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05 March 2012


Paul Emery

Yes, thrill top the discovery of the obvious!

Next they need to figure out the income from Marijuana cultivation in our county. However you shape the legality, the fact is it contributes millions to our local economy that gets spent in our shops, restaurants, and businesses as well as providing income for mortgage payments for probably hundreds of property owners. Also, it is understood that sales of rural real estate with acreage is booming adding to our tax base in an otherwise declining situation. Look out for the effects on our local economy if the county passes too strict an ordinance when the Supes take this up later in the month. There is no ready substitution for this income so it may take millions out of the local economy.

Russ Steele


You seem to be suggesting that our local pots farms are not for medical purposes, but in fact are farming for profit? These for profit farms seem to be breaking federal law and you are OK with that! The County Ordinance is designed to protect the neighbors of post farmers who have smell the second hand pot. Neighbors are also concerned that pot farm raiders will get the wrong address for their home invasion robbery. Neighborhood pot grower put the whole neighborhood in danger. Are you OK with that?

Bonnie McGuire

I've noticed that at least two local grocery stores are conscious of the type food the elderly like to purchase much to my delight.

Douglas Keachie

Are you OK with the county having at least a couple of million fewer dollars coming in from the outside, once every pot grower is shut down? If you either decriminalize it or spend a fortune on enforcement, and eliminate the pot trade cash inflows, it will have noticeable consequences for the rest of our local economy, which will not be pleasant.

Ben Emery

I find it odd that many who comment RR think reopening Idaho Maryland Mine would be considered a good idea.
All three legs would be kicked out from under us if the mine was reopened.

George Rebane

BenE 1015am - Yes, that concern is often voiced as an incontestable truth (sort of like 'manmade global warming'), but not well explained. Could you expand on how opening the mine would change the character of our community enough to do that?

John Galt

Nice post George,

Seems like our Nevada County Board or Realtors would embrace the notion attracting retirees. But I don't see evidence of any coordinated effort on that approach.

Paul, would you cite your sources regarding the millions of dollars that come to The County from Marijuana sales?

Any thought on why those millions of dollars aren't beeing spent in North San Juan?

--John Galt

Account Deleted

I see once again the nonsense of legalized pot has arisen. It's a weed, folks. The only expertise needed in growing it is keeping critters from eating it before harvest time. It's only worth millions if there is a constant threat of going to the hoosgow for growing it. Supply and demand, folks. It operates everywhere and always - just like gravity. You can't have it both ways. If we decide to base a large chunk of our county's economy on illegal activity, how will we then uphold any other law? Re-opening the Empire Mine will involve an enormous influx of capital and employ (at good salaries) scores of workers.


Scott, Prohibition only ended when the Feds could no longer reliably empanel 12 jurors who would convict after a trial. By then, everyone wanted a drink.

I recall a senior CHP official stating in the late 70's that pot would be legalized when law enforcement had a test, legally acceptable, that could determine if a driver was impaired. We're apparently still waiting.


Russ, I'm perfectly OK with the local pot farmers breaking federal law; I don't think the feds have any right to make it illegal for a Paul Emery (just a guess that he might have in the past and might in the future) smoke a weed that takes little skill to grow and has virtually no medical danger to the user outside of getting caught.

I choose not to, but probably would under the right circumstances. Someday, when I'm dining on Purina Senior Chow rinsed down with Three Buck Chuck, I suspect I may find myself self medicating to bring on the munchies.

In fact, I hope there are seniors accessing medical Mota in order to make meals more palatable.

Paul Emery

I would think that on this blog the topic of medical MJ would be a favorite example of overriding Federal power over States rights.

I was only making the observation that millions of dollars are imported into Nevada County because of MJ farming. not expressing my personal opinion on the subject. How that affects the local economy is anybody's guess but it needs at least to be recognized for what it is. Is there a need for an ordinance that ensures public safety in addition to laws already on the books? Good question. How do I know about the extent of cultivation in our County? To quote Leonard Cohen "Everybody Knows"

Speaking of prohibition, if we would have left it up to law enforcement it would have never been repealed. They were the final resistance to Twenty-first Amendment. If they would have had their way it would still be illegal to have a beer with a backyard barbeque or a glass of wine with dinner.

George Rebane

For the record, I continue to welcome a discussion of legalizing drugs on RR, including Nevada County's leading agricultural product.

BTW Paul, good interview this morning on KXJZ's Insight. You did your county proud, and without blowing our cover ;-)

Paul Emery

It was a good interview on a variety of topics. Here is the link:

The fact that no one seems to know the extent of the economic impact on Nevada County of MJ cultivation is a serious lack of information that needs to be provided at least to predict what the effects of a stricter enforcement of cultivation would mean to our economy. To not assess that impact would leave a serious gap in the management of information vital to our community. If it will cause an economic storm to come we should know in advance.

Account Deleted

My point was that if it is made legal it isn't worth spit. If it stays illegal, the govt has to treat it that way. My opinion of legal vs illegal isn't the point. You can't have this both ways.

Douglas Keachie

Impact is as plain as the nose on your face up on the Ridge. Not one, but two gardening supply places in the last four years, the Ridgestop Cafe (new) thrives and so does Tokis, as well as the Superstop and The Brass Rail. Peterson's shut down for most of this winter, and is now open again. The is a thriftstore too. The old Exercycle place now houses a Yoga and Alternative Lifestyles semi commune. If it is ever legalized, or super crack downed, this place will be a real downer, and I would guess burglaries will go up.

Paul Emery


You neglect to mention the hundreds of mortgages being effected as well as grocery stores, restaurants,etc. the simple fact is that there will be hundreds of families and individuals that will lose their only income. Not a small matter.

John Galt


In your radio program/interview, did you happen to?

Cite your sources regarding your assertion that millions of dollars that come to our local economy from Marijuana sales?

Explain why those revenues are not alrady evident in the economy of North San Juan?

I have heard that a single plant can generate $35,000, but I don't really know the facts, and am curious.

--John Galt

Paul Emery

We're talking about an underground economy here so there's no official source of information. General estimates are that Pot is California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion income, far out pacing wine or any food crop. Accepting that figure and accepting the general assumption that Nevada County is a major source of quality product leads me to believe that the income is in the multi millions making it Nevada Counties largest income source next to, of course, government jobs and retirements.

Read more:,8599,1884956,00.html#ixzz1oRwZqhwh

Douglas Keachie

I declared all income I've earned with my tractor digging up the ground and mixing in soil amendments for "blueberry patches." Even just one grower can need a couple of days of tractoring. In my aerial photo forays it's way more than obvious that 10 grows per square mile would be about right up here. Two or three hundred square miles to the Ridge. Gold'n'Green would feel the impact bigtime, most growers rent their tractors there.

Brad Croul

If marijuana (MM) is legalized it will still be a "cash importer". Ever notice the big food distributors like Sysco, that deliver products up here from somewhere else? If we had a major marijuana distribution center up here, the taxes on the sale of products exported from here would stay here. Just because MM became "legal" doesn't mean everyone would start growing it. That is already possible with a "script". I could brew my own beer, gin, wine, and grow my own food, tobacco, sheep, cows, hogs but I don't have the time or space to do that.
In addition to becoming a retirement community, we could add a "high"-altitude Amsterdam component to the tourism mix.

Like MM, casinos get a bad rap because, for one thing, they are tax exempt businesses. But, if the owners and employees spend their earnings locally, and the customers shop, dine, and sleep locally, it remains a value added to the mix.

A friend of mine moved to Nevada City back in the 60's and hers was one of the first young families to move to town, rather than leave town for the city, jobs, entertainment, etc. The old-timers welcomed her, as the place was dying on the vine,resulting in the exodus.
It feels like we are losing the young families again. Or, is it just that there are more older folks?
I think we need to keep or bring younger people back through job creation and educational facilities, or??

I am not very familiar with Scottsdale, but Santa Barbara is a very desirable area to live and much more than a retirement community.
Older folks on fixed incomes tend not to dispose of their income as readily as younger folks do, at least on a regular basis. They might buy more big ticket items like boats, motorhomes, planes and cars though. So we would want these dealers located within the county lines as well.

Douglas Keachie

If legalized, any ten square miles of Sacto Valley would supply the nation's needs, and then some, and it would be grown as mechanized as any other crop. Boutique stuff up here, hand tended, yes, but that's it.

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