Mexican Cartels in NorCal?

By Nathaniel Mayer

In April of 2008, Barack Obama was quoted saying medicinal marijuana is “appropriate” but since his “election”, the Federal and State raids on clubs and growers have only increased. CAMP (The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) has spearheaded many raids this year along with the local Sheriff’s Department and “The Emerald Triangle” (consisting of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties) is their primary target.  In 1983 CAMP destroyed about 150,000 plants the entire year.  During a 12 day period last month officials destroyed 150,667 pot plants in Sonoma County. It’s been speculated that so far this year, over 7 million plants have been destroyed by Law Enforcement. In 2009, 148,486 plants were seized in Sonoma County and 4.5 million plants were seized statewide. At least 4 people have been killed by police in The Emerald Triangle during pot raids in the last seven weeks.

I started paying closer attention to this subject after talk began stirring of a State of Emergency being declared here in Northern California, possibly in the county of Mendocino.  That could mean Martial Law and the Military being called in to sweep the over cities and forests by land and air.  The people now demand it according to a recent poll taken by The Press Democrat of Sonoma County.  Fifty–Three Percent of those who took the Poll willingly from the P.D.’s website believe that it’s up to the National Guard to join in to help stop the pot growers.  The locals of Mendocino County are mad and scared like small weak mammals in a harsh oversized reptilian dominated jungle.  They asked the Mendocino County board of supervisors to declare a state of emergency on August third but by the 17th, the board of supervisors had decided against it.

The local media has also been reporting to the people that the violent Mexican drug cartels may be involved in Northern Californian grow operations but the only evidence of this is the presence of Latinos at a few grow sites.  White U.S. citizens are almost always present, but that doesn’t seem to stop the police from spreading fear.  With this frame of mind, the next logical step for the National Guard and law enforcement would be to raid the Mondavi, Kunde, and Martinelli Wineries since their properties are littered with Mexican nationals working for them daily in their gardens. If just the frightening presence of Mexicans indicates ties to murderous cartels then I predict that every grape field in Sonoma and Napa counties will be raided by the authorities by week’s end.

I’ve been told why it makes sense that Mexican cartels would set up shop here.  It wouldn’t cost a thing for transportation into the U.S. since it’s already here and the risk of smuggling is erased.  These are valid theories but there is one serious discrepancy thereby discrediting twisted viewpoint.  The fact is, there isn’t a single person I know who has purchased inferior “Mex weed” in the last 14 years (probably since Prop. 215 passed in 1996).  Even before that, no one I know would purchase it by choice, and I was hanging out with every sort of desperate depraved stoner Nor-Cal offers.  “Mex” has always been considered the worst most embarrassing grades of Ganja in existence.  Not to mention the profit margin is much lower on even the highest grade Marijuana compared to other drugs (e.g. cocaine) that carry the same penalties.  Cocaine per gram can get you $50-$70 on the street.  Weed goes for $15-$25 per gram. Hash, $20-$35.  It just wouldn’t make any sense to take the same risks for potentially less than a quarter of the profits.

Mexico hasn’t had an influence on the Northern California marijuana trade and culture in decades, so to say that “cartels” are germinating in our forests is a lie and simply government created propaganda and scare tactics.  The only thing those Mexican nationals are doing is getting paid under the table to guard against thieves.  If only one of the five people who had been shot and killed by the cops had actually fired their weapon during the raids, then perhaps the police would have been justified but that is just not the case.  The police may just be hiding their Gestapo tactics behind our fear of evil brown people.

Filmmaker Kevin Booth was recently allowed by a group of Mexican growers to interview and film them for his documentary, “How Weed Won the West”.  Would members of a vicious deadly Mexican drug cartel allow themselves to be exposed and compromised like that?  I’m sure if they had any ties at all to the cartels Booth and his crew wouldn’t have made it out of those forests with their heads attached.

They’ve gone too far; CAMP, the Sheriff’s Department, The National Guard and, as always, the Federal Government.  Meth labs still persist, Oxycotton is flooding the streets, road rage kills at least 5,000 people daily, and a small herb that you cannot overdose on (and coincidentally can’t be patented by drug companies) is causing people to be killed and jailed to a record breaking degree.

All this violence, money, lies and suffering over the lightly toxic herb, Marijuana.  It’s been over 30 years since John Lennon sang for John Sinclair, who got busted at a concert with two joints and was sent to jail for ten years. Lennon helped get him out but not all of us have dead rock stars in our back pockets waiting for a chance to save us.

But why should we care?  In November it’s going to be settled once and for all whether or not Weed will ever stand a chance in America. If California can’t legalize this plant, then we might as well abandon all hope that it will ever have any remote chance of survival.  Either the days of CAMP will soon be extinct from this era or Grass will be gone for good.

Nathaniel Mayer is a journalist and freelance writer based out of
California. He's been writing for nearly a decade and currently does regular
columns for

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