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Happy birthday, America! 

Back when I was just a reckless teenage office machine, I learned the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents were written on hemp paper, and being an experimental teen, I immediately thought how rad it would be to roll up a big blunt and smoke the Declaration of Independence. So rad!

Of course, the hemp paper thing is a myth, and hemp doesn't even get you high. Teen logic, amirite? It makes me feel a little better knowing that Betsy Ross sewed the first U.S. flag from hemp fibers, so there's that.

All this comes to mind because the United States of America just turned 241 years old, and we celebrated our secession from Great Britain by saluting our Chinese-made flags, eating processed meat-like products, and drinking shitty beer made from GMO corn. Some of us in California also smoked legal weed. We're the land of the free, after all!

Of course, not everyone agrees with our freedoms, and I'm not talking about ISIS, Russia, and North Korea. I'm talking about actual California municipalities that are having a hard time accepting that marijuana is now legal for recreational use. State law from voter-approved Proposition 64 takes effect in January 2018, so cities such as Arroyo Grande are racing to create their own laws that will limit residents' legal right to smoke doobies, eat pizzas, and watch Golden Girls marathons. Don't tread on me, Arroyo Grande!

Originally, AG didn't allow legitimate medical marijuana patients any legal way to obtain their medicine, forbidding brick-and-mortar as well as mobile dispensaries. That meant patients had to either leave the area to fill their prescriptions or get weed the old fashioned way, on the black market. Well, newly enlightened AG has finally allowed a mobile dispensary to deliver to city marijuana patients! God bless America! Let freedom ring!

So far Cynthia Gonzalez, owner and operator for Elite Care Enterprises, has been awarded the only license to operate, but AG says it could issue two more. Oh my! Three whole licenses? So progressive! But riddle me this, jokers: What about capitalism, competition, and the will of the people?

Think about it. Why should Arroyo Grande Interim Police Chief Beau Pryor have the final say on who is approved for a permit? What right does the city have to limit competition? If Rite-Aid wants to set up shop across from CVS, does the city get to say, "No way, man. We already have too many pharmacies?" Isn't the whole idea of capitalism to allow markets to set prices and decide who survives based on business acumen and efficiency?

Now the City Council has begun to discuss how they'll handle recreational cannabis, and early indications suggest they're going to handle it a lot like medical, meaning limited personal indoor cultivation, no outdoor personal or commercial cultivation, and no brick-and-mortar dispensaries. On top of that, they're sticking to the three licenses idea for—get this!—both medical and recreational! How is it that a city police chief gets to arbitrarily decide who gets to do business and who doesn't? More importantly, how do they plan to enforce this nonsense?

At least one AG councilmember, Tim Brown, found the pretense of issuing licenses laughable.

"There were close to 30 or 40 that were already delivering to our town, so the whole thing was kind of silly," Brown said. "I really question, in terms of staff time and effort and energy, whether we should be limiting three delivery services when we know that doesn't happen now. It's a complete farce. Whether I like it or not, that's the reality."

Like Jurassic Park's "life," "capitalism" finds a way! That's what a black market is all about! If you're not going to let people do business legally, they'll do it illegally. And isn't legal better? Check out Flavor writer Hayley Thomas Cain's story, "Dank dinner served!" on page 46, about a weed wedding, which hints at weed's future.

As Le Festin Events owner Korinna Peterson said of the cannabis-centric nuptials, "Most of the people here are hoping that 2017 is the time when cannabis is looked upon as nonchalantly as a drink at a bar. I'm hoping it can be fully integrated soon, safely, legally, and happily."

To rephrase New Hampshire's state motto, "Live free and high!"

Speaking of freedom of choice, the Cayucos Elementary School District is trying to figure out what to do about their lack of a high school: 1) do nothing and send high schoolers to Cambria's Coast Union High or allow parents to request paperwork to send their kids to Morro Bay High; 2) build their own high school; or 3) dissolve their district and join the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, effectively sending kids to Morro Bay High.

Cayucos allowed board member Ron Wilson to create a "fact" sheet to help parents decide, except he forgot to check his facts or even get input from San Luis Coastal or Coast Unified. According to San Luis Coastal Assistant Superintendent Ryan Pinkerton and Coast Union Superintendent Victoria Schumacher, Wilson didn't consult with them or even the state's education website, which calls his "facts" into dispute. Community response letters claim Wilson's document is full of "personal opinions" and is "not accurate."

Thank goodness for freedom of speech. Let's hope Ron's kids weren't homeschooled. Δ

The Shredder loves freedom so much it wants to marry it. Send ideas and comments to


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