February 2015

A question of states' rights

By Art Goodtimes

ANTI-CANNA-CABALS … Our neighbors to the east are pissed at us. The great states of Nebraska and Oklahoma insist we’re causing “significant” impact on their law-enforcement budgets from our decriminalization of cannabis. And they’ve taken their complaint to the U.S. Supreme Court … That’s probably fair. Although upholding the DEA’s Schedule 1 listing for cannabis, as their complaint does — insisting that cannabis has “no known medical value” — is not just unscientific but demonstrably untrue. Still, it’s a conflict … One has to wonder whether the decision will reaffirm the state’s rights to nullify federal law or whether it will uphold the increased pre-emptive authority of unchecked federalism.

CANNABI-THREATS … Given our complicated political system and the conflicting swings of citizen, business, and corporate influences into the lobbying process, laws are sometimes based not on validated data but unverified opinions. The inconsistent, unscientific and draconian drug laws are a good example … Yes, there are “bad” street drugs – like meth, cocaine, heroin. But then there are therapeutic entheogens and recreational euphoriants that clearly don’t belong in the “bad” category – maybe regulated, maybe taxed, maybe prescribed by a doc. That’s the kind of rational drug differentiation, coupled with psychiatric help for cases of abuse, that we need. It becomes our responsibility as citizens to remove bad laws and perfect our “imperfect union.” …The demonization of cannabis in the face of our sanctioned use of alcohol, a far more dangerous drug, doesn’t make sense. So, a sane drug policy – based on science – is where we ought to be headed.

BACK FOR MORE … I can’t stop talking about the Quivira Coalition annual meeting in Burque a couple months back ... I was on a quest to get up to speed on how to structure a Carbon Ranch project for San Miguel County and validate the premise that sequestering carbon in ag soil can be a viable response to climate change … I got both and more. Including a scientist for a nonprofit who can measure how much carbon gets sequestered in fields and pastures. I got reconvinced of the amazing carbon-retention capacities of soil by the renowned scientist Dr. Christine Jones of Australia, New Hampshire farmer Dorn Cox of Farm Hack, and Iowa farmer Fred Kirschenmann … Then there were the bonus talks that brought me information I hadn’t expected.

JO ROBINSON … This Washington State nutrition researcher has come out with a bestseller, “Eating on the Wild Side: A Radical New Way to Select and Prepare Foods to Reclaim the Nutrients and Flavor We’ve Lost.” At Quivira, she demonstrated how the variety of fruit or vegetable we eat could be more important than if it was organic (although her farm is all organic). I learned how the phytonutrients have been bred out of most commercial varieties of plant crops, reducing agents in our bodies that neutralize free radicals. Purple potatoes, Liberty apples, red carrots – I’m moving towards fewer potato varieties at Cloud Acre and more focus on high-phytonutrient varieties.

Art Goodtimes writes from San Miguel County, Colo.