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Marijuana plants
<p>Photo: Christopher Furlong, Getty Images.</p>

Do not call them 'pot plants' - they're 'trees'

It’s all a matter of terms these days.

Anyone who follows politics and pays attention to the choice of words is aware that many of them are likely borne out of a phrase I first heard in college called “political correctness.”

That’s why several paragraphs into a story out of the LA Times made me laugh out loud.

The headline was certainly catchy – “Will ‘Big Marijuana’ obliterate the small family farms of Mendocino County?

For those who’ve never been to Mendocino County, it’s certainly a trip back in time when patchouli and beads were popular. The view from the cliffs at Mendocino Point overlooking the Pacific Ocean is as breathtaking as it is therapeutic.

This is arguably where some of the best “weed” in the world is grown. But don’t call it “weed.”

According to the Times article, the trio of marijuana farmers interviewed for the aforementioned story chose to farm in Mendocino County because it is “friendly to small growers” and is known for producing the highest quality cannabis.

Locals apparently don’t use the word “plants” to refer to their cannabis. They apparently like the word “trees,” which are capable of producing several pounds of “manicured flowers” worth upwards of $1,200 to $1,500 per pound, according to the article.

That sure beats the price of almonds!

Within the tone of the story is the struggle of the little farmer over the “corporate” farmer. Also within the article is the idea of the organic farmer growing a healthy product versus ones “tainted” with pesticides.

A little further into the story we read about how the young farmers were forced to pull an entire “grow” because the clones they planted became infested with mites.

Now there’s a businessman for you. Someone has already figured out how to clone pot plants – oops, “Trees.”

Though not entirely legal in California (yet), it’s not difficult to see where this could lead. Legalized marijuana “grows” of “trees” that produce “manicured flowers” could be regulated by the state to produce tax revenue. Then, those wanting to produce large quantities of “flowers” could plant their “trees” in rows that could be mechanically harvested by machines sold by equipment dealers.

Of course, the Department of Pesticide Regulations would need to be involved after the companies that make insecticides apply for a label to treat these “trees” for mites and other troublesome insects.

There would also need to be a state commission – a marketing order, if you will – to promote “California Grown.” That has a nice ring to it.

As you can imagine, lawyers are already involved. An attorney who specializes in marijuana law was quoted in the story suggesting cannabis farmers make nice with lobbyists at the state capitol for reasons that are painfully obvious to the rest of the farming community.

So there you have it. I predict that medical and recreational marijuana will have to be legalized in California because government cannot tolerate unregulated farmers growing an organic product they sell direct to consumers.

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