Growing More Weed, 40% of Americans aren’t working

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How Growing More Weed Can Help California Fix Its Water Problems

Last Tuesday, the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, California was swarming with potheads. A pro-cannabis rally had been organized by State Assemblymember Jim Wood, who knows how to grab headlines: In July, Wood walked onto the State Capitol floor carrying a live marijuana plant and asked his colleagues to regulate the heck out of it.

The very public pleas from Wood and others were finally heard: Three marijuana industry regulation bills were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday. For the first time in California, there will be comprehensive rules governing the entire cannabis industry, with enough money to fund a large-scale effort at assessing and lessening the environmental impact of growing marijuana—including the way growers use water.

“Cultivators are going to have to comply with the same kinds of regulations that typical farmers do. So they’ll have to comply with all the environmental laws. They’re going to have to manage and procure their water in the same way and they’ll have to deal with pesticides the same way,” Wood said. “It’s going to be treated like an agriculture product.”

Marijuana regulation is going to have a massive effect on California’s water problems, but not in the way you might think. This is the state’s unique opportunity to start a new kind of economy-stimulating water policy from the ground up that also protects the environment. It’s a chance to orient the state’s water management towards a drought-proof future.

Regulating the marijuana industry will allow California to prototype new ideas for water which could trickle down to the rest of the state’s agriculture.

“Weed Is Sucking California Dry”

Although medicinal marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, the industry has suffered from lack of oversight from government officials. Farmers are inconsistently targeted for growing violations (which federal law still deems illegal, by the way). Earlier this year, a scathing environmental study accused some growers of diverting wild rivers, and the cannabis industry had a new problem: It became a scapegoat for the state’s water problems.

Publications scrambled to report the disturbing study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that claimed to find marijuana growers stealing water. Of four Northern California watersheds examined, three were threatened by illegal diversions, including creeks that were home to protected fish like coho salmon and steelhead trout. From Vice to PBS came the breathless assessment that Californians’ pot habits might actually be exacerbating the drought. My favorite headline was that California had been left “high and dry.”

It’s not very difficult to frame the state’s burgeoning marijuana industry as public enemy #1 when it comes to drought. Farmers are governed by a checkerboard of loose local ordinances which vary from county to county. But while the study was meant to bring attention to the environmental impact due to water diversions, it also inadvertently highlighted the need for consistent, universal regulations across the state.

Much more to read HERE.

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What is Black Garlic?

Black garlic is what you get when you heat whole garlic cloves at about 60ºC for around forty days in a relatively humid environment. The garlic turns black (or very dark brown) and becomes sweeter and more acidic, pliable, and sticky. It also loses the pungency of fresh garlic, allowing you to use those fruity, roasty, caramelized flavors in places where popping in a whole clove of garlic would be not so nice.

More to read on this HERE.

unplug 1013

Planned Parenthood changes fetal-tissue reimbursement policy

Responding to a furor over undercover videos, Planned Parenthood says it will maintain programs at some of its clinics that make fetal tissue available for research, but will no longer accept any reimbursement to cover the costs of those programs.

Continue reading HERE.

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AB Inbev agrees to buy SABMiller with a sweetened $106 billion offer.

  The Budweiser maker upped its offer to £69 billion, or a 50% premium on the company’s Sept. 14 closing share price when Anheuser Busch first made its offer. Once the deal is formalized, the new company will produce one in three beers sold globally; analysts believe its pre-tax earnings could reach $25 billion next year.

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I’ve spent a lot of time in airports. I’ve slept in them, hung out in them and I even worked in one for a while. I was not an airport employee, but my company rented an office at the airport for some reason. As a frequent traveler, I’ve had the pleasure of being in a lot of airports in various places. I don’t really know a lot about them, but I have noticed a lot about them.

What interests me is not the airports themselves as they are mostly the same as far as the bigger concepts. When you think about it, an airport is just a big bus stop. No, what I find interesting in airports and the air travel system is it is a great example of how societies evolve solutions to near term problems. Those solutions often turn out to be long term liabilities and you clearly see that with our air travel system. In some cases, they are crippling malinvestments.

If you were going to design an air travel system for North America, you would not replicate what’s in place. It does not make any sense and it is expensive. Instead you would look to maximize geography and technology. For instance, there’s no great technological hurdles to super sonic passenger planes. The Concorde started flying in the 70’s. The issue has always been that airports can’t handle it. The noise and the runways were the problem, not the plane.

Read all of this HERE.

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If nearly 40% of Americans aren’t working, what are they doing?

The most recent jobs numbers masked a dark story. Unemployment held steady at 5.1%, but only 59.2% of Americans have a job. The difference is the unemployment rate only counts people who don’t have a job and are actively looking for one. The labor force participation rate is perhaps a more accurate gauge of the economy. It includes people who’ve given up, don’t want to, or can’t work, and it fell to 62.4% last quarter. Labor force participation has fallen steadily since the start of the recession, and years into the recovery, shows no sign of turning around. It hasn’t been that low since 1977, and back then it was still common for women to be homemakers. The low labor force participation rate got Fed watchers talking that maybe an interest rate hike in December will be too soon.

Fed policy, of course, isn’t a magic cure-all for a sick labor market. If lots of people are out of the labor force because they are retired or can’t find work because their skills aren’t useful, low interest rates won’t do them much good. Whether or not low rates are still warranted depends on why so many Americans aren’t in the labor force anymore.

Some of the decline results from the fact that the population is older, which means more retirees per worker. The President’s Council of Economic Advisors estimates half of the decline (pdf) since the recession’s start can be blamed on an aging population. But lots of working age Americans, aged 16 to 64, aren’t in the labor force either. The figure below shows the labor force participation rate over the last 15 years by age group:

Finish reading the article by going HERE.

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