Illustration by Jen Kelly.

A joint opinion: put it out

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Before the Gold Rush there was a Green Rush, with some gold in there. Settlers came from the East in the 19th century looking for gold and found some big trees to cut down and sell. It was a prosperous time for white people who made money from lumber sales, but it sucked for every person of color who worked low wages in the industry or barred from work. Now, it’s time for a new area of selling green stuff for money once again.

There are many parallels from the Gold Rush to the Green Rush as legalization came about. Marijuana legalization is just as racist and elitist as the lumber industry. 81 percent of cannabis business owners are white. Three-quarters of the industry are owned by men.

However, this is more than the environment, it’s about its medicinal value. Sure, there are some studies that tell of marijuana’s healing abilities and some Facebook memes that exaggerate those claims and say weed cures cancer. But those studies seem to be used to justify lazy people to smoke all day and do nothing.

Just because something is supposedly healthy for you, doesn’t mean you should consume it to excess if it’s unnecessary. Apples are healthy, but eating a whole bushel won’t keep the doctor away and nor would smoking a pound a day, or whatever amount people actually smoke.

There are a lot more things to do in Humboldt than smoke. Cannabis can be a part of Humboldt, but it shouldn’t be exclusive to its identity. Not everyone smokes weed. There are quite a bit of people who look down on weed due to its culture. No one should be forced to smoke, but cannabis shouldn’t be looked down upon either. The cannabis industry needs to be improved.

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