By Don L. Dupay
I've been smoking, buying, selling, and advocating for
(in print and on cable TV) the availability of marijuana for medical
and casual use, for
about 35 years right here in River City. I don’t like the word
“pot” because of
its negative connotations. But it's the most recognizable name for
marijuana; which is by the way, a Spanish word for cannabis, the
Latin word for pot. But since most folks wouldn’t know “cannabis”
if it ran over them, “pot”
is the word I use, so we’re all on the same page.
From a 35-year, local expert, here is the truth: pot is
not a drug. It's an herb with unusual properties. Only big
pharmaceutical companies make drugs. The first untruth is that pot is
a drug! The feds want you to believe it's a drug, so they list it as
a schedule one drug, right up there with cocaine and heroin. The
other hypocrisy is it's against the law to sell pot. But which law
are we talking about? In California it's sold openly in so-called
“dispensaries.” For $17 a gram, for example, at Harborside in
Federal law says you can't buy or sell pot, California
included. States with medical marijuana laws say you can purchase it,
grow it, and smoke it. Federal law still says no, that it's a
schedule one drug. So since you can't buy it, or sell it, or smoke
it, this forces word games, codes and whispers. We “donate”
money to the seller, for something they can't sell and they “donate”
pot to the medical patient for something they can't afford to
purchase. We evade, we avoid, we form cannabis clubs and collectives.
Anything to get around the letter of the law. We users are then
forced to participate in the hypocrisy with these word games and made
up co-ops, making the situation worse.
Oregon jacked up the fee it charges qualified medical
patients from $100 to $200, so the state has doubled the fee on
something that the feds say we can't have at all! How is that for a
little hypocrisy? Who the hell is in charge? What law are we supposed
to follow? What am I supposed to do or shall I just ignore it all?
Also damn few politicians in Oregon favor marijuana. It
was not politicians who made pot legal for medical use, citizens took
action through initiative petitions to make the law. And now that the
program has made money over the past several years, the same
politicians who didn't want pot in the state, now don't mind taking
a couple million dollars from the program to fill holes in the state
This is a defacto tax on sick people and more
hypocrisy. Now, lets talk about demand. Unless you're in a
local pot business, you don't have a clue about the absolutely
insatiable appetite for pot. The demand astounds even me and grows
everyday! Ten years ago, when I first obtained my medical marijuana
card, we were closing in on 2,000 patients. Dr Leveque, Paul Stanford
and myself talked about it on a cable TV show, “Cannabis Common
Sense.” Now, ten years later, we are closing in on 60,00 patients!
How is that for an increase in demand?
Also pushing the demand higher are various cultural ties
to pot, from within our increasingly diverse ethnic populations. Just
try to separate the Jamaican community from their “ganja,”
black folks from their good old “weed,” Mexicans from
their “marijuana,” Hawaiians from their “pacalolo,”
or Samoans from their “maluaga.” It's like trying to
separate the Chinese from fireworks. It doesn't work. Give it up.
The demand is increasing and there is nothing the
government can do about it. The law of supply and demand is more
powerful than the government's ability to control it. The law of
supply and demand, the law of gravity, and the law of averages are
all beyond our ability to control.
Now lets talk about doctors in the pot business.
Physicians swear to the Hippocratic oath when they become doctors.
The oath says first, “do no harm.” Now doctor, if you know about
a medicine that might help my chronic pain and you don't tell me
about it because of personal reasons or the federal government saying
you can't recommend it, then you are guilty of malpractice and in
violation of your Hippocratic oath. Ignoring the Hippocratic oath
Dococrit is my newly invented word for doctors
who ignore the Hippocratic oath. The most evil of these dococrit's
are the ones who operate so-called pain management clinics for folks
in chronic pain. They dispense addictive narcotic pain killers like
Oxycodone. Once addicted, their pain patients are like slaves. I
call the addicted patients 'slaves to the drugs' but dococrit's call
them repeat customers. Dococrit's do not tell their addicted
patients about the pain-killing benefits, the CBC's and the
Cannabinol in pot or attitude improvements due to the THC in pot.
And isn't medicine supposed to make you feel better?
Rather than numb and confused? A dococrit is any doctor who does not
follow the oath he/she took to Hippocrates and instead follows Big
Pharma and allows those corporations to dictate their business. There
is a big steaming load of hypocrisy in the dococrit business! Amen to
Now lets talk about growing pot. The cultivation is
hard, heavy, hot, dirty, frustrating, and time- consuming work. When
it's a labor of love, this makes it better, but not much. In my ten
years of growing pot, I've grown in five-gallon buckets, 35 gallon
garbage cans, in bathrooms, bedroom closets, closets under the
stairs, and indoors with dozens of hundred thousand watt lights. And
in multiple locations, outdoors on Sauvie Island and in buckets of
water in my garage. (They call this hydroponics.)
I've grown it all ways and all different
ways. “Aeroponic cloning” which is growing plants in a water
mist, without any dirt must have come from the space program. They
knew they had to have plants in space but they didn't want to haul
all that dirt up there. My advice is to stay away from hydroponics!
Every bucket, every hose connection, every nutrient reservoir, every
pump is one more thing that can go wrong. Put your plants in dirt;
there are enough problems in this medium.
Additionally, every 1000 watt light bulb you add will
increase your light bill about $20 per month, along with encouraging
spider mites, which are an everyday threat to your crop. Spider mites
like your pot about 10 times as much as you do and can
envelope your plants and destroy them. Although they are tiny, they
really are spiders and they really do spin webs.
All growers are in a hurry to harvest. This encourages
over-fertilization of the plant to get it to hurry up and at the same
time encourages an early harvest to get the pot on the market.
I've looked at dozens of pounds of pot under my
magnifying glass and seen spider mite damage and signs of over
fertilization. Too many crops are harvested before the tri-cromes
have become mature and turned amber. This will certainly get the
recreational user high but is not the best medicine for patients
because the pot was harvested before its time. Growers need to sell,
to recoup their investment in soil, fertilizer, power and time.
Growing medicine is a money-driven operation. The medical
patient is not the first priority; cash is the first priority
and always will be.
Now that you can see the difficulties and contradictions
in law and principles, newcomers to the medical marijuana program
must be aware of the next hypocrisy. Beware of any grower you may
meet at an Oregon Normal meeting or other members-only meetings, who
says “I will give you free pot, up to two ounces a month or a pound
in the fall and a pound in the spring. All you have to do is give me
your medical card so I can legally grow for you, some serious cash so
I can buy the equipment, fertilizer and soil, and then of course you
must wait for the plants to grow and be harvested (a three or four
month wait.) If you hear this promise from anyone, run, don't walk,
to the nearest exit and hold tight to your wallet. With my advice,
you've just escaped being ripped off.
What must the new patient do then, to get their
medicine? Sadly, the only real way, the only safe way, is to
grow your own. Failing that, perhaps your mother can grow it for you,
but then only if she has the soul and compassion of Mother Teresa
with a green thumb. The fact is, in the ten years I've been growing
pot and active in the pot business, not once (I repeat not once!)
did I ever see a good relationship or a good outcome for anyone with
a hired grower. The patients always get ripped off, the grower
walks away claiming spider mites got the crop, the plants died, the
cops took them, the plants were stolen, etc. He got his and you
Perhaps, just perhaps, if you can't grow it yourself and
Mother Teresa is not available, you might be just as well off buying
your pot from the guy you always bought it from. Chances are your old
dealer gets his supply from a medical grow. There is a lot of
“leakage” of medical pot into the black market and I'm okay with
this. I think every adult should be able to use the plants God gave
us. Government officials falsely think they can legislate away
or take away a natural right! I consider this to be arrogance beyond
belief! Legalize pot, yes or no? No, no, a thousand times no!
Emphatically no! Does my answer surprise you? I'll tell you why.
Let me bring in the Dandelion analysis; both pot and
Dandelions are weeds. Both groups have a support group and a hate
group. Some folks like Dandelions and eat the greens, like they would
mustard greens or collard greens; a food source. Some people think
Dandelions are a pesky weed, growing in their front lawn and in
cracks in the driveway. They buy poison and kill them. One weed, with
two different points of view. Now suppose the government made
Dandelions illegal and a schedule one drug. An ounce of Dandelion
leaves and flowers will get you federal prison time.
So, now the pro Dandelion folks get up in a huff and say
“Well! Since the government made it illegal, we have to make it
legal!” No, you don't! You make an end-run around the law and
remove the word Dandelion” from the
statute. This returns that weed to a simple status of neither legal
Its the same with pot. Just because the government
wrongly made it illegal, we proponents don't need to make it legal.
Make an initiative petition end run around the law and remove the
words “Marijuana/cannabis” from the statute. Tear the teeth out
of the law and the balls off those who dared to propose it. Return
the plant to the simple status of 'weed.' Just like it was, when
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it and smoked it.
Washington was purported to “require” it. Which was a word he
used in a letter to one of his employees. And who does a person who
“requires” it smoke it with? Probably Tom Jefferson and his
cronies. Pot has always been a social thing. They smoked pot with
their cronies. I don't know what they drank; probably something
Fast forward to now. Remove the word “cronies”
and insert the word “homies.” Now we smoke pot with our
“homies” and drink whatever. It's how we roll today. It's how we
chill today. The epiphany here should be, although the culture
between our forefathers, (the old white guys) and the ethnic mix of
cultures today has changed dramatically, what has not changed is the
weed! Its the same pot! I don't support the Oregon Cannabis tax act
or any legislation that seeks to legalize pot. It's the wrong
But what if this does become the law in Oregon? What if
pot becomes legal? How does this brilliantly successful multi-million
dollar black market pot business integrate itself into a legal system
where only a few select growers can compete? There are thousands of
growers in Oregon and they are all used to selling their pot for $200
for an ounce and up. The $50 an ounce price, bandied about by some
proponents of legalization is just a guess. I think its unrealistic.
The demand for pot that exists today will not go away if
legalization occurs. It will increase. How many growers are going to
be willing to sell their $200 ounces for
$50? None that I know of and I know a lot of them! The only thing I
see bringing down the cost of pot, is cheaper growing costs.
Is the price of pot growing equipment going to come
down? No. Is the power company going to give pot growers a cheaper
electric rate? No. So what happens? Pot will not be cheaper.
Remember the law of supply and demand? No profit, no product! If Fred
Myers couldn't make money selling bananas, there wouldn't be any
bananas in the store!
The DEA strategy to enforce federal marijuana laws in
Oregon, (if they ever had a strategy) has failed badly. They could
not anticipate the voracious demand for pot or the equally voracious
supply chain. They could have arrested each medical marijuana
patient for violating federal law; that would have been a big chill.
They could have told the IRS about pot doctors taking their
payment for services rendered in cash. Crisp $100 bills are hard to
trace and doctors know that. They could have arrested the
doctors for “conspiracy to facilitate access to a
federally-controlled substance.” They could have arrested medical
marijuana clinic owners for “facilitating access to a
federally-controlled substance.” They could have arrested state
workers in the medical marijuana program for “facilitating access
to a federally-controlled substance.”
But they didn't.
And now with almost 60,000 medical marijuana patient's
its too late. The DEA lost the battle in Oregon, just as they have in
California. Too much demand and too much supply for these authorities
to deal with. This doesn't mean they're not still dangerous
because they are! They want you in prison.
If I've left you in a swirl of hypocrisy, it's because
I've told you the truth. And if pot becomes legal in Oregon and you
don't like what the government is selling at their store, then
perhaps you should buy it from the same guy you've always bought it
from. Odds are, he gets it from a medical grow you don't know about a
couple of miles from your house.
Failing that, there is always “that guy” sitting on
a park bench on Waterfront Park, down by the public restrooms. Wear a
shirt or hat with a marijuana leaf on it so he knows you're cool. And
no, I don't know his name.
By Don DuPay