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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester on Hunter's Point Shipyard
and California medical marijuana id card price hike


By h. brown


January 18, 2007

"It burned steadily in the rain for almost 2 weeks before the Navy admitted the earth was on fire. They had a hell of a time getting the fire out. Who knows what was burning like that? Then, they came in during another rainstorm and truck after truck poured concrete into the crevices left by the fire."

(Journal notes on Hunters Point Shipyard)

The San Francisco 49'ers had better look into the history of the parcel of land in the Hunters Point Shipyard that Gavin Newsom is offering them as a site for their new stadium. The fire and concrete pour go back around 10 years. I know because my students told me all about it.

I was teaching 'Severely Emotionally Disturbed' adolescents at Portrero Hill Middle School when the kids started talking about the fire at the shipyard. They lived down near the old naval base and came in complaining about how nasty the smoke was. We'd go out into the school yard around 2 miles from the site and watch the black smoke curl up into the sky day after day.

Do the 49'ers even realize the history of that place? Do they realize that the completion of the first two atom bombs took place at Hunters Point? Do they realize that for years the place served as a decontamination point for warships that had participated and in some cases, been targets for nuclear weapons testing? Oh yeah, what they did was pulled the ships into Hunters Point and sandblasted them and repainted them. Now, you don't think that all of that lead paint that went into the Bay down there is still radioactive do you?

Don't consider any deal that puts your fans over a nuclear waste dump, Niner brass. The mayor's developers will be long gone by the time the first lawsuits start coming in for the housing and businesses constructed there. The names of each of these enterprises ends in the same way. 'LLC', that's what it says. I believe that stands for 'Limited Liability Company'. Their liability ends when they've cashed your last check and deposited the receipts in the Cayman Islands. Yours will just be beginning. It's only prudent that you spend a few bucks doing some test drilling around the site the City is pushing at you. Bring a Geiger counter.

Medicinal Pot takes big hit

The total cost of purchasing a medical cannabis patient card has gone from $150 to $300 dollars a year. Lay that on Gavin Newsom who cancelled the CCSF pot card program and passed it on to the state and to Ross Mirkarimi who didn't complain when he did so.

This is a friggin' disaster. Now, I told everyone involved that this would happen from the start and none of the dipshits listened to me.

I told Ross Mirkarimi that the best procedure for licensing pot outlets was to give them a certificate (limited edition) allowing them to move their businesses under the roof of any pharmacy or liquor store. I ranted about how insane it was to set up an entirely new industry that had to go through Planning department and the Board of Appeals and whatever.

I told him that people would take payoffs at every juncture and that only the rich would be able to afford a license to distribute pot. Well, I was right.

Thus far, there are 2 pot clubs certified to do business in San Francisco and all of the remaining clubs are required to have approved certificates within the next 6 months. That means that 38 clubs will either go out of business or pump a whole lot of money into bribing planners or politicians or members of the Board of Appeals in order to stay in business. Only the lawyers are happy.

Mirkarimi and Newsom are idiots on so many levels in this matter that it is hard to calculate which move was the dumbest.

We could start with the pot cards. When the City handled the matter, you got together with 3 friends and divided the cost of a doctor's visit and 3 caretaker cards. AT $150 for a doctor's visit and $25 each for 4 cards, for a total of $250, you could have a legal license to purchase whatever amount of 'medicine' (and, it is) you needed for about 5 bucks a month. I think that's less than Costco. If the 'patient' member of your little cabal was fortunate enough to get a 2 year prescription, your costs were halved.

Now, the cost for the 4 people is $300 each per year. And, almost no one bought the cards last year cause they didn't want to give information on themselves and their doctors to the Republicans who run the state at this moment if you didn't know. A Sacramento paper reported that less than 6,000 of the estimated 300,000 legitimate pot patients statewide applied for cards. That's 2% of patients. Now, let's talk about caregivers. While the City allowed for 3 caregivers for each patient, the state (except in extraordinary circumstances) allows for only 1. That cuts your network by half. Let's bottom-line this.

There are 36 million people in California. A conservative estimate is that 3 million of them partake of pot for reasons ranging from alleviating the pain from terminal cancer, to lowering the stress level your prick boss laid on you that day.

So, less than 10,000 of 3 million smoke pot legally in California? Yep, it's about that and that's just the way the Bush White House wants to keep it.

San Francisco's pot legislation is a massive failure. Supervisor Mirkarimi and the mayor should put their heads together and figure out a way to bring back CCSF medical pot cards.

They should also re-construct the enabling legislation to cut out the Planning department and the Board of Appeals. Licenses should piggyback on liquor and pharmacy licenses.


Priced at retail, I smoke around $2,000 worth of pot a year. Of course I couldn't afford that, so I depend upon the charity of friends. But, keep that number in mind. I smoke around an eighth of an ounce a week. An eighth at retail (when you're lucky) costs $40. Which means that I smoke somewhere around a half pound a year.

If you know what you're doing, you can get more pot than I smoke every year out of just a single plant. Before the SFPD brought in the DEA to crush every club that sold actual seedling plants, you could get one for around ten bucks. I don't know where the hell you'd buy a plant around here now. But, say you could. Say, you buy 3 and put them in the earth somewhere. One will make it and your yearly cost for the weed that brightens and soothes goes from a couple of grand down to fifty to a hundred bucks. Down from forty bucks a week to two bucks a week.

Solution? Mark Leno sponsored a feel-good resolution when he was running for Assembly. It asked the people of SF if they thought that the City should consider growing it's own pot. The voters said, 'Yes!'. Overwhelmingly. It's time for the City to take that step and offer seedlings for sale to the public. Last week the feds put some poor grandmother in prison for raising medicinal pot. Next year, let's see the mayor and Mirkarimi standing in front of the growing grounds. If you're going to take credit for bringing the monster to life, you gotta take responsibility for him when he gets out of control.

You call this a homecoming?

I had myself one hell of a great time cat-sitting Alexandra Jones' museum/flat for the past month. Coming back home to my Tndc SRO was something else again. "Did you get the money?" That was my sister in St. Louis who usually sends me a hundred bucks every Christmas. Last year she sent cash and it disappeared. I told her to never send cash but she did again this year. It disappeared somewhere in between the hotel's front desk and me. This time she did send it by registered mail and the clerk who signed for it admitted getting the mail but had no idea what happened to it. The management was equally unhelpful. Would that it was the only downer.

My room had been flooded while I was gone. The ceiling light fixture was awash in about a half gallon of water. Two computer monitors, a small TV and a printer had caught the brunt of the flood. The family bible was soaked but I kept it anyway while I threw the rest out. I'd lost books, cd's and stacks of notes. An assistant manager promised to come up and survey the damage. He didn't show. A maintenance man installed a couple of new lights in the ceiling fixture but it all stopped working an hour after he left.

Is someone or something trying to send me a message to get the hell out of here? How can I do that? Tndc, which runs the building came up with a new lease last month that a lawyer friend told me not to sign. It indemnified them from plague and pestilence just for starters. When I wouldn't sign, they told me that they were going to re-do the whole building, starting with my tier and I'd be getting a notice to move … somewhere else after the first of the year. Promised to get me a new place.

More lies. When I went to the office to ask about the flood and the theft of my mail and the new lease, the new assistant (they change staff very, very rapidly in this place - 44 McAllister) … the new staff said they had not idea what I was talking about. They'd not heard of an impending remodel or anything of the like. I guess it was just pressure tactics to force me to sign their new lease.

Those who are friends, don't worry. The place is warm and I'm scrubbing it. I have a working computer made from parts of other computers and as soon as Luke Thomas installs a program, I can watch the Board as usual. I would like to get out of here and try on another neighborhood but that will have to wait until Pelosi gets my Social Security flowing.

Something from nothing.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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