The Mild, Mild West and Marijuana


There have been two changes since the last long-time post.

Before I tell you what’s different, I’d better explain a little bit, so you don’t click the delete button, thinking you’re reading about a different Universe.

Change 1:

Now keep in mind, most of Oregon’s population lives on the west side of the state. The side that’s only an hour away from sandy beaches or snow-capped mountains, depending on which direction you drive.

The rest of Oregon … well, we call it the “dry side.” About the only way they get rain is in a prayed-up frenzy.


We don’t need no sanitation. The alcohol will kill germs AND remove road tar.

But truth be told, with so few people navigating the gut-jiggling roads, the dry side used to be a great place to cook up 100-proof hooch.

Back in the day, if you needed to make a phone call, you went to your nearest moonshiner. The “shiners” were the only ones who could afford a phone. It was a business expense. With only one way through the pass, revenuers would  travel through the first town, and phones would ring down the train line. Smoke stacks on stills came down (the tell tale sign). And the government men were left staring at ranches, cattle, and tight-lipped folks.

Fast forward a hundred years to Oregon’s recently-passed marijuana bill. It’ll soon be legal to grow 4 plants and stockpile 8 oz. (A pound is worth ~$1600. Better than beef prices, huh!). But I don’t think personal possession is the main reason the bill passed.

Turns out revenues of the green stuff are expected to top 100 million bucks a year.

Now, I’m not a partaker of anything that slows down my remaining 3 brain cells. Me with toe tag(I still roll call through cats and kids before I can get my husband’s name to come out in a sentence. My conscious mind doesn’t need any more fog.

But hokey smokes…I rubbed my hands together and thought, Here’s an opportunity to make some big moola. So my first question was…

Will the deer and squirrels get high when they eat my cash crop? Because those *&!%#! creatures chew on everything in my garden that my neighbor’s wandering hound hasn’t wet down.

Unfortunately, according to the Master Gardner at the farmer’s market…well, who else was I going to ask? According to him, marijuana doesn’t kill deer (the cursed tomato-hogging creatures), nor does it get them stoned. Probably all it does is give them the munchies for my roses.

It also turns out that to be a commercial grower, I need a license which costs $1,000 with a $250 application fee. (Additional licenses are needed for processing, distributing, and retailing).

Local horticulturists are now rushing to secure warehouse spaces in the metro areas (grow indoors, free of deer, bugs and eternal cloudiness). And the clever folks on the southern tail of the state (near California) are buying up land and branding their hemp crops as “sunshine” produced. For the laid-back American West…things are picking up.

All this and none of it will be available for sale until 2016.

But the west side of the state is gearing up. Getting ready!! I’ll keep you posted…

…..Everything’s changing

….except back on the east side of the state.

Unfortunately, none of this will help the dry side of Oregon. It’s still dry. Even the moonshiners are gone now.

The train cars are still there, but only an occasional locomotive chugs through to pick up a few box cars parked on the tracks.

Everything has its day, then passes.

This latest excitement with bongs and branding shall pass, too. But I bet a hundred years from now those deer will still be eating my roses and folks in eastern Oregon will still be looking for rain.

 Change 2:

What else is different? The first book in the Two Pan Trilogy is out.

It’s about the dry side of the state where it’s still wild.  But changes of another sort are

Change is Coming by Jacki Potorke

rolling toward them.

You can Check it out here if you’d like.

I hope you enjoy what’s left of the West.

NEXT MONTH:  What’s the big deal with DEER NUTS?

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Change, Humor, Life, Literature and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to The Mild, Mild West and Marijuana

  1. Have bought the first book on Amazon, can’t wait to read it!


  2. Barb, glad you are back on the blog! I’ve missed you!


  3. souldipper says:

    Barb, our little island is laden with Bambis of every size. The Brats! But I got a great idea about what to do with the little munchkins. One year, I went to New Zealand and discovered they were “farming” deer. Yah…deer ranches. They had to do something with the overpopulation and began herding them into Deer Ranches. We’d see helicopters delivering live deer to ranches…hanging from the chopper in a net, legs wriggling like half-limbed spiders.

    So those clever Kiwis let the Europeans know they had lots of exquisite venison. YUM… Next, called up the Chinese to ask about their sex lives. Not so hot? Have we got a deal for you. Then they told the Koreans they had luscious velvet from the horns – aplenty. The Chinese and Koreans, believe that part of the anatomy provides a potent aphrodisiac.

    I learned that it is way cheaper to feed deer than cattle. They don’t ruin fields with close grazing like sheep and they are not susceptible to disease like domestic animals.

    So I came back to Canada dreaming of turning my 5 acres into “Amy’s Endearment”. I went to the gov’t to get the licensing and found out they just made a law that wild animals were not allowed to be kept. “What about the buffalo that are on ranches in the interior?”
    “Any born now have to be turned out into the wild.”
    “Reindeer herds?”
    “Same. Same with all wild animals.”
    Well, guess what. The Gov’t was full of poop. Those wild life ranches still carry on and I’m not the least bit surprised. And let me tell ya…if they freed those huge buffalo? I’d be the one pooping when I found one munching on my roses!


    • Barb says:

      What a great story, but I’m sorry you couldn’t go through with your plans to “farm deer”. (I agree with you…”The Brats!”. I wonder how the “animal ranches” stay alive when they allegedly have to turn out the “new stock” to the wild. Maybe we should go into caterpillar farming?


  4. dorannrule says:

    Wellcome back Barb! I had no idea Oregon had a “dry side.” And all that moonshining makes it a historical mecca too. And now with all that potential to attain great wealth by simply growing things in my garden, I may consider moving to Oregon. 🙂


  5. pegoleg says:

    Nice to see you back in the saddle again, Barb. Good luck with the book project – you’re inspiring!


    • Barb says:

      Thanks. I think about my parents who worked in town all day and then came home and worked on the farm until it got too dark to see, and then…after supper…Mom sat down to sew school clothes. It makes me exhausted everytime I think of them. I’ve got a long way to go. Thanks for stopping by.


  6. I enjoyed this post. Mostly I get furious at Colorado and Oregon, but I see–as in Nevada–it can balance a few budgets.


  7. Hello there Barb, you funny lady you! Happy New Year to you too. A grand update, and the first photo is over the top gorgeous. Cheers!


    • Barb says:

      Hi, Margie. The photo reminded me of something you would’ve taken. It’s borrowed. I wish I had your eye for framing and composing. Happy New year.


  8. What a great way to start the new year! It was great to see a smile-worthy post from you again. I hope you hang around with us in the blogosphere for a while. Welcome back.



    • Barb says:

      Thanks Susan. Remember that time I made you editor of the Two Pan Tattler? It’s time to go back to visiting people again. Thanks for replying. I’m so glad to hear from you. Thanks.


  9. JustI says:

    Wow, my eyes almost fell out when I saw you pop up in my reader! Glad to have you back in the saddle, chasing rain and deer!


    • Barb says:

      Yeah, I suppose you could say I fell out of the saddle and have been dragging through another world of words. It’s soooo wonderful to hear from you again.


  10. Alice Lynn says:

    Good to have you back, neighbor! I’ll be on the list for the next book!


    • Barb says:

      What a sweetie cat you are. Since you’re so nice, I’ll send all the deer over to your side of town. P.S. Don’t worry about feeding them. They’ll make themselves right at home.


  11. Woo Hoo. How I have missed your take (toke?) on life.


  12. Helen Wand says:

    Being an amateur horticulturist, that is great information, Barb! It does seem like a ton o’ work to make $350 (if my math is correct) with all the fees associated with it. Actually, we have no idea how much the seed will cost, but my guess is we’d come out owing money! I for one am glad you’re back! I’ve missed your great wit! By the way, I love the Two Pan series and highly recommend it put on everyone’s to read list!


    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Helen, for your very kind words.
      My understanding is that growing MJ doesn’t take a large footprint. One wheat field could grow OREGON’s entire usage. That’s why it’s such a convenient indoor investment. Several crops can be turned out in a year. Where the poor farmers can only grow one crop a year. You’d think with all these growers, the price would drop to a pittance, but after legalization in Washington, the price is $4,000 per pound (because of all the taxes and fees). Seems strange. I’m not an economist. I can barely grow tomatoes, so I won’t be planting anything for the cursed deer.
      But I guess it will end up that Oregonians cross the border to Washington to get illegal firecrackers, and Washitonians come south to get cheaper weed.


  13. Rose L. says:

    Doesn’t Federal law trump state laws?? I believe feds say it is still illegal.


    • Barb says:

      I’m not sure how that works. I know that most of the revenue from sales is staying at state level, therefore, a lot of counties are creating NO-Grow Zones. They figure they don’t want to monitor it, if they aren’t getting cuts from it. In Oklahoma we had, Dry and Wet counties, depending on the sale of alcohol. Perhaps in Oregon we’ll start having Grow and No-Grow counties?


  14. Rose L. says:

    You were up at 4:38 am!!! Geesh! Someone I know always said he would be rich growing pot (about a dozen yrs ago) and I never thought I would see legalization. Only 4 plants? Hmmm, he has a field and a greenhouse full so may be illegal. Don’t know where tho. Deer nuts???? Now I am eager to read that one!! I am glad to see new blog post!!


  15. Al says:

    I may still be the only person my age in America who has never had a toak (toke?) of marijuana. It’s not that I’m sheltered, it’s just that you have to smoke it and smoking just doesn’t seem like a healthy thing to do. I mean, don’t we always AVOID smoke when we are near a fire?


    • Barb says:

      When I was in high school, I tried to smoke a Swisher Sweet cigar. I couldn’t believe anyone would inhale that stuff. It was probably the best thing I could’ve done because I was never tempted to smoke again.


  16. Barb says:

    Thanks Elyse. Now I feel like a need a vacation to start the new year.


  17. momaescriva says:

    Glad to have you back on the trail. Barb.


  18. Elyse says:

    Congratulations, Barb!!!! What a way to start the new year!


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