Saturday, May 28, 2016

Roadside Ruminations

Before we get too far from Oregon, a couple of thoughts that came along during our hours in Oregon.

1. All that grass, part 1:  So, there are many, many fields of grass being grown for seed in Oregon. We passed miles of pastures that had beautiful tall grasses which we wondered about, and later learned are a seed crop. I am willing to concede that a landowner certainly has a right to grow - or not grow - whatever suits his or her fancy on private land. And I cannot reasonably object to growing a crop that does not need to be irrigated. This is just grass, growing when it gets rain, and eventually being harvested for some money. Seems okay.
Tall fescue, grown for seed
But there is something just a bit perverse to me about using such lovely arable land to produce a product that can't be eaten, and will just consume water later on, when it is planted on someone's lawn. And that's all it will do. We asked if the rest of the grass after harvest is used for feed, and were told no, the field stubble is burned. So yuck. In addition to sucking up water once the product is put into use, and producing no real food value for humans or livestock, it pollutes the air.  Not that anyone is asking me, but I vote no on this particular land use.

2. All that grass, part 2: Every town we went through in Oregon had a pot dispensary. I mean EVERY town. You get where you notice the green crosses. Interesting names. Today we saw "A Greener World." Funny. But these were towns with a couple of hundred of people. And I thought, "can a town this size really support a dispensary?  Is everyone in Oregon high all the time?" It didn't seem like it. Other than the occasionally whiff as a car went by (troubling) we didn't notice it. But there certainly is a booming business underway. I wonder at the economics of it.

I thought perhaps some of the larger cities might have enacted ordinances prohibiting sales. So perhaps folks from Portland or Seattle were driving out to the country to get their pot. But no, I have seen the dispensaries everywhere. So this is a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe it is a bit like those stalls at antique markets.  There are always people who are collectors, and when they collect too much, they start to sell it. Perhaps all these pot sellers are just folks who are user/growers with excess inventory, looking to cash some of it out.

By the way, those sign twirlers that you see here and there, hawking insurance, new homes or tax services on the corners?  I saw one today that had a big old arrow touting "$7 grams." I guess it's all part of the new economy.


  1. Don't bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to me....

  2. I would be more concerned with all of the discarded alcphol bottles you see on the side of the road then with smelling pot coming out of a car. Marijuana use is as prevelent to younger generations as alcohol, and less dangerous. I would be willing to guess that a lot of people go to small
    towns or other places to buy as it is so taboo, so that's probably how these places survive.

  3. There is no question, I am concerned about DUI in any form.

  4. I have thought several times this past week that pot brownies would no doubt be superior to norco and now 600 mg Motrin to manage my pain and frustration. I think Kaiser should be the first health care provider in CA to offer this choice. Maybe you can be the middle woman in the supply chain Kathy as there seems to be a glut of product up that way!


I'd love to hear from you, but want to know who you are. If you are not registered to comment, please include your email in your comment so I can respond directly to you.