amount of three Kylix cups (8oz each). In his ~375 B.C. play Semele or Dionysus, Eubulus has Dionysus say:

    “Three bowls do I mix for the temperate: one to health, which they empty first, the second to love and pleasure, the third to sleep. When this bowl is drunk up, wise guests go home. The fourth bowl is ours no longer, but belongs to violence; the fifth to uproar, the sixth to drunken revel, the seventh to black eyes, the eighth is the policeman’s, the ninth belong to biliousness, and the tenth to madness and hurling the furniture.” (161)

When alcohol is seen as a medicine (admittedly a medicine one doesn’t require a doctor to use properly, but still a medicine) rather than a harmless aphrodisiac (as is currently the fashion in beer commercials) then we will have achieved a massive amount of relief for our over-burdened health system.

N) Existing Regulatory Models in California and Elsewhere

The current regulatory model is not a static, ancient, simple law, but rather a complex, dynamic and ever-evolving inter-connecting network of laws. For those who wish to trace its history, there are resources available (162). The primary regulations that determine the day to day activities of alcohol retailers is the Alcohol Beverage Control Act. According to their website, “The mission of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is to administer the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act in a manner that fosters and protects the health, safety, welfare, and economic well being of the people of the State.” (163)

Upon careful examination of the many documents available at the website of the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is one entitled “2005 Moratorium Counties/Cities”. In it, we learn that:

    On January 1, 1998, Section 23817.5 was amended to permanently establish a moratorium on the issuance of off-sale beer and wine licenses (Type 20) in cities and counties where the ratio of Type 20 licenses exceeds one for each 2,500 inhabitants. In the city and county of San Francisco, the ratio has been established as one for each 1,250 inhabitants. The San Francisco computation combines off-sale beer and wine license with off-sale general licenses for the purpose of establishing the ratio.” (164)

In other words, there are “caps” on the number of retail outlets, but they are in the thousands – even tens of thousands – for big cities, and in the hundreds for smaller jurisdictions. For example, if Los Angeles, with a population of 14.8 million, is allowed to have as many places to buy off-sale Cannabis as off-sale beer and wine (one retailer for every 1,250) then Los Angeles will have 11,840 Cannabis retail outlets. At the same rate, San Francisco will permit 5,936 cafes, and Oakland, at the “town rate” of one retailer per 2,500 residents, will permit 160 pot cafes.

There is currently an attempt at self-regulation within the realm of wine advertising. The Wine Institute – an association of a large minority of wine merchants – has drawn up a code of advertising standards, and has made this code available on the internet for the public (165).

Those wishing to make a career of winemaking also must familiarize themselves with the California Office of Administrative Law (166), The Business and Professions Code, Revenue and Taxation Code, and the Food and Agriculture Code (167), not to mention federal regulations (168). Thankfully, there seems to be a group of lawyers who specialize in wine law who have made themselves available to those who wish to become professional winemakers (169).

Cannabis in California is currently regulated by the California Health and Safety Code (170) and the Federal Controlled Substances Act (171). Proposition 215, which passed in 1996 and which introduced medical marijuana to California, added Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code, which:

  • Exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana recommended by a physician from criminal laws which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of marijuana.
  • Provides physicians who recommend use of marijuana for medical treatment shall not be punished or denied any right or privilege.
  • Declares that the measure is not to be construed to supersede prohibitions of conduct endangering others or to condone diversion of marijuana. (172)

California SB 420 passed in 2003, and clarified the scope and application of Proposition 215. (173) California now has one of the most complex and nuanced Cannabis regulatory schemes in the world (174). Thankfully, like the wine industry, the California Cannabis industry has its share of legal specialists (175).

Finally, there is the regulatory scheme of the Dutch for Cannabis retail sales. In a 1995 report, the reasoning behind this regulatory regime is revealed:

    “The municipal authorities may decide to allow no coffee shops at all. Naturally, this must be discussed with the chief of police and the public prosecutor in the tripartite consultations. Depending on the real local demand for Cannabis, there is a risk in such a situation that young people would become dependent on the criminal underworld for the purchase of soft drugs. Moreover, the sale of soft drugs could shift to premises used for drugs, to bars or to the streets, the side effects of which would cause problems. The enforceability of such a policy must also be considered. Most municipalities therefore prefer to tolerate a few relatively safe points of sale.” (176)

The downside to Dutch Cannabis legislation is that the Dutch government has used parental hysteria as a method to cut down on the number of cafes. No coffee shops are allowed near schools. (177) The Dutch Government pretends that a pot café near a school will automatically result in misuse of Cannabis by children. The Dutch government has shrunk the number of cafes from at least a couple thousand in the mid 1990’s down to just over 700 a decade later. (178) Clearly, by regulating marijuana like wine, Californians can avoid suffering the indignity of such attacks on their community. If Holland – with a population of 16,531,294 – allowed the same number of Cannabis retailers as San Francisco allows wine retailers (one for every 1,250 people), it would have 13,225 Cannabis cafes, not 700. Put another way, the California wine model is about 19 times more dignified than the “decriminalization” that the Dutch currently enjoy.

O) The Social Costs to California Taxpayers of the Side-By-Side Medical and Prohibition Models Compared to the Probable Cost of the Side-By-Side Medical and Wine Models

It is now 15 years after Proposition 215 passed, and its imperfections and inadequate protection for sick people – and their suppliers – have become apparent. Proposition 215 had nothing within it that encouraged the State government to pressure the federal government to reschedule Cannabis. The federal war on pot goes on unchallenged.

Despite many election promises made in the lead-up to the 2008 Presidential election, the Obama administration, during much of April and May of 2011, has been threatening to lock up all the medical marijuana dispensary operators one-by-one, including some of those in California.  In some cases they have been successful. (179)

Arrests for simple marijuana possession continue to skyrocket, from 21,000 in 1990 to 61,000 in 2008. (180) Over 12,000 people were arrested for marijuana sales in 2005 (181). Proposition 215 has done nothing to slow arrests – arrest rates for “manufacture/sales” in 2010 are greater than they were in 1990 (182).

California has been designated one of the “M7 states” or “primary marijuana cultivation states” and is a main target for marijuana plant eradication programs. More than 8 million plants were eradicated in 2008 – more than 7 million of them in the “M7” states. (183)

In 2007, California embarked upon the “largest single prison construction program in the nation’s history”, adding an additional $8.3 billion in costs to a yearly budget of $8 billion while adding 53,000 beds for 173,000 inmates (16,000 of which were bedless due to overcrowding) (184). Prison labor is very attractive to those who wish to keep labor costs to a minimum (185) and has traditionally been (and continues to be) a way for some less-than-fully-ethical capitalists to drive down wage levels and break strikes (186).

It is clear that the costs of marijuana prohibition to the taxpayer are massive. It is also clear that the costs to the families torn apart by marijuana prohibition are massive. There are the untold health costs of unnecessary drug abuse, of improperly smoked marijuana or poorly chosen relaxants and stimulants. There is the cost of the prohibition of industrial hemp and all the pollution problems from the fossil fuel, tree paper and cotton that goes with it. There is the missing tax revenue that be making up much of the budget shortfall, and the missing tourism revenue that California should be enjoying. All told, the costs of marijuana prohibition are too high to maintain any longer – it’s time for something new.


Marijuana and wine, while similar in that they are both relaxants, are not the same thing. Marijuana – even when used to excess – is much less toxic and dangerous to one’s health than improperly-used alcohol, and one day regulations will reflect that. But society will need time to adjust to the newly-found freedoms and responsibilities of a regulated Cannabis market. It will take time for parents who are unfamiliar with the effects of marijuana to see that it is not a threat to their children. It will take time for those who are currently afraid of marijuana use and marijuana users to lose their fear. The wine model will give us that time.

The wine model will provide the freedom Californians deserve with just the right amount of control they desire. Once California has had a chance to get used to the happy, hungry and relaxed feeling of marijuana regulations, they can each become experts in – not just marijuana medicine – but all herbal medicine, and learn the proper time and place to use each herb. One day Californians will look back at the dark days of marijuana prohibition and wonder how it lasted so long.


    (1) Baccus – A History of the Vine and it’s Wine, Rudolf Weinhold, 1978, Argus Books, p. 7

    (2) Stevenson, Tom (2007). Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia (4 ed.). Dorling Kindersley. p. 462.




    (6) Baccus – A History of the Vine and it’s Wine, Rudolf Weinhold, 1978, Argus Books, p. 15

    See also:,




    (10) John 2:10

    (11) 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

    (12) “George de Latour was a practicing Catholic, and an intimate friend of the archbishop of San Francisco, who instructed all the priests in his diocese to buy their sacramental wine only from him. The amounts were so huge that it is clear that most of the priests must have been bootleggers as well, for the de Latour books show that all sorts of table wines were sold to the churches. Other famous vineyards established equally lucrative contracts with Californian rabbis, many of whom also acted as respectable bootleggers for their communities.”
    Edward Behr – Prohibition – The 13 Years That Changed America, BBC Books, 1997, p. 92















    (27) “A Persian story recounts an evening which apparently took place at the court of King Dshemshid, who is doubtless identical with a popular hero of Iranian mythology. ‘The Grape, that most delightful of fruits, does not keep long when the cold begins with the changing of the seasons. But many would like to enjoy it in Winter and Spring, too. Thus Dshemshid gave orders that the juice of the grapes be pressed from the skins and seeds, and brought before him each day, that he might, on the touchstone of taste, himself judge the nature and condition of it. He did this until the juice became bitter. Then the king supposed it to be poison, and had the vessel put away and sealed. A beautiful and favoured slave girl was later found to be suffering from headaches so unspeakable that she preferred to die. To this end she chose the well-kept, deadly poison. When she had taken but a little she felt herself cheered and enlivened, the pain eased. She drank more, whereupon she fell asleep, although she had not slept for several days. She slept for a day and a night without pause, and she awoke she was cured. This came to the ears of Dshemshid, whose soul was cheered. He esteemed wine, enjoyed it, and made it the drink of all. And since many who were sick grew well from it, it was given the name royal medicine.” Baccus – A History of the Vine and it’s Wine, Rudolf Weinhold, 1978, Argus Books, p. 10



    (30) Christian Ratsch, Marijuana Medicine, Healing Arts Press, 2001, P. 1




    (34) Terry Robards, The New York Times Book of Wine, 1976, Avon, pp. 118-119



    (37) – Edward Behr – Prohibition – The 13 Years That Changed America, BBC Books, 1997, p. 91


    (39) The Origins of California’s 1913 Cannabis Law by Dale H. Gieringer, Summary of “The Forgotten Origins of Cannabis Prohibition in California,”Revised June 2006 – original version published in Journal of Contemporary Drug Problems, Summer 1999 26(2): 237-288.< (40) Jason King, The Cannabible, Ten Speed Press, 2001, pp. 2-15


    (42) Ibid



    “California wines are now equal to roughly 50% of the state’s total agribusiness receipts, or $20 billion.” –


    See also:





















    (66) Terry Robards, The New York Times Book of Wine, 1976, Avon, p. 62


    (68) Wine wholesaler Michael Denny, personal communication. [email protected], 415-986-7677 ext 123





    See also:



























    (99) Ibid



    (102) Sinsemilla Tips, Vol. 5 No. 4, Fall/Winter 1985, pp. 29-30

    (103) High Times Medical Marijuana #5, Spring 2011, pp. 24-28;

    High Times, May 2009, pp. p. 40-50;

    High Times, March 2009, pp. 96-98;

    High Times, June 2008, pp. 52-58;

    High Times Grow America, 2004, pp. 46-55;

    High Times, Feb. 2003, pp. 98-99;

    High Times, Nov. 2002, pp. 72-75;

    High Times, Nov. 2001, pp. 60-68;

    High Times, Nov. 1998, pp. 92-94, 98;

    High Times, March 1998, pp. 92-93;

    The Best Of High Times, 1996, pp. 11-15;

    High Times, April 1995, pp. 78-79

    (104) High Times, June 2011, pp. 76-82;

    High Times Medical Marijuana #5, Spring 2011, pp. 24-28;

    High Times Medical Marijuana #4, Winter 2011, p. 16;

    High Times, May 2009, pp. 40-50;

    High Times, June 2008, pp. 64-68;

    High Times, June 2007, pp. 92-96;

    High Times, Feb. 2002, pp. 98-99

    See also:

    (105) High Times, May 2011, pp. 38-42

    See also:







    (112) Legalization For All by David Malmo-Levine – Friday, January 7 2011


    (114) Letitia Pepper, interview,

    (115) Kate McLean. “Pot: Semi-legal, Sold Everywhere”, The Bay Citizen. Jun. 5, 2010

    (116) Valerie Corral, High Times Medical Marijuana News and Reviews #3, Nov. 2010, p. 68

    (117) Stephen DeAngelo, Owner of Harborside Health Center – the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world

    (118) J. Tony Serra, lawyer of Huey Newton, Dennis Peron, The White Panthers, and Earth First!…legal-legend-Cannabis-consumer-and-patient

    (119) Omar Figueroa, personal communication –[email protected]

    (120) High Times Medical Marijuana #4, Winter 2011, p. 16

    (121) “The debate moves from whether Cannabis is going to be legal to how Cannabis is going to be legal,” he said. Rosenthal sees a day when Cannabis will be grown like another popular and ubiquitous crop. “I like the tomato model,” he said, rattling off a possible hierarchy of breeders and growers: giant industrial companies; regional companies; farmers; individuals raising marijuana for cash from their own big back yards, then home growers. “There’s room for everybody in that model,” he said. “But with all the commercial ways tomatoes are grown, home growers still grow the most tomatoes in the U.S.” “Boutique buds: What underground mom-and-pop growers did while we debated legalization”

    (122) Wine wholesaler Michael Denny, personal communication. [email protected], 415-986-7677 ext 123

    (123) Ibid


    (125) N. Herbemont, “On the Causes of Failure in Vine Culture and Wine Making”, Nov. 15, 1834, from Pioneering American Wine, D. S. Shields, ed., 2009, University of Georgia Press, p. 225

    (126) Terry Robards, The New York Times Book of Wine, 1976, Avon, pp. 60-61



    (129) Harry Waugh, Diary of a Winetaster, Quadrangle Books, 1972, p. 23 See also: Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. … From France, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California’s Napa Valley, Australia’s Coonawarra region and Chile’s Maipo Valley. For most of the 20th century, it was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.[1] …Many wine regions in California give the vine an abundance of sunshine with few problems in ripening fully, which increases the likelihood of producing varietal Cabernet wines.



    (132) “Local pot a big hit in Holland”, Province, Dec. 6, 1995, p. A22 c; “Took the red-eye flight”, Georgia Straight, Dec. 14, 1995; “There’s a pot of gold in this, he will tell Ottawa”, Province, Dec. 19, 1995; “Dope Dealer Wants Tax”, Georgia Straight, Dec. 28, 1995



    (135) Drugs Policy in the Netherlands – Continuity and Change, Oct. 1995, Dutch Ministry of Heath, Welfare and Sport, p.43



    (138) The low toxicity of THC is best indicated by its widespread use with very few reports of anything even approaching an overdose. Occasionally, people may get too “high” for their psychic comfort, but their bodies continue to function fairly normally. The dosage sufficient to kill half of the organisms tested (LD50) for orally ingested THC is approximately 1 g/kg of body weight. Simply interpreted, this means an average-sized human would have to consume 50-100 g of pure THC to reach the LD50 level. Since high-potency Cannabis contains approximately 10% THC, a person would have to eat at least 500-1,000 g of this marijuana before having a 50% chance of death. A 1 g marijuana cigarette of 10% THC Cannabis contains 100 mg of THC and is usually shared among several smokers. Clinically effective oral doses for the relief of nausea start at 5-10 mg. This means that, even accounting for pyrolytic decomposition and smoke loss, there is a several-thousandfold difference between an effective dose of THC and a potentially lethal one! For alcohol, this difference is only about twentyfold. Other common non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin, have similar relatively narrow margins of safe use. Research into the actions of the natural cannabinoids led to the creation of many artificial ones based on variations of their basic molecular structure. However, none of these artificial compounds are currently approved for medical use in the US. Nabilone proved to be toxic to laboratory test animals and in 1978, human tests were suspended, although it is available in Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as Cesamet®. Levonathrodal, another synthetic cannabinoid analog, was not approved for use in the US, also following incidents of toxicity in test animals.

    See also: “Marijuana in it’s natural form is possibly the safest therapeutically active substance known to humanity.” Dr. Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar, Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine, 1993, p. 138

    (139) Dr. Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar, Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine, 1993, p. 138

    (140) “… it’s again the case that none of those resulted in fatality.” Dr. Kalant, speaking about the mules who survive “very large amounts” of sudden exposure to hashish when “filled” condoms break within their


    (142) “If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all, they are remarkably mild.” Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D., John Morgan, M.D., Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, 1997, p. 26



    (145) Alcohol can increase cancer risk


    (147) Merck Manual, 15th Edition, Merck & Co., 1987, p. 1490

    (148) Stockdale v. Hansard, Lord Denman


    (150) Casanova, quoted in Thomas Szasz’s “The Morality of Drug Controls” from Hamowy, ed., Dealing With Drugs – Consequences of Government Control, Lexington Books, 1987, p. 327



    (153) New York Medical School Professor John P. Morgan, M.D.,



    (156) Stille, Alfred, M.D., LL.D., Maisch, John M. Phar. D., Caspari, Charles Jr, PH.G., The National Dispensatory, Lea Brothers & Co., 1894, pp. 393, 395

    (157) Cushny, Arthur R. M.A., M.D., A Textbook of Pharmacology and Therapeutics or the Actions of Drugs in Health and Disease, Lea Brothers & Co, 1906, p. 232

    (158) Merck Manual, 12th Edition, Merck & Co., 1972, under “marijuana”

    (159) Merck Manual, 14th Edition, Merck & Co., 1982, under “marijuana”

    (160) Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 18th ed., F.A. Davis Company, 1997, p. 1242




    (164) 2005 Moratorium Counties/Cities, 2005 Moratorium Figures – Section 23817.5 B & P Code











    See also:


    (176) Drugs Policy in the Netherlands – Continuity and Change, Oct. 1995, Dutch Ministry of Heath, Welfare and Sport, p. 46

    (177) Ibid, p. 68

    (178) “If, as expected, the Dutch parliament agrees the latest proposals, half the country’s 4000 Cannabis-selling coffee shops will close and the amount that can be sold to an individual will be cut to 5 g.” The Lancet, Volume 346, Number 8985, November 11 1995


    Washington Pot Dispensaries Close Up Shop, Annie Bishop | KXLY4 Reporter Posted: 12:36 am PDT April 7, 2011Updated: 10:44 am PDT April 7, 2011,


    From National NORML Report:
    Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States (Mar 2005)
    Marijuana Arrest Total = 60,111

    State Ranking = #1

    Marijuana Arrest Per 100,000 = 171.18 (national average = 239)

    State Ranking = #41

    Marijuana Sales Arrest Total = 12,123

    Marijuana Sales Arrests Per 100,000 = 34.52


    1. Alpine (2,955.27)

    2. Sierra (759.84)

    3. Humboldt (442.19)

    4. Plumas (440.04)

    5. Trinity (437.04)

    (182) Table 5

    Drug manufacture/sales

    1990: 8,710

    1998: 9,460

    2010: 9,029

    Marijuana Arrests and California’s Drug War: A Report to the California Legislature, 2010 Update

    By Daniel Macallair, MPA, Executive Director, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

    Mike Males, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

    (183) National Drug Intelligence Center, “Domestic Cannabis Cultivation Assessment 2009,” (Johnstown, PA: July, 2009), p. 1.




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    704. DML on

      “Not my fault if you can’t remember what quotes you used.”

      You said “your assertions” about “cigarette” taxes and then you back-track and say “tobacco” taxes. Tobacco and cigarettes are two different things. There is no actual “tobacco” in cigarettes – cigarettes are made from cellulose dipped in tobacco juice. The taxes on tobacco and on cigarettes are as different as the taxes on grapes and on wine.

      Furthermore, the article was about comparing wine and cannabis – not tobacco and cannabis – so you purposely overlooked the obvious comparison to draw your own faulty conclusion. Wine taxes haven’t killed the wine industry, and are highly unlikely to do damage to the emerging legal pot industry either.

      All the figures cited are sourced, so I can’t help you find the source unless you actually quote my words to me rather than make oblique references to things I didn’t actually write about.

    705. B on

      Read the section of your article entitled G)Taxation. You have a quote from somebody saying that cannabis taxes may be similar to tobacco taxes – about 40 to 50 percent. Not my fault if you can’t remember what quotes you used. Re read your article. I apologize for attributing these remarks to you, since you actually just quoted someone else, but the fact remains that you still assert in your article that tobacco taxes run about 40 – 50 percent. I was just pointing out that this is wrong and was asking where that particular figure came from, and that if we want legal cannabis to work, we cannot have tax rates anywhere near that high.

    706. DML on

      The tax on a bottle of wine works out to 25 cents.

      So if one joint is worth one bottle of wine (both give two people a good buzz) then taxes on an ounce would be seven bucks and on a pound would be 112 bucks.

      I don’t know what “assertions” regarding cigarette taxes you are talking about … perhaps you can quote me.

    707. B on

      First, I have to say, that’s a great overview of how a legal cannabis industry could operate. I do have to make a couple of points though. On the issue of taxation, we have to vigilantly ensure that the government does not overtax cannabis or we will see no reduction in illegal business. Cannabis currently sells on the black market for the highest margin of profit possible, meaning that producers are already making as much profit off their business as the economy will allow. This means that, if we want legal cannabis to undercut illegal businesses, legal cannabis has to be cheaper than illegal cannabis. Every legalization initiative that I have seen proposes taxes that would either equal or exceed current market values for an oz of cannabis. If we allow such taxes into existence, the black market will continue to thrive. After taxation, and taking production costs and other business considerations in mind, the end price of a legal oz should be no more than 50 to 100 dollars, preferably closer to the 50 end. Let’s face it, it doesn’t cost anywhere close to 200 to produce an oz of cannabis if you’re running your business properly.

      Additionally, your assertions regarding cigarette taxes are wrong, unless you meant that taxes make up 40 – 50% of the final cost of a pack. I live in New York, and the taxes here fully double the price of a pack; in other words, instead of a 40 – 50% tax rate, we have a 100% tax rate on tobacco. Furthermore, New York’s experience with these tax increases has shown that these taxes are too high to sustain. Because of these taxes a black market in tobacco is developing in NY. Right now, most people who wish to avoid the tax go to the indian reservations, because the indians are exempt from sales tax and sell no tax cigs. A legal pack of cigs runs from 9$ to over 10$; the same pack on the reservation runs 3$ to 5$. In response, the state is trying to impose a back-door tax on the reservations by taxing the wholesalers for sales tax on sales made by the reservations. If the state is successful (which the puppet courts will likely ensure) people will simply start smuggling from cheaper states in the south, starting a true black market. We don’t want to create a similar situation with cannabis. The tax rate needs to be far lower than it is for cigs.

      I would also like to make a quick observation about the fears of the Marlboro-ization of the cannabis market. First of all, Marlboro creates huge tobacco profits through industrial farming techniques. High quality sinsemilla cannabis does not really lend itself to industrial farming techniques. Such techniques will always produce inferior product, at least with cannabis. Growing good cannabis requires a fairly large amount of attention to each individual plant. This brings me to my second point; most cannabis consumers inherently understand this fact. Cannabis consumers are a pretty picky bunch. Most of us accept low quality cannabis because it is available and, in this market, you take what you can get. If it was legal and we had a full range of choice without the prospect of spending all day searching, we would pretty much never choose industrially produced cannabis. However, I do support any effort to keep this a cottage industry; I just wanted to point out that we are a picky enough bunch that we will not likely support the industrial farms.

    708. Anonymous on

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