Online chat rooms, marijuana blogs, and Facebook roil with accusations of “pot traitors”—folk  who smoke or grow marijuana but voted no on 19. For instance Toke of the Town says,

“So-called “Stoners Against Prop 19” — traitors to the movement such as Dennis Peron, Dragonfly De La Luz and J. Craig Canada — whether through stunning ignorance or outright malice, spread disinformation about exactly what the measure would have done.”

Offered the opportunity to embrace the future, these reactionary elements formed a fifth column within the medical cannabis community.  For who knows what reasons — maybe the miserly interest of preserving big pot profits? — they shamelessly allied themselves with the law enforcement and prison lobbies, with the Religious Right, and with the same intolerant fundamentalists behind the No On 19 campaign — the very same people, in the case of one statewide organization, that headed up the Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage initiative two years ago.

“Legalization of pot rejected, and some people in the community are celebrating,” activist Mickey Martin wrote on Facebook. “So disgusting.”…

Martin on his Cannabis Warrior blog calls for a boycott of all these “traitors.”  He says, “They duped thousands of people into voting against not just their own best interest, but the interests of people across the globe who are counting on California to take this historic step. When Humboldt County votes no to legalizing pot there is a big fucking problem.”

Just at a time when branding Humboldt is beginning to take off—when local mom-and-pop farmers tentatively reach out to buyers with marketing designed to highlight the superior quality of Humboldt Homegrown—the growers of Humboldt have an image problem that may well slice off these new marketeers at their knees.  Richard Lee and Oaksterdam are perceived as the heros of smokers spending millions to legalize pot while the Emerald Triangle’s growers feature in an ugly lineup alongside Law Enforcement and the religious right in the nightmares of the cannabis consumer.

Hostility bubbles hotly throughout the forums.  One commenter named Kevin on the Cannabis Warrior blog spits angrily, “As far as I’m concerned, the DEA can open fire on the Emerald Triangle.”

Another on a Mother Jones story said, “I would encourage all in California to boycott weed grown in the Triangle, the citizens of which voted overwhelmingly against Prop 19 to protect their own profits. Let them choke on their own smoke.”

According to a piece in The Huffington Post,

If growers are against legalization, they can’t be part of the legalization process and now it’s up to them to show good faith support or be left out of the process,” says Conrad, who publishes West Coast Leaf. “That’s just political reality. The growers basically shot themselves in the foot. Prop 19 offered them a legal customer base, a statewide regulatory framework and a local voice to protect their interests. The next campaign is more likely to pitch a more restrictive approach to bring more conservative voters like Asians and housewives, who want heavy-handed controls, and will consider whether growers deserve any consideration at all. Those folks are unreliable at best, traitors to the cause at worst, and possibly a useful target to pit public opinion against as a foil for a winning campaign without a legal cultivation component.

“The growers lost a lot of potential influence on the process by showing a lack of political savvy,” Conrad continues. “They’ll possibly be grouped in with the narcs as being fundamentally opposed to legalization and not worth courting as an ally. So, they will need to come to the table with some proposals on how they would create a legal market for cannabis while protecting their interests, or they will be left out of the next round of decisions.”

Even though the reasons for 19’s loss probably rest with the non-marijuana world, the backlash of pro 19 against anyone perceived as having been anti 19 is building.  What are YOU going to do about it?  I suggest looking to HuMMAP and Humboldt Growers Association and the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board for some leadership on how to turn around this perception.