Jan 022016
 January 2, 2016

grow your own weed‘Big Marijuana’ is like the boogeyman in the marijuana world right now. Marijuana opponents warn of the imminent demise of American society due to the threat of big marijuana. Those claims are nothing more than scare mongering. Many people in the marijuana movement and industry fear a corporate takeover of marijuana, and those fears are well founded in my opinion. Travel guru Rick Steves has some stellar advice to combat the corporate takeover of marijuana – grow your own.

Rick Steves offered up that advice in an interview he did with KUOW a few weeks back. The comments came as Rick Steves was discussing the need for Washington State to add a home cultivation provision to its marijuana legalization law. As it stands right now, Washington is the only state to legalize marijuana but yet not allow home cultivation. Per KUOW:

Rick Steves doesn’t think Big Marijuana should control your pot. That’s one reason people in Washington state should be able to grow their own weed, Steves told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel.

“I don’t want marijuana to go the route of tobacco and have Joe Camel and Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana” dominate the industry, Steves said. “If there’s money to be made, it’s going to attract big corporate interests and they’re going to have the clout. I like the idea of having home grow because it gives people an option to having to buy something from a giant organization. They can just have a few plants on the window sill, and it’s not a big deal.”

The host of Travels With Rick Steves was a big supporter of the state’s original marijuana initiative, I-502, which passed in 2012 and took effect last year. Now he supports a proposal to allow people to grow six of their own marijuana plants. It could be considered next year in the state Legislature.

I personally have no plans to purchase corporate marijuana. That’s not to say that I outright oppose corporate marijuana, I just think that marijuana grown by smaller growers tends to be better because the plants get more attention, and I always root for and support the ‘little guy.’ I don’t grow right now, but I intend to do so this next grow season either at my house or at a family members. The right to grow marijuana at home is something that every state needs to include in its legalization reforms. Washington’s initiative should serve as a lesson to all other states that follow.

About Johnny Green

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  • Amimal Cookies

    Amen brother

  • Duncan20903

    I’m often amused when people warn that our culture will be “destroyed” if commerce by business interests is allowed. The same culture which has been wandering in the desert of prohibition for decades and decades, surviving in spite of making any use or cultivation a major felony, civil forfeiture and microscopic examination of our urine but Monsanto will kill us off in a few short months.

    I’m much more worried by Big Addictionology, Big Prohibition and Big Fat Lies.

    • Miles Monroe

      Absolutely god damn right; people who throw “Big Weed” around to fear-monger–including, outrageously, *way* too many self-proclaimed “legalization advocates”–seem to have forgotten why Big Tobacco is *really* such a problem: Because–unlike cannabis–tobacco *can kill you* !!!

    • CD

      I’m more worried about all the Americans in the “land of the free and home of the brave” that are so pathetic they follow unjust laws.

      Cannabis is a dietary essential, second only to water. There is nothing to argue about with the factually incorrect and intellectually dishonest. At the cellular level it can do what no other plant we know of can. Not my problem if no one knows endoplasmic reticulum from a jelly bean.

      Anyone that has a problem with marijuana is ignorant or stupid. No other options.

      And I don’t even smoke it.

      • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

        “Anyone that has a problem with marijuana is ignorant or stupid.”

        Add “evil” to that list… (~~~…ignorant, stupid and / or evil),

        Anyone who would devise a policy that outlaws natural, external sources
        of necessary compounds that occur WITHIN, utilized BY the human body,
        (in this instance, supplementation to the EndoCannabinoid System / ECS),
        is outlawing life itself.

        It’s not just cannabis prohibition that does this, but it is the most egregious example.

  • peoriadude

    A single grower can be incorporated just like a huge conglomerate can be incorporated. “Corporate cannabis” is a largely meaningless phrase without other qualifiers describing the size of the corporation involved. I’m just not a fan of throwing the word corporation out there as being automatically bad or that all corporations, or even most, are bad.

    As to the issue of Big Cannabis taking over the industry, that will only happen if the voters elect politicians who will give them that power. Big Cannabis can’t win unless the politicians are sufficiently bought off to write the laws in Big Cannabis’ favor. Will that happen? There is a very, very good chance it will when considering our current political parties and their history.

    I just have to look at Illinois’ current “medical cannabis” program to know how the ruling Democrats in my state will handle legalization. A limited number of grower licenses issued, a limited number of distribution licenses issued, massive license application fees, huge yearly license fees, expensive regulations on growers and distributors including live video feeds of every inch of their property sent directly to the police headquarters, aggressive law enforcement inspections for compliance, and on and on.

    The government in Illinois granted those few licenses to grow and distribute mostly to people that all have political connections. A Democrat Governor’s former chief of staff, the state Democrat Party’s former chair of fundraising, a former Democrat State Rep’s campaign chair, a former lobbyist for a government employee union, a former legislative aide for the House Democrats, and on and on.

    Meanwhile, patients waited over 2 years for access to medical cannabis and are not allowed to grow their own. Still less than 4,000 card carrying patients in the entire state, with 30% of those patients coming from one Doctor who is now being investigated and may lose his medical license if the Democrat Attorney General is in a bad mood.

    In my state, when I worry about Big Cannabis taking over the industry, I don’t just name “corporations”, I name corrupt and incompetent Democrats in charge who are writing the laws to make it happen.

    • Lawrence Goodwin

      Ditto for totally corrupted New York state. Here in backward NY, regardless of the scheduled start of “medical marijuana” sales this Tuesday (Jan. 5) under very strict conditions, Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo is NOT releasing his iron executive grip from the cannabis industry’s neck. Cuomo makes New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie look like a cannabis ‘reformer’! In New York, we have more than 120 county sheriffs and district attorneys who still zealously enforce the “marihuana” fraud in every way possible. Plus, long-term top state Democrat, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was recently convicted on 7 federal counts by a jury of his fellow New Yorkers (the top state Republican, Senator Dean Skelos, was convicted shortly thereafter in a scheme involving his fortunate son). According to The New York Times, allegations made against Silver included his being in cahoots for personal profit with a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma, a severe form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The real scandal is that for many years, Silver, together with former Republican Senator Joe Bruno and most state lawmakers of both parties, arrogantly blocked ANY progress toward legalizing medical cannabis–a criminal deprivation of safe and legal access to all qualified patients. Many New Yorkers are appalled by the colossal amounts of graft, but too few seem bothered by the equally outrageous, bipartisan anti-cannabis tyranny.

      • jontomas

        Right. The majority of both “major” parties are corrupt. – That’s why we need Bernie Sanders so bad. – We need honest leaders who work in behalf of the people.

        • Kathleen Chippi

          Can you support someone who wants to take the (radical as you have said) “adult” step in removing cannabis from the CSA and just skipping over all the baby-steps you claim we need?

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Donkey_Hotay Donkey Hotay ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Baby-stepping jontomas is still in potty training.

          • jontomas

            Clueless trollito. Try something more productive for a change, like organizing your lint collection.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Donkey_Hotay Donkey Hotay ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Go change your stinky diaper, baby-stepper.

          • jontomas

            Give it up, troll. It’s obvious I want to remove marijuana from the list of scheduled drugs also. I have always said so.

            What has gotten us to the point where we can do that is the measured, intelligent progress we have made over the last 20 years. – Your denial of that is absurd and childish.

          • CD

            Just keep voting bud, they’ll give some freedom back one of these decades, promise. Feel the Bern!

        • CD

          Yeah right. If you’re still falling for “government solutions” then you’re just as much a part of the problem unfortunately. Remember how all those cannabis raids stopped under Obama…. Errrr wait I mean accelerated…. What was I talking about?

      • Kathleen Chippi

        Almost exactly what happened and is happening in Colorado. Your state has ‘borrowed’ all of our 1,000 plus pages of new pot prohibitions our Dems created after heavy ($$$) lobbying from MPP/DPA/ASA/NCIA/NORML and other ‘outside’ interests….only difference is in Colorado we’ve had a self-regulated, unlimited home gardens for medical for 16 years and now the government is trying to limit plant count, when the Constitution allows for self-regulation/dosage of whatever is medically necessary. The state likes the tax revenue from A64 pot because the regular old 8% tax on medical just isn’t enough so they need to get ‘rid of’ (they call it “sunset”) medical because they know they cannot control medical distribution under our Constitution. And it was the Dems in CO who pushed for most of the unnecessarily repressive over-regulation of this non-toxic plant.

        National NORML brought the unscientific 5 nanogram THC DUI limit to a Democrat and after 3 years and 6 (under-handed/back door) attempts it passed making ALL patients guilty of impaired driving any time they drive and are confronted with a blood draw. Legalization is supposed to prevent harm from we the people not add to it. Since 2010 cannabis is regulated more than plutonium in CO. Prior it was all but ignored.

        I am more concerned the supposed national pro-cannabis-reform groups are the ones ‘buying’ (and writing) these monopolistic, un-American, privacy and freedom assaulting new prohibitions/laws/obstacles up on a nontoxic plant and it’s users when we know the 79 year war is based on lies, prejudice and greed and perpetrated by 1. Big Government 2. Big Business and 3. Mass Media. It sure looks to me like REEFER MADNESS/Prohibition is being ‘re-branded’ as “Regulate like Alcohol”, Tax and Regulate” and “Adult Use” and propagated by 1. Big Government 2. Big Business (including MPP/DPA/ASA/NCIA/NORML) and 3. Mass Media

        A handful of us have been alerting to this happening nationwide as most states are following Colorado’s lead, especially on the ‘seed to sale’ RFID chip tracking/24 video surveillance nonsense. We are all screwed and it happened in 2010 when the state of Colorado ‘outsourced’ it’s Constitutional mandate to keep a confidential patient registry at the CDPHE (Dept. of Health and Environment) to Homeland Security/CBI/CCIC/NCIC and passed unconstitutional HB10-1284 which created an monopoly on who owned a MMJ business, mandated millions of dollars to participate, mandated CDPHE registration (of a breached registry with the states/national criminal database) to shop in a “Center” and banned caregivers and cannabis felons (rapists, murderers, heroin dealers okay) from
        owning a business, all in violation of the patients and caregivers who are the
        only ones protected by our Constitution.

    • Kathleen Chippi

      Almost exactly what happened and is happening in Colorado. Your state has ‘borrowed’ all of our 1,000 plus pages of new pot prohibitions our Dems created after heavy ($$$) lobbying from MPP/DPA/ASA/NCIA/NORML and other ‘outside’ interests….only difference is in Colorado we’ve had a self regulated, unlimited home gardens for medical for 16 years and now the government is trying to limit plant count, when the Constitution allows for self regulation/dosage of whatever is medically necessary. The state likes the tax revenue from A64 pot because the regular old 8% tax on medical just isn’t enough so they need to get ‘rid of’ (they call it “sunset”) medical because they know they cannot control medical distribution under our Constitution. And it was the Dems in CO who pushed for most of the unnecessarily repressive over-regulation of this non-toxic plant.

      National NORML brought the unscientific 5 nanogram THC DUI limit to a Democrat and after 3 years and 6 (under-handed/back door) attempts it passed making ALL patients guilty of impaired driving any time they drive and are confronted with a blood draw. Legalization is supposed to prevent harm from we the people not add to it. Since 2010 cannabis is regulated more than plutonium in CO. Prior it was all but ignored.

      I am more concerned the supposed national pro-cannabis-reform groups are the ones ‘buying’ (and writing) these monopolistic, un-American, privacy and freedom assaulting new prohibitions/laws/obstacles up on a nontoxic plant and it’s users when we know the 79 year war is based on lies, prejudice and greed and perpetrated by 1. Big Government 2. Big Business and 3. Mass Media. It sure looks to me like REEFER MADNESS/Prohibition is being ‘re-branded’ as “Regulate like Alcohol”, Tax and Regulate” and “Adult Use” and propagated by 1. Big Government 2. Big Business (including MPP/DPA/ASA/NCIA/NORML) and 3. Mass Media

      A handful of us have been alerting to this happening nationwide as most states are following Colorado’s lead, especially on the ‘seed to sale’ RFID chip tracking/24 video surveillance nonsense. We are all screwed and it happened in 2010 when the state of Colorado ‘outsourced’ it’s Constitutional mandate to keep a confidential patient registry at the CDPHE (Dept. of Health and Environment) to Homeland Security/CBI/CCIC/NCIC and passed unconstitutional HB10-1284 which created an monopoly on who owned a MMJ business, mandated millions of dollars to participate, mandated CDPHE registration (of a breached registry with the states/national criminal database) to shop in a “Center” and banned caregivers and cannabis felons (rapists, murderers, heroin dealers okay) from owning a business, all in violation of the patients and caregivers who are the only ones protected by our Constitution.

      • BainDramage

        Kathleen – you make a great point.

        If Cannabis simply becomes legalized and treated like alcohol, then what happens to the big cannabis advocacy groups? They are no longer needed.

        Think they really want that? How many organizations deliberately work themselves out of business?

        It’s not just “Big Marijuana” that’s the problem, though in our capitalist economy, “Big Marijuana” is inevitable (think Gallo, Budweiser, Coors, etc.).

        • jontomas

          No. Actually, there will be MUCH to do. Even after we end prohibition, we’ll have DECADES of work erasing the deep stigma created by 80 years of the world’s largest propaganda/demonization campaign.

          Some major goals:

          * Ending employment discrimination against marijuana consumers.
          * Ending medical discrimination (as in rejecting marijuana consumers as transplant recipients.)
          * Ending the huge disparity of heavy restrictions on near harmless marijuana compared to the much lighter restrictions on much more harmful alcohol.
          * Having the truth that marijuana is not a significant cause of auto accidents be reflected in driving laws.
          * And much more….

          • Lawrence Goodwin

            It probably falls under your “employment discrimination,” but please also note: Ending the scandalous, ever-expanding anti-“marihuana” campaign conducted by employers against current/prospective employees, who are routinely forced to surrender their urine to cups for inspection all across America. “Managers” of these companies are depriving good people of jobs because they have microscopic molecules of cannabis plants in their bodies, and then complaining about these same people because they don’t have jobs. It proves the U.S. Bill of Rights–the bedrock of our personal freedoms–is now entirely meaningless.

          • CD

            No, the major goal will be in removing the restrictions on growing the proper amount to cure disease through raw cannabis use as a dietary supplement. People are going to need 30 plants on average to prevent and cure disease.

        • CD

          It’s the people. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Everyone is walking around with slave made goods from corporations they abhor (supposedly).

    • Kathleen Chippi
    • saynotohypocrisy

      I agree, the main danger from big cannabis is if they collude with government to restrict entry to competition. I hope and think there will be various niches for small growers and sellers, but if most people prefer the better price that a large volume seller will presumably be able to offer, that’s fine, that’s freedom of choice.

      It would be in the economic interests of big cannabis to restrict competition, and diehard prohibs will want those restrictions too, as well as corrupt insiders like with what’s happening in Illinois, it all needs close watching.

  • michael_ellis

    “I don’t want marijuana to go the route of tobacco and have Joe Camel and Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana” dominate the industry, Steves said.

    And the really crazy thing is that it’s perfectly legal to grow tobacco for personal use. No requirement for a locked enclosure to keep it away from children and you can grow as much as you want of the deadly, addictive stuff so long as you don’t sell it.

    On reflection, I guess that tends to undermine the argument that growing your own weed will slow the corporatization of cannabis. That’s inevitable and those that consider nothing other than convenience and low cost will be the customers for the corporate product.

    On the other hand, I think the history of the home brewing movement is instructive and encouraging. In the mid ’80’s, I got into home brewing because good ales and porters weren’t readily available at reasonable prices. Nowadays I don’t bother to brew because my small southern city, Asheville NC, has 21 excellent craft breweries and regularly vies for the title Beer City, USA with Portland OR. Most of the folks that own the craft breweries started out as, you guessed it, home brewers.

    So yes, legalization advocates should push strongly for reasonable home grow provisions and encourage everyone with any inclination to grow to do so and support the small businesses that arise to supply seeds, seedlings, soil nutrients, etc. It may not stop the rise of “Big Cannabis”, but it will help ensure those who care about quality herb have access to it at reasonable prices.

    • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

      Home brewing wasn’t made legal until the late 1970s,
      during the Jimmy Carter administration,
      40 years after alcohol prohibition was repealed.

      Hope it doesn’t take that long for Washington state
      to add a home grow provision to its “legalization” laws.

  • surrealistodefierros

    This makes perfect sense. There ought to be NO corner on the market for cannabis seeds. Growers should be Encouraged immediately to grow for proliferation of same. More distribution of seeds across a wider population, more home cultivation, and people cut out the biggest factor in what has been driving a good deal of the nonsense: plainly and simply, greed. Want sinsemilla? Grow that for Yourself. But spare a corner of the yard for the Next Generation.

  • jontomas

    lol – Do we fear “Big Oranges,” “Big Computers,” or Big any-product-you-can-name? – This is the U.S. Almost ALL industries are “Big.”

    But suddenly “Big Marijuana” is supposed to make us run for our lives? – Much ado about nothing, of course.

    • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

      “Big Pharma” IS a problem, though…

      • saynotohypocrisy

        Big Pharma needs non-profit competition, either from government or from a non-profit corporation

      • jontomas

        That’s for sure. And Big Police, Big Prosecutors, Big Prisons, Big Alcohol, Big Drug Testing/”Treatment,” Big Money-Laundering Banks, Big Millionaire Drug Gangs, and, unfortunately, Big Black-Market and “Medical” Marijuana Growers and Sellers.

        But despite their money and power, we are winning! – The people aren’t buying the great fraud anymore.

  • Fr33dom

    Big Marijuana?

    We already have Big Marijuana. They are called the Mexican cartels. They decapitate police and hang their headless bodies off of bridges and successfully encourage children to buy, sell and consume illegal drugs.

    Regulating marijuana won’t create big marijuana. It will control big marijuana instead of subsidizing it.

    “if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.”

    -Milton Friedman

  • Franklin

    The problem is that Big Marijuana is a prohibition tactic. When Reefer Madness fails and they lose the argument for personal safety they turn to the Gateway myth. If that brings a room full of laughter they suddenly are open to medical marijuana, only if it’s very controlled. And that is where the whole BS about Monopolies and oligarchies come in.

    Look at Ohio disaster. All those monopoly hating people lost all interest in breaking up things like our banking system which is managed mainly by 5 big banks now. But that’s invisible. The anti-monopoly movement in Ohio ended on election day. Haven’t heard a peep about another corporate dominated industry. Remember way back like 5 minutes before the election when those people were only opposing Issue 3 because of their hatred for corporate trusts. And that interest mysteriously just disappeared. There is no political group out there pushing against corporate influence. OWS did and it they at least knew enough to camp out in front of a bank and not on a civil liberties issue.

    Right now cannabis is still an S1 substance. That means Federal regulators can reach out to any bank account that might have funds from marijuana and they can freeze and seize those assets. Corporations aren’t interested in a cash business that is still not just Federally prohibited, but done so on a zero tolerance scale with a declaration of war. Big Marijuana doesn’t exist. It was invented
    by SAM as a divide and conquer Trojan Horse.

    Pretty easy to tell. Simply offer to support their anti-monopoly scheme on every other industry except for marijuana first. No one who is making this argument against the The Abominable Snowman of Marijuana unless we are talking about marijuana reform. As long as people are permitted at least six plants home grow then it really isn’t an issue. Home grow is the true antidote so those who are sincere will stay focused on making sure every new state has that right. I don’t support big business in anything. But, if we want to push that cause then let’s start with the banks, and work our way down. We can get to the marijuana industry in about 20 years if that is a problem. And suddenly they aren’t interested in talking about monopoly anymore.

    • jontomas

      Right. The whole Ohio “monopoly” canard was not just a lie, but a big part of the cover-up of the theft of the Issue 3 election. The corrupt legislature, A.G. and elections officials stole it like they did the presidential election in 2004. They used the greedy black-market growers to help make the noise about a monopoly to make it appear the voters rejected legalization. – They didn’t. Polls showed majority support specifically for Issue 3 right up to election day.

      It was the major marijuana reform organizations’ job to go to bat for the hundreds of thousands of Ohio marijuana consumers and educate the voters about the theft-in-process. – But they sat on their hands while watching freedom go down in flames. It was marijuana reform’s darkest hour.

      It’s clear we need a REAL national marijuana consumers union.

      • Franklin

        Jon you are too close to the Ohio disaster to see it without emotion. Sure there was a cheat. But the beating was the worst in reform history. Let’s try to learn from all the elections.

        We need independent polling observers at every voting station. We do not need to let SAM continue to use how the business is structured against us. You and I have had the discussion about RO before. It was the worst adult 21 plan anyone has ever seen. But it still would have been a victory if it had passed. Changing it this year would have been much simpler this year with the prohibition dogs called off.

        Just note, that the reforms groups were divided in Ohio, and the opposition took full advantage of that. RO looks like they are forming a coalition of sorts with the other reform groups and I hope that is true. I think we will see something in November for Ohio. Big election.

        • jontomas

          Having been on the receiving end of the war on marijuana consumers for 45 years can make you angry and emotional. I imagine you meant to say “the beating was NOT the worst in reform history.” Well, we all have our favorites. My criteria is based simply on the way the major reform orgs turned their backs on Ohio consumers. – Their freedom was the only important aspect of Issue 3.

          I’m glad RO is sticking with it. They will likely be the primary pillar of the next effort.

    • Fr33dom

      Franklin: fantastic post!

  • http://www.norml.org Harry Anslinger

    No issue with Big Marijuana, but Steves is correct that no legalization effort is truly complete until citizens of age can legally grow their own.

  • Mike Johnson

    I’ve been saying grow your own keeps the corporate wolves at bay. Washington state needs to allow personal grows.

  • Closet Warrior

    Since 1996 mmj has been regulating and doing fine but all states deserve to have a home grow clause due to low income, far travels to obtain mmj our God given right to cultivate!!! Keep it in your basement, keep it in your closet, keep it in your bowl and keep it in “Your” life. Also, keep it to yourself as people love to gossip.

  • Grampa Scott

    Medical marijuana is a term developed to tax, register and control people.

  • HeinekenPete

    …I would much rather grow my own or buy some locally at a farmers market than be forced to only purchase it from a store.

    • jontomas

      That’s not one of the options, though. The choice is: continued war on marijuana consumers, or – grow your own and/or buy from licensed dealers.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Donkey_Hotay Donkey Hotay ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Legalize Marijuana Like Tomatoes

    Anything less is just a continuation of Criminal Prohibition, dressed up like a greedy filthy pig.