On Tuesday, Gawker covered one aspect of the legalization of medical marijuana with an article/ parody where, “in a bid to reassert itself as the dominant force in American life,” ‘Capitalism’ “announced that it plans to immediately counteract the coolness of the legalization of medical marijuana by poisoning it with the awfulness of factory farming.” The article goes on to have ‘Capitalism,’ via industrial farming methods, “snatch revenue” from/ “fuck in the ass” apparently peace-loving, chill, non-competitive pot-growers/ hippies “that have been operating on the black market for decades” once pot gets legalized for medical uses.
Ugh. Gawker. I understand your article is a parody, but, first off… factory farming is for livestock. Cows, chickens, pigs. We refer to large-scale farming operations as ‘industrial farming.’ That’s okay, though. Just semantics so whatever.
The real problem is that your article is basically implying—parody or not—that capitalism has caused someone to come up with a business plan to grow weed on a large scale, industrial-style basis, complete with inorganic chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and other unsustainable agriculture practices, and that this business plan is going to result in the financial demise of a network of stoic individuals who have been growing and selling weed, sustainably, I guess, on the black market for decades. I understand your disdain for industrial farming and all—I like organic, sustainably produced stuff too—but there are so many stupid things about your article. Here, I made a list:
1. Capitalism is not the cause of someone’s plan to produce something on a massive scale in an unsustainable manner. People produce things on a massive scale in an unsustainable manner because there is a demand for those things. Demand comes from people. Where there are no people, there is no demand. Thus, the demand of individual human beings—not capitalism—is the cause of someone’s plan to produce something on a massive scale in an unsustainable manner. Capitalism is a system not an actor. This is like… simple, obvious stuff, I thought.
Fifty eight pounds of chronic per day, totally legal, totally corporate, in my own fully-controlled factory,” mused Capitalism, lighting up a machine-rolled joint with a golden Zippo. “Try to undersell that with your ten hydro plants from your closet, hippie. You’ll be out of business in a month. This is the fucking Wal-Mart of weed. It’ll be beautiful.
2. I know very little about the drug trade, but, I dunno, I doubt most of the pot that’s been sold in America since the 20s or whenever comes from a massive underground network of hippies who each have “ten hydro plants” growing in their closets. I’m unsure if you thought this one out, Gawker. Anyone growing “ten hydro plants” in their closet is definitely not growing to sell weed. If you wanted to make money selling tomatoes at your local farmers market, how good would you do if you had only grown ten tomato plants?
So how is a pot “factory” going to “undersell” anyone with ten hydro plants in their closet?
It was parody. Right. An allegory, nothing more. It’s just really strange to me that you use growers who use hydroponics, a method that most often relies on inorganic fertilizers (‘nutrient solutions’) and lighting systems that require large amounts of electricity instead of the soil and the sun in defense of what I assume is some kind of long history of black market sustainable marijuana growing.
3. Should you be more mad at… the Drug War, maybe? The War on Drugs? The thing that keeps sending pot growers “that have been operating on the black market for decades” to jail, taking away not only their business (a privately owned one that operates by the laws of supply and demand) but their entire means of securing a livelihood outside of a prison? Or the FBI, CIA, or BATF? Doesn’t the Drug War, which completely disallows marijuana farmers from operating their businesses, seem a little bit worse than a marijuana farmer that presents other marijuana farmers with competition?
4. I am not a historian of the drug trade, so this is only a guess—but I have a feeling that the drug trade has functioned, for the most part, outside of any federal law/regulation. When unimpeded by the War on Drugs, the drug trade has always been one of the freest markets ever. Marijuana has never been produced for wide-scale distribution by a government or by democratic rule, marijuana farming has always been a private enterprise, and, other than the War on Drugs, there never have been anti-capitalist restrictions imposed on the growth of the marijuana industry (monopoly protection, tariffs, taxes, etc) since criminalization. If there are any “longtime hippie growers,” or pot growers “that have been operating on the black market for decades” (who are going to be “fucked” “right in the ass” by capitalism) in the drug trade, they have been operating, facilitating, reinforcing, and participating in one of the most unregulated capitalist economies in history. The “longtime hippie growers” are capitalists themselves. How did you miss that?
Hippies and other anticapitalist types had been acting pretty happy about the slow but inevitable decriminalization of marijuana,” Capitalism said. “As weed entered the legal world, I saw a great opportunity to snatch some revenue from growers who’ve been operating in the black market for decades.
5. Okay—what do you think the “growers who’ve been operating in the black [free] market for decades” have been doing this whole time? Asking nicely for revenue? Co-existing peacefully? Not trying to make more money? Not competing to produce the product that would make them more money? Right.