Weedsday Wednesday-Doug Fine!
After being raised on Domino’s Pizza and Brady Bunch re-runs, Doug Fine’s method of journalistic investigation was to strap on a backpack and travel to five continents; to the nooks where the world’s then-monied media venues weren’t sending their people. The deciders at these venues tended to be delighted to have a whippersnapper beam back colorful dispatches for poorly-remunerated publication as long as he didn’t identify himself as an employee of said venues. Complicated insurance ramifications for torture treatment might ensue.
In 2011, Fine turned his attention to America’s 40 Year-Old War on Drugs. Coming at it from a both an economic and a sustainability angle, he bumped the vegetable oil-powered truck into the cannabis fields of Northern California, some of them third generation farms that are as old as the war itself. There, following some near-misses with helicopters and profiling police cars (vegetable oil-powered trucks aroused suspicions on a freeway), he found one remote county that had legalized, regulated and taxed the cultivation of the cannabis plant.
In the resulting Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution (Penguin/Gotham, August, 2012), Fine, in what can now be called his usual wild, hysterical fashion, and with typically impeccable investigative journalistic result, extrapolated a model for the multibillion-dollar legal, cartel-crippling economy that can result when the failed Drug War is finally called off and cannabis is regulated like alcohol in North America. As the local Sheriff puts it, “The plant isn’t going away. We can tax it, or we can let the drug lords make the profits.”
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