California Crazies: The Former Lives and Deaths of Outlaw Pot Farmers

Have no doubts about it – it’s crazytime in America.  The damage wrought by Donald J. Trump (aka The Mad King) in just four short years will take decades, if not a lifetime, to be unraveled.  QAnon, conspiracy theorists, gun nuts, bible thumpers, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, the zip tie guy, and at least a third of our citizenry all too willing to accept an authoritarian form of government; and as of June 24th, 2022, three Supreme Court judges who went against what they had publicly said in their confirmation hearings as they overturned the 50 year reign of Roe versus Wade all signal that our once great nation is in grave decline.  Those always braying the loudest about the sanctity of our Constitution are frequently those most guilty of never reading it, or worse yet, misinterpreting it.  Next, they’ll go after gay marriage, trans rights, contraception, and any future efforts to legalize pot on the federal level.  The confederate flag that was flown in our nation’s Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021 by one of these so-called “patriots” was just a mere prelude of things to come, and I highly suspect that next the proponents of the fast rising Christian Nationalism movement will superimpose the crucifix over the swastika for their logo.

Joseph Robinette Biden, America’s 46th president, while restoring maturity and dignity to the Oval Office, has  not evolved on marijuana, repeatedly saying that the evidence still isn’t in despite the fact that it has been in for well over forty years.  Many suspect that our President’s driving motivation is because he just can’t bring himself to accept the fact that his son Hunter has never met a drug that he didn’t like and was more than willing to become addicted to.  The nation suffers because  this guy liked to party a little too hardy, and let me assure you that he wasn’t getting to the plane where he wanted to go on marijuana.  If this suspicion is indeed true, then Biden, who I view as a fair and decent man, is just blinded by his own fatherly love.  Nevertheless, the Biden Administration has hunted down and cast out anyone who they could prove had previously used marijuana as a misguided matter of principal that Hunter isn’t expected to live up to.  Double standards abound in the world of weed, and the 85-year long persecution inherent in its prohibition is ongoing.  Dear Lord, when will this hypocrisy finally end?

Various states allowing various forms of cannabis legalization are posed to fall like dominoes if federal pressure is once again ramped up for the express purpose of restoring law enforcement’s traditional cash cow.  The War on Drugs has always been primarily a war on marijuana, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is champing at the bit to once again expand their offensive.  All they need is another power mongering Republican President to release the kraken by eliminating state’s rights marijuana legalization.  And, surprise, surprise, that Republican is waiting in the wings in the blob-like form of the currently deposed Mad King who now bellows that Brittney Griner deserves to remain in a Russian prison over possession of a miniscule amount of cannabis oil contained in vape cartridges, and that drug dealers should be executed because, “They kill, on average, about 500 people.”  No facts backing up his outlandish claim have yet been presented.  True to his bullying, misinformed, perpetually lying nature, Trump, who has never removed the silver spoon that he was born with from his mouth, called that poor woman, “a potentially spoiled person,” that was, “loaded up with drugs.”  Crazytime on steroids will be the focus of the 2024 presidential election, and the only hope us stoners will have will be to try to make federal marijuana legalization a single ballot issue so as to spur on our youth to get out the vote.  You have to stop saying no Joe, or you will have to go, with the catastrophic backlash being that four more years of Trump could, “potentially,” be the end of our republic.

California Crazies: The Former Lives and Deaths of Outlaw Pot Farmers by John Krieg

California’s post 2016 botched rollout of its marijuana legalization crushed the traditional small growers and threw the floodgates wide open for corporate douchbaggery to deliver the death kneel to what was once the drug of peace and love.  Gone, all gone now, and all that’s left is the vicious infighting to see who will get the biggest slice of the pie after the state takes its cut.  To do the state’s bidding, look no further than the draconian tactics of Riverside County Sheriff Chad “El Choppo” Bianco who has been terrorizing my hometown of Anza since June 5th, 2019.  El Choppo, so named because he loves to chop marijuana plants, was a member of the Oath Keepers in 2014, and recently supported Larry Elder on his website to supplant Governor Gavin Newsom. He likes to bust mom and pop marijuana growers like myself and then posts preposterousness claims as to the weight of contraband seized, again on his website, before any due process occurs.

The nine fictional short stories and three nonfiction essays contained herein harken back to a simpler time  when some of us thought that we could actually make a peaceful and comfortable living growing cannabis if only government were to give us a fair shot at doing so. Paraphrasing the great Joni Mitchell – that was just a dream some of us had.  Gone, all gone now.

California Crazies: The Former Lives and Deaths of Outlaw Pot Farmers (200 pages)will be available  at betweenJanuary 16th and January 20th, 2023. 

Article written by John Krieg

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