Wednesday, July 1, 2015

GP: Let us grow legally and safely

Speech to the Grants Pass City Council, 7-1-15

Honorable Mayor, Council, and Manager:
          Today, I planted my first legal crop of marijuana.  It means a lot to me to be able to grow it legally.  Tomorrow it could be illegal.  Please don’t make me and many others continue to grow it illegally by demanding that we grow it in our houses.  We don’t have the money for lights or room in our houses.  We have been growing it outdoors or in greenhouses for years now with no problem but thieves.
          Police in Portland are telling people to grow discretely, and not let anyone know, because of thieves.  But in my case, secrecy is futile; I am a well-known pot activist and gardener.  People will assume that I am growing it.
          Pot thievery became more obvious after medical marijuana was passed, but it was happening all along.  Thieves were fairly safe from arrest, though not from retaliation, because pot was illegal.  Pot growers and smokers rarely reported thieves, being punished for growing or possessing it if they did.  That changed with thefts of medical pot, as growers and patients claimed protection of the law when they were targeted by thieves.
          Growing pot under Measure 91, people who are stolen from are quite likely to call the cops.  It won’t be so safe to steal.  But if you pass this ordinance, many of us will be growing illegally and will be subject to fines and confiscation if we report thefts.
We will still be in danger from police, and will be in more danger from thieves.  Those who obey your ordinance will be subject to home invasion robberies, not just backyard sneaks.  People could get killed.
Josephine County voters voted down Measure 91 by only 2 votes: 17,313 to 17,311.  If I had voted for it, it would have been a tie.  It appears that half of the county, and probably half the city, favor home pot growing.
You want to pass a city public safety sales tax in November.  But if you pass this ordinance, you will push away a large minority of voters, the silent majority of those that voted down the county levy.  People who can’t safely call the cops generally don’t vote to fund the cops.  Many more don’t vote at all, they are so alienated.  Please kill this ordinance and allow us to grow cannabis legally, safely, and cheaply, to defeat the black market, the real enemy of law and order.  We might then trust you enough to vote for your tax.
July 2015 issue, online at and at the Mail Center, 305 NE 6th

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Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener          541-955-9040