Into the Emerald Triangle

Travels with OC potrepreneur B. Lucky to California's marijuana breadbasket

Lucky isn't nervous driving with pot in his car inside the Triangle. Last year, a cop pulled him over while he was driving south to Orange County in an SUV. Following him at a safe distance was a tow truck hauling Lucky's other car, which happened to be laden with 100 pounds of marijuana. The cop, who had no idea about the tow truck, was nevertheless convinced Lucky was carrying weed in the SUV.

"You got some weed in the trunk?" the cop had asked. "You mind if I take a look?"

"No, it's cool," Lucky answered.

As he began to open the trunk, the cop stopped him. "If you've got 15 pounds in there, you're cool," he'd warned. "You've got 20; you get a ticket. You got anything more than 20, you've got a problem."

The worst time to be pulled over by a cop in the Emerald Triangle is at the end of the summer, Lucky says. "At the end of the season, when all the weed has to leave this area, 40 percent of the cops working up here are from Southern California, and they come up here just to rape the people, taking all their weed and money."

Between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, Lucky explains, roughly four out of every 10 cars on the road is loaded down with marijuana, and both the freeway and the small towns it crosses are crawling with narcs. They're watching the hotels, where East Coast buyers stay for a week before blowing through half a million bucks, arranging pot deals, as well as the gas stations and car washes. "You never want to drive into town with mud all over your truck," he says. "That's a sign right there that you've just driven off the mountain, and that's probable cause. That's the first lesson of coming off the mountain :Clean your car. And never fucking stay at one of the shitty motels in town; they're crawling with undercover cops. It's so stupid that people think it's cool to do that."

Having made the trip south to Orange County more times than he can remember, Lucky has learned all the secrets to successfully smuggling weed, which is why he's hasn't been caught.

"You get your truck loaded down—I would never go over 150 or 200 pounds—and you get the fuck off the mountain at 4:30 in the morning on a Monday, and you're in the rush-hour traffic headed to work," he says. "There are so many thousands of cars on the roads that their odds of being able to pick somebody are just shattered, and your odds of getting through are that much more increased. Drive the speed limit and try to stay close to cars that are shady-looking—teenagers, kids—anyone who looks more suspicious than you."

*    *    *

Willits, California, is the hometown of the world-famous Skunk Train and the birthplace of the Proto Pipe, a small, metal contraption that allows you to store a gram of pot in a chamber that screws into the pipe and is held in place by a small poker that you can pull out and push into the holes in the bottom of the bowl for cleaning purposes. After dining on pizza at a restaurant there, we stop by a head shop north of town. The shop reeks of weed, and when we walk in, the red-eyed fellow working the cash register hastily puts out his joint in an ashtray.

Now that we've made it through most of the Triangle, Lucky is eager to purchase a smoking device so he can start puffing once we're back on the road. As he peruses the hundreds of glass pipes on display, he tells the cashier about the cop who was prepared to let him off for carrying anything less than 20 pounds of weed. The cashier's Latino friend, who is rolling joints on the countertop, curses in disgust.

"You have to be fucking white for that to happen," he fumes. "Because that shit does not happen to me. The cops up here will fuck with a local any time of day. The only people he won't pull over are a bunch of dread-headed niggas because he'll know he'll get shot."

The pissed-off joint-roller glances over at the cashier. "That shit ever happen to you?" he asks. "Get let go with 10 pounds?"

"Fuck no, never," the cashier responds.

Lucky's story seems to irritate the cashier. "You're lucky you're not from here," he continues. "You're from here and get pulled over with 15 ounces, and you're going straight to Lodi. You ever spend three nights in a holding cell with no shirt on, dog? Sleeping on concrete? Now, we've got all these fucking people coming here who are filling up the county—all these fools who think marijuana is legal. It may be legal everywhere else, but the reality up here is much more brutal."

Lucky selects a hookah-shaped pipe with a large glass bowl that can be filled with water and is designed to fit inside a car's beverage holder. As he pays, the cashier offers us some parting words of advice. "My family goes back four generations up here," he begins. "They lived here, they never left, and they're not going away, no matter what comes here or goes from here. There are a lot of people buried in these hills, bro. It's a lot deeper than just fucking scratching the surface. I wouldn't scratch too deep."

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10 comments
concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana. The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. Email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... and ask them to sign on as a CO-SPONSOR of HR 2306. For more info, here’s the USA Today articlehttp://content.usatoday.com/co... And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom-loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

concernedparentandtaxpayer
concernedparentandtaxpayer

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana. The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. Email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Ele... and ask them to sign on as a CO-SPONSOR of HR 2306. For more info, here’s the USA Today articlehttp://content.usatoday.com/co... And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom-loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

Keiang
Keiang

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Advocate for Disability Rights
Advocate for Disability Rights

In response to Concerned Citizen's letter, this issue has become very unsettling for the naïve and willfully ignorant.

In the early days of our nation, the hemp plant (a.k.a. cannabis) proved a valuable resource for hundreds of years, instrumental in the making of fabric, paper and other necessities. It is important for citizens to understand that prior to the early 1930’s many of the medicines available to the public were sensibly based on cannabis. It was only after William Randolph Hearst demonized marijuana (because the growing of hemp was cutting into his paper-production profits), that “reefer madness” became the nouveau hysteria. To be clear, society was deprived of this relatively harmless medicinal herb to satisfy the greed of an extremely wealthy and influential newspaper magnate.

Some say they are concerned with abusers. Can anyone describe what a cancer patient or one with AIDS looks like? What about someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis, chronic pain or migraines? Has our population taken up practicing medicine without a license? The reality is that we don’t know what condition people are using medicinal cannabis for any more than we can identify why they might be filling a prescription for Prozac, Vicodin or Morphine (highly addictive drugs) at the local drug store. And, it is not up to us to decide upon medical treatment for another person—that must remain between a doctor and their patient.

Are there abuses? In fact, prescription pain killers, sleep aids and psychotrophic drugs top the list of drug abuse in this nation. Over 100,000 people die from side effects of “legitimate” prescription drugs every year in the U.S. Yet, do we ban or severely restrict pharmacies? Abuses happen in all facets of society, but to deprive people of needed a medication because of those who may misuse it is cruel and inhumane.

When Proposition 215 was passed by the compassionate voters of California in 1996, they asked the state and federal governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. The government has been sorely negligent in this endeavor. The dispensaries and growers have filled in that gap. So, Concerned Citizen if you are angry, call and write to your government officials demanding that they fill this critical need and end the quagmire that they have cultivated.

The one thing that is dreadfully certain in this whole scenario is that each and every one of the readers of our letters will die someday. How they die and how much they or their loved ones will suffer may depend on their access to medical marijuana. Be very careful about what you condemn today, especially that which you may be crying for tomorrow.

Diana LejinsAdvocate for Disability Rights

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Ego
Ego

i'm studying horticulture at fullerton college and know exactly what Dave is talking about :]

Concernedcitizen
Concernedcitizen

This article is about an illegal drug trafficker who hides under the guise of medical marijuana, and "Lucky" should be prosecuted for trafficking over state lines and owning, leasing, or making a property available for the sole intent to "sell or distribute" drugs. Nick you should be ashamed of yourself for spending time with someone who violates state laws as well as federal laws. Lucky claims to be a director of a large Orange County medical marijuana club, then goes on to say that he has "140 pounds sitting in New York right now that's turning to powder because it's not the right strain. I can't move it for any price. Its a quarter of a million dollars worth of shit sitting in Manhattan that nobody can touch, and thats just so fucked up."No whats fucked up is that Nick Schou knows who this person is and won't turn him over to authorities.... (you should be subpoena to find out who is in charge of this large drug trafficking operation)This whole article seems to describe the Continuing Criminal Enterprise law.... and for those who don't know what that is, heres the definition...its a United States federal law that targets large-scale drug traffickers who are responsible for long-term and elaborate drug conspiracies...

Ego
Ego

you are the problem Nick Schou is the solution

 
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