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Mendocino County Today: July 19, 2012

Murphy

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE for House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district John Murphy congratulated the Green Party on what very well may be a major comeback effort on Tuesday. The Green Party suffered major setbacks in 2004 and in 2008 when it did not back the candidacy of Ralph Nader. At that time the leadership of the Green Party had fallen into the hands of people who were fearful of hurting the Democrat Party. Murphy said “it looks like their presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein has the guts to stand up to the politics of fear promulgated by the corporate owned parties.” Although unable to attend the Green's convention, Murphy said he was extremely happy to see that the Green Party had chosen for its keynote speaker Gar Alperovitz, the prominent professor of political economy from the University of Maryland. In his remarks Alperovitz reminded the nation that the top 400 wealthiest Americans owned more wealth than the bottom 185 MILLION Americans. “Think about that,” said Murphy, “400 people have more wealth than over half of the American people! Those are the 400 people who fund and drive the funding of the two corporate parties that have absolutely no intention of doing anything to improve the situation for working and poor Americans.” Murphy went on to say that “the corporate owned parties continue to practice the politics of fear and hatred. They count on being able to label other people whether here at home or abroad as some kind of an enemy. They use wedge issues to prevent American working people from coming together to solve their problems.” Murphy pointed out that the two corporate political parties continue using the rhetoric of the 18th century in a vain effort to explain the problems of the 21st century. Murphy, who favors a democratized economy as much as he favors a democratized government, went on to say that “more and more people are finally starting to remember that socialism is not a dirty word and that capitalism has enslaved them, creating a new feudal system with a ruling class that is phenomenally wealthy and a working class that has become a new breed of serf.”

Strader

Murphy took particular aim at the Democratic candidate who recently came out in favor of the doctrine of “American exceptionalism.” Murphy said that “Democrat candidate Aryanna Strader actually thinks that the doctrine of ‘American exceptionalism’ which allowed European Americans to commit genocide on Native Americans is a great idea. It was the doctrine of American exceptionalism that allowed President Clinton to murder over a million innocent men women and children in Iraq with bombs and sanctions in the name of spreading democracy. American exceptionalism means that the United States can do anything it wants, no matter how brutal, by committing these atrocities in the name of spreading democracy and freedom. Yet it condemns other nations as criminal for committing the same crimes.” Murphy said that Strader made her defense of ‘American exceptionalism’ in a recent article that appeared in “The Mercury,” a Pottsville-based newspaper. “Strader has all the qualities of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman,” quipped the irascible independent. “Clearly Strader has no concept of what is going on around her politically, economically or culturally. Actually telling people that the doctrine of American exceptionalism is something to be revered tells us a great deal about this carpetbagger candidate who lives in another congressional district — as well as an alternate reality. The last thing that we need in the beginning of the 21st-century is a person who idealizes the philosophy that justified the slaughter committed by the American people since the foundation of our Republic. The only thing we know about this candidate is that she is a ‘mom'. Everything Strader says centers around her being a 'mom’ instead of her being an engaged candidate for House of Representatives. Imagine if my analysis of the economy, unemployment and foreign policy was based upon my simply being a dad!” concluded the inimitable independent.

EMERALD GROWERS ASSN. Press Release: In response to a study released by UC Davis this week, declaring that California fisher populations are declining from ingestion of rat poison used at illicit marijuana grow sites on public lands, the Emerald Growers Association released a statement Wednesday calling on the Federal government to re-allocate its limited resources to enforce eradication of illegal marijuana grows on public lands instead of closing down medical cannabis businesses complying with state laws. The Emerald Growers Association (EGA), a medical cannabis trade association located in the Emerald Triangle region long-known for its high-quality cannabis cultivation, has been working to regulate the medical cannabis industry on a local and state level.

Nevedal

“What the Federal government is completely ignoring is that the more they shut-down state law-compliant medical cannabis businesses in our communities, the more they increase the demand for black market production and destruction of our public lands,” said Kristin Nevedal, Chairwoman of the EGA, “We want to see our federal administration focus on the real problems in cannabis cultivation – namely the illicit grows on public lands that we’ve known are trashing habitat and depleting our water, and now we know they also are killing the California fisher, among other species.”

Cohen

EGA Vice Chair, Matt Cohen, whose work helped to establish Mendocino County’s groundbreaking Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation ordinance (otherwise known as the “9.31 Program”), knows first-hand the pressure the federal government is putting on local law enforcement by cracking down on legal medical cannabis cultivators instead of illicit growers. The 9.31 Program exemplified cooperation between small-scale medical cannabis cultivators and law enforcement, and was featured on PBS’ documentary series Frontline. Cohen was raided by the DEA in October 2011 after the airing of the Frontline documentary, despite being a model of compliance with the program. “By targeting law-abiding medical cannabis cultivators, federal authorities are putting tremendous pressure on local law enforcement who should be focusing on the true outlaws,” said Cohen, “The 9.31 program saved four Sheriff Deputies from getting laid-off in Mendocino, but now the program has been gutted because of threats from US Attorney Melinda Haag’s office against our county government and local law enforcement rather than the illicit growers ruining our public lands.”

The EGA is calling on the federal government to utilize their limited resources to focus on the real issues effecting public safety and environmental degradation rather than focusing on medical cannabis patients and providers.

Sterling-Nichols

Citing the links between public safety, environmental safety, and patient safety, Alison Sterling Nichols, executive director of the EGA, asserted that, “This is a classic example of our federal government having their heads so far in the sand that they don’t even know what beach they’re on. To prioritize shutting down lawful businesses in our current economic climate, instead of protecting the health of patients and our environment is beyond irresponsible, it’s reprehensible.” The EGA’s mission is to “promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle Region (Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties) by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry.”

LAKE COUNTY'S SUPERVISORS have given up their attempt to reason with the Marijuana Beast. On a 4-1 vote they've dismantled the County's Medical Marijuana Cultivation Advisory Board. A member of the advisory group named Don Merrill, and several other pot advocates, have sued Lake County. Their suit seems to have been the last straw in ongoing official efforts to placate Lake's marijuana advocates.

MERRILL'S SUIT arises from a temporary ordinance that Lake's supervisors enacted a week ago. It claims the stipulations of the ordinance are too restrictive. The supervisors had increased the number of plants allowed by an interim 45-day ordinance which allowed up to six mature plants to be grown outdoors on parcels smaller than a half-acre, and more plants on larger acreage up to 48 plants for co-ops farming more than 40 acres.

THE CANNABIS LOBBY thought the deal far too restrictive although it had been worked out by the advisory committee itself. When Merrill, a member of that committee filed suit against the County, Lake's supervisors washed their hands of the advisory committee.

LAST YEAR, LAKE COUNTY had adopted an ordinance that banned all outdoor growing but backed off when growers threatened to mobilize the pot brigades for a referendum aimed at allowing 84 plants. The 84 referendum was shot down by Lake's voters in the June election.

THE 30,000-ACRE FIRE in the Mendocino National Forest, now ten days old, is “75% contained,” according to CalFire with full containment expected by this afternoon (Wednesday). The number of firefighters assigned to the blazes has been reduced to 965 from a high of 1,700. There have been four reported injuries, all of them minor.

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