[Metroactive News&Issues]

[ Santa Cruz | Metroactive Home | Archives ]

[whitespace]
Nüz

Grow Tips

With the county OKing a marijuana limit that allows patients up to 3 pounds for medical use and a 100-square-foot plant canopy, Nüz visited the WO/MEN'S ALLIANCE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA's garden to see what those limits really look like.

Visiting on a sunny Sunday afternoon, we were hit by the unmistakable skunky smell of weed before we even saw the garden, where Christmas was apparently under way in October, with coop members harvesting plants the size of fir trees.

One 6-foot plant, endearingly named VICTORIA, filled the county's canopy limit all by herself, but WAMM co-founder MIKE CORRAL warned growing isn't as easy as it looks, especially if, like WAMM, you don't spray plants with anything but "some old seaweed concoction against timber rot."

As it happens, WAMM members have already hand-picked 1,000 caterpillars off Victoria, who is billed as "Our country's first federally protected plant," and was planted May 1, after WAMM got an April 21 injunction which prohibits the feds from raiding the garden, at least for this year.

Corral says growing the green stuff is a constant battle with gophers (which he deters by planting root balls in wire baskets), not to mention chipmunks, squirrels, bunnies, rats and mice (which use the plant as bedding) and deer, which like to nibble the leaves.

"I have a hard time harvesting 3 pounds from 100 square feet, and that's after 30 years of experience and growing it in the best of circumstances," says Corral, noting that a plant grown in a 1-gallon pot has a way smaller canopy and yield than one that's grown in the ground, using methods that mimic grape growing, and fertilized frequently.

With an estimated 4,000 medical marijuana users in the county, of which only 200 are WAMM members, Corral worries that many won't have the necessary time, space, energy and know-how to grow to county limits, which come eight years after the passage of Prop. 215.

Noting that Prop. 215 didn't impose any limits, Corral says, "In that sense, any kind of guidelines are against state law, since Prop. 215 can only be altered by another initiative." He figures a lawsuit must be filed against such limits, including those in SB 420. (We kid you not about that bill's name.)

For now, WAMM members are busy drying and curing the 2004 harvest before the rains set in.

SUZANNE PFEIL, who has post-polio syndrome and was woken at gunpoint in the DEA raid two years, says the 2004 harvest is particularly sweet. Using crutches to move from plant to plant, Pfeil says, "The feds thought we'd go limping away. They couldn't conceive that we'd come back twice as strong, that out of all the rough stuff would come the first federally protected medical marijuana garden. It's a weed that wants to grow, but it needs watering, harvesting, trimming and a whole bunch of labor. It takes a whole village to produce."

WAMM awaits the Supreme Court's Nov. 29 review of the case of ANGEL RAICH and DIANE MONSON, who successfully argued that their marijuana use wasn't part of interstate commerce and therefore was exempt from federal law--a decision that a federal court later applied to WAMM, thus allowing it to recultivate its garden.

Beyond that, Corral believes the feds should reschedule marijuana. If they do, he says, the bottom of the black market will fall out.

"At $450 an ounce, marijuana is more expensive than gold, but it could cost $60 an ounce, and be just another tool in the pharmacopoeia."

Burning Bush

ALAN CUMMINGS hopes his upcoming show at the Rio is the last he'll ever have to do on a BURNING BUSH TOUR. The former Buddhist monk and human rights activist, who's been described as LENNY BRUCE meets NOAM CHOMSKY, returns to the Cruz with what he describes as a "renewed, more potent and politically infused version" of his show. Titled Spiritually Incorrect II--Mind Bombs Against the Machine: An Existential Comedy, the show is his last stop on a 34-city tour and promises much needed levity as the election nears.

"The machine is our own complicity to walk lock-step with fear and terror, and the Burning Bush tour is a metaphor of revelation," he explains. "We need a mystical epiphany to bring swing voters out of cynicism, apathy and dogma. I'm trying to send an energetic tsunami of hope, passion and consciousness across the country."

Noting that "the seeds of fascism lie in the self-doubt that's missing in the Bush regime," Cummings warns, "Dubya is hell-bent on bullets and bombing for democracy" and "it's part of the GOP campaign to make us believe in our own impotence. CNN and Fox News are not the majority of anything."

Cummings' new one-man show is a benefit for AUNG SAN SUU KYI, the incarcerated Nobel Peace laureate, known as "Burma's Gandhi," Friday, Oct. 22, 8pm, at the Rio, 1205 Soquel Ave. 831.423.8209.

Hot Tix

JESSICA CHIMES called to say that the 418 Project is hosting an Oct. 24 panel to help celebrate LOVE YOUR BODY DAY. Started by NOW, Love Your Body Day challenges the messages that Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries promote, namely that you're just a collection of body parts all in need of cosmetic surgery. 6-10pm, 418 Project, 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. Call 831.425.3838.

Meanwhile, we couldn't resist chocolate maker RICHARD DONNELLY's offer to bring us a freshly baked batch of his Brownie Mix. Donnelly did us this yummy favor to let us know that the Cabrillo Dance Department, where he's a student, will host a bake sale this weekend, Oct. 23 and 24, 7.45am-2:45pm, in front of Orchard Supply and Hardware on 41st Avenue in Capitola.

And with less than two weeks until the election, Cruzio TV discusses electronic voting, with one show featuring an interview with CINDY COHN, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, about its risks and ramifications. Another captures a debate of requirements to upgrade voting equipment and lack of guidance and standards. Panelists include Santa Cruz County Elections Manager GAIL PELLERIN, Media Watch's ANN SIMONTON, Cruzio's CHRIS NEKLASON and City Council candidate RYAN COONERTY, who was on the staff of the Carter-Ford Commission on Federal Election Reform. KATHY BISBEE moderates. Oct. 21 and 28, 6:30-7:30pm, on Cable Channel 25.

Finally, professor ISAAC SANEY, the author of Cuba: A Revolution in Motion, talks about democracy in Cuba twice on Oct. 27, once at 5pm, in UCSC's Stevenson College's Fireside Lounge (free), and then at 7pm at the Rio Theatre Next Door, 1205 Soquel Ave. Tickets $5; 831.465.8272.


Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

[ Santa Cruz | Metroactive Central | Archives ]


From the October 20-27, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

For more information about Santa Cruz, visit santacruz.com.




Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate