Can Legalizing Marijuana Help Appalachia?

By Michael P. Tremoglie


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Will legalizing marijuana help or hinder some of the poorest of Americans? Appalachia has long been known for intractable poverty, coal and moonshine. But what many do not know is that marijuana is an Appalachian cash crop.

Some say it will only help; after all, Appalachians make quite a bit of dough from grass. “Outdoor cannabis cultivation is common throughout the Appalachia…region,” reads a June 2007 report by the Department of Justice (DOJ). “The number of outdoor plants eradicated from grow operations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia increased from 1,004,329 in 2005 to 1,252,524 in 2006. Cannabis cultivators deliberately locate outdoor grow sites in remote areas of public and private lands to reduce the chance of discovery by passersby or law enforcement and, more commonly, to protect their crops from theft. Cannabis is cultivated in Kentucky on broad areas of privately owned land, in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and on the Cumberland Plateau.”

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What coca leaves are to the mountain people of Peru, marijuana is to the mountain people of America. These growers take their their marijuana cultivation seriously, too. They are not shy about using lethal force to protect it. The DOJ describes some of the efforts to protect crops, “Cannabis cultivators frequently use camouflage, counter surveillance techniques, and booby traps to protect their outdoor grow sites. …These sites are often protected by armed guards who conduct counter surveillance. Moreover, the use of booby traps significantly increased in 2006….some cannabis cultivators used punji sticks, which may be camouflaged by leaves and brush or incorporated into pits and explosive devices, to reduce the risk of crop theft.”


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If you think this is bad you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet…





If you think this is bad you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet…

If there is ONE thing that I have learned from this life it is that you must be able to adapt to CHANGE.

Just when you think your life is settled into what it is going to be until you die, something comes along and blows it right out of the water. And then what? You start over…

You can NEVER depend upon things to be as you would want them to be. It just will not happen.

Even the thriftiest of investors have lost their lot in a matter of minutes and those who never had two cents have come to be millionaires. And that is just the financial side of it.

Birth, realization of impending death, unexpected death, marriage, divorce, loss of parents, loss of children either by death or other situations are but a few of the changes in life that we can depend upon.

The empty nest syndrome sometimes happens not because your children grow up and move away to their own lives, but because they for whatever reason do not like your life anymore and remove themselves from it. That equates to a death. The death of a marriage of not only a spouse, but the marriage that is entwined within the entire family.

Life throws so many curve balls at us that it is impossible to predict just what will happen next. But the ONE thing that you can ALWAYS depend upon is the unexpected.

Change…If you cannot live through change in this life you will never be able to make it.

My favorite self quotation when times are rough is, “if you think this is bad you ain’t seen nothing yet”, which has in my life always turned out to be very accurate …

and my favorite all around quote is “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”…

And for better or worse you can depend on that much to be true – “This too shall pass”, whether it be into another new, better, worse or indifferent phase you WILL pass. That is just life.

Expect the unexpected and be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen…

Be prepared for the worse when it DOES happen…

That is the hard part. Being prepared. You CANNOT be prepared for everything that will happen in your life. It is just not feasible to analyze all the expected and unexpected happenings of your life and be prepared for them physically, emotionally and financially. In fact, most of the time the “changes” that occur do so in a moment’s notice not giving us the warning of what is to happen so as to be able to “prepare” for the change.

Sometimes, a loss can be a gain. Or, otherwise said-turn your lemons into lemonade.

You have to at some point, either sooner or later, face the facts put in front of you, figure out what you “personally” believe in the most, what you can do the best with your aptitude, attitude and abilities and last but definitely not least—your life experiences, and then find a way to turn that into your “quest for life”.

That, I believe, is the key to what our life is supposed to be upon this Earthly planet.

It is intended to be an educational experience in all facets of human life from birth to death and beyond.

If “two heads are better than one” then just think how much information has been acquired from all of the people’s that have lived upon this “god given” planet since it first came into existence.

Yes, we are here for a reason, and yes, most of us will bear many crosses before we pass from this life to the next and yes, I do believe in “the next life” whether it be in a “heavenly home” or another round of “take him to Earth” again.

The best thing that we can do for ourselves in this life is to learn to accept the changes as they happen and to encompass them into our living experiences to move ourselves forward toward our ultimate goal of accomplishment or, “what you believe in the most”, so as to complete the cycle of life for which you were sent here for. Anything less is unacceptable. Giving up is just not an option in life, only in death.

So in order to remain happy, we must learn to suck up our disappointments in this life and apply our life experiences toward a goal of common good for all, including ourselves. You cannot give up your own belief’s to appease another and remain happy. It just does not happen that way. But if you are fighting a war toward a common good, even when the battles are at their roughest, you can remain happy because you are fighting for and working toward a “greater good” for all…

So whenever you are down and out think to yourself, “Damn, if it is this bad now, what the hell else is going to happen”, and “Damn, this too shall pass”, and get on with it.