In the spirit of Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels and Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a first-person account of a booming California business: weed
When Californians voted on Proposition 19—the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act—in November 2010, many expected the state to become the first to fully legalize a Schedule I drug. After all, the pro-legalization movement had huge popular support, medical marijuana was already legal, and, well, pot was the state’s biggest agricultural money-maker. Tax revenues would be enormous, the legal system relieved, new jobs created—it seemed like a no-brainer.
But Prop 19 was not only defeated, it was crushed, and the opposition was driven not by Arnold Schwarzenegger or Mothers Against Drunk Driving—but by the marijuana growers themselves, who launched a major campaign to keep their product illegal.
To find out, journalist David Rose went beyond the Redwood Curtain of Northern California—seat of the clandestine pot-farming industry and the country’s largest guerilla economy—and what he discovered was not only eye-opening, but, at times, heart-breaking and, at other times, terrifying. California’s famed pot farmers, it seems, are not the peaceful, laid-back hippies you might imagine.