Fishing in Public

Let’s start a weed farm!

Hey pardners! How goes the battle? Swell, I hope.

I was readin’ the paper at Fresh Approach the other morning and seen this thing ’bout new railroad lines coming into Portland from outlying areas. Great — bring more folks to town to work the new pot farm!

“What new pot farm?” you ask. The one I’m proposing to the City of Portland is what one. And now please hear me out. My idea may take care of a couple of problems.

I got this idea thinking about how they ran the homeless shelter in Frisco. They bring everybody to the intake in town, then they give ’em a choice: either hit the skids or spend all the time you’d care to at a credible, working farm. Why shouldn’t we do the same damn thing at the new shelter they want to build out on Riverside Street? Except we do a pot farm, mainly, with some other produce on the side. You dig?

We got the room out there, alright. And the real beauty of it is you’ve got homeless folks working in a clean, stable and, above all, healthy environment. We could bring immigrant folks that are trying to get on their feet out there too. It’d be a sound investment all around, I believe — bring in more money for the city budget.

Some growers might say, “Hey, the government’s trying to steal our biz!” Well, I guess we can do two things about that. One, hire a good fucking lawyer to tie it up in court for eons, at least until we’re making a profit. Another: simply ask people to be considerate and generously see it from our point of view.

I know there’d be some problems. I mean, hey, you gotta babysit folks in a Mary Jane factory. No one’s wearing a halo. May be a little pilferage and such. But they might prove to be top-notch farm hands, from what I’ve witnessed. And farming’s just one of many useful skills they’ll pick up. There’s bookkeeping, construction — gotta build greenhouses here in Maine — and making all the marijuana products. That means cooking, baking, some basic chemistry — hell, even pharmacology!

Yeah, I figure medical-grade weed is the way to go. All sorts of studies been done on the medical benefits of weed — and we can do our own studies at the farm — but believe me, I’ve got first-hand knowledge of this. Once I happened to come across some FDA-approved medical marijuana pills while I was sick as a dog and not hungry enough for the nutrients I needed to get better. I damn near ate myself silly! Emptied my fridge, my kitchen cabinet, and anything the store’d sell me, for Christsake. I mean, this shit works.    

Unfortunately, for different reasons, not all folks would take to a farming lifestyle. Some almost seem to enjoy the drink/drugs/shelter way of things. But as I witnessed in Frisco, plenty of others really enjoyed pulling up their bootstraps and getting a good grip on life. I call it the “Green Acres” lifestyle.

A study was done by Bowler, Buyung, Knight and Pullin that found just being out in nature makes people feel better. Most definitely better than being surrounded by cars and concrete all day. 

Back to the immigrants for a minute. Not only are they working and learning skills, they’re rubbing elbows with Americans, picking up the language. And it goes both ways — the homeless’ll learn things from them and hear their stories, get inspired, just like what happened to me with the drivers who brought me back and forth to the clinic.  

If the medical weed thing’s too much, there’s always hemp. Ever since Britain forced American settlers to grow hemp for its value making rope, folks been experimenting to figure out what else can be made out of this wonder product. I once had a pair of hemp sandals, myself.

It’s all entirely legit, if under .3 percent THC, according to the long arm of the law. And it can be grown all over creation! I’ve seen wild weed growing as far as the eye can see out in Kansas — the good stuff, of course.

This is a no-brainer! Maybe the best idea I’ve had since Women’s Dress-Up Day. Boy, in one step you’ve taken many homeless off the street, giving them a sense of accomplishment and having a constructive future. And folks seeking asylum, too. You’ve really laid out the welcome mat. All while making products that benefit even more people, plus profits the city can use to lower taxes or, I dunno, maybe keep the fuckin’ sidewalks clear of ice and snow!

Christ, you gotta admit one thing: it’d be better than what we got now.