SEE ALSOMichael From the Muddle: Towards a Rational Cannabis Policy


One of my favorite websites to go to when I’m feeling down is “Hot Chicks with Douchebags.” It reminds me that whatever issues I’m having in life dwarf in comparison to the many men out there who give the male species a bad reputation.

We have our own version here in Humboldt County called “Humboldt Honeys with Dope Douchebags.” Typically this occurs at Costco where Dope Douchebag (“Double D-bag”), looking like a white trash version of fat Jesus, is pushing his flat cart filled with twenty bags of fertilizer, five cases of beer and two cartons of smokes.

When he reaches the cashier, Double D-bag reaches into his pocket and pulls out a phat wad of Benjies to pay for his supplies while everyone else in line all look at each other and roll our collective eyes.

At least Double D-bag has a Honey on his arm.

My female friends are a little more candid and call Honey something more blunt (no pun intended) – “grow-ho” or “pot-stitute.” She of quasi-hotness with her long hair braided on one side or full rasta dreadlocks, wearing a funky cap looking like she took a left turn at the ski lift line, the obligatory Che Guevara T-shirt (even though she has no idea who Che was), ripped jeans or short shorts ‘cuz someone’s gotta notice the bod, and calf-high UGGS as Birkenstocks are so last century, along with her assortment of tats, which she calls “my ink.”

Honey hangs with Double D-bag as someone’s gotta pay her bills. It’s not easy getting through HSU for her nursing/teaching degree in 8-12 years. She could get her degree sooner except those damn college classes keep getting it the way of her partying and sleep. Thank god she qualifies for student aid as her reported income is zippo with the IRS.

Good news for Honey is since Double D-bag hits the bong 6-8 times a day, he ain’t got much of a drive and she don’t gotta put out much.

It’s a tough life for Double D-bag and Honey living in a converted home where most of the square footage is taken up with plants (and I ain’t talking tomatoes). It’s also a hard playing Xbox till four in the morning, drinking beer and hitting the bong between binges of Cheetos and Pringles.

Thank god PG&E is there to offer subsidized electrical rates courtesy of all the other suckers (AKA: standard rate paying customers) as Double D-bag don’t show jack on his tax returns either. All these other communities better not get any ideas to follow the City of Arcata and go after us hard working medicinal providers with that damn excess utility users tax. (Rumor is, PG&E is supposed to cut anyone off the CARE program who uses more than six times the baseline electricity.)

Oh, did I mention Double D-bag pays sales tax?

Do you know what it’s like eating out at the restaurant of your choice every night and then having to hit the bars on the weekend? It’s takes hard work running up a $500 weekend tab at the local watering hole and then having to get this bill paid in cash every Monday.

Since people don’t tan in Humboldt, they rust, Honey is always lobbying for her next vaa-cay as Double D-bag has the cash to burn and she can’t get her sun on here. Honey has to decide whether it’s off to Costa Rica again or the latest Mexican, Caribbean or Mediterranean beach-of-the-month. Using her “charms” she’ll book their first class excursion and get the Visa bill paid at the bank with cash, natch.

Honey keeps threatening to get involved in local environmental politics, not because she cares so much about plants, but mainly she realizes that if pot is ever legalized her world will come to a crashing end and she might have to get one of those damn J-O-B-S again. Shudder. She’s done slinging booze. A barista? Please!

In the near future Double D-bag’s gonna have the hardest time adjusting to life once the feds decriminalize/legalize marijuana and the prices drop to around $25 a pound. If those damn corporations keep pumping out more supply and driving the prices even lower, he can’t make a profit with his utility bills at full boat. Between falling marijuana prices and increased utility bills, his profit margins are getting squeezed. Things got so bad, rumor is he asked Honey to go to the grocery store to buy something called “food” so she could make dinner. That was the last straw. Honey was overheard saying, “The only thing I make for dinner is reservations.” And with that she was gone. Gone, baby, gone, off to the next dope-daddy.

Other problem is Double D-bag’s smoking more and more of his supply as the dispensaries all have contracts with the corporations. Contracts? Hell, in the old days he used to make a cell call and drive to the Bay-A or LA to sell his product for cash. Now the dispensaries are required to give him a 1099, so he has to claim his marijuana sales on his tax returns and pay income taxes. What’s this world come to?

The big question is what becomes of the estimated 10,000 or so Humboldt folks currently working in the marijuana trade when (not if) marijuana becomes legalized. What will happen with our large number of under-educated, minimal job skills, low motivation work force? I don’t see a lot of Times-Standard or Craig’slist want ads for “workers who show up late smelling of skunk, have blood-shot eyes, perform poorly and expect to get paid in cash.” Do you?

NOTES: True story… a couple of years ago a Honey thought it would be cool idea to open up a coffee house/café in Old Town. Double D-bag fronted the cash. Only problem was Honey didn’t want to open until 10 a.m. as she needed her beauty rest. Everyone kept telling her she had to open the doors at 6 a.m., which meant she had to be there by 5:30 a.m. (at the latest) to brew the coffee and have morning snacks for her customers. She said, “No, the customers are going to have to adjust to my schedule.” She also forgot to pay the employee payroll taxes (what are “taxes” again?), however the State Franchise Tax Board did not forget what she owed. Predictably, within six months they shut the doors. Somewhere between the marijuana alternative universe and real life, their worlds collided and it wasn’t pretty.

Matthew Owen is married to Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass. The words and thoughts expressed in his “Matthew in the Middle” Op-Ed columns are his own and protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. If you have issues with his opinions, by all means write your own damn Op-Ed. Just remember, you will have to sign your real name and that will eliminate 99.9% of the trolls out there.