Report: Sexual Abuse, Disappearing Persons Common in NorCal Grow Country


“Verifying their stories is as difficult as finding your way through the forest at night.”

Here’s your daily round up of pot news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek

A major investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal project found “ dozens of accounts of sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking” in the northern California grow regions. In Humboldt County alone 352 people went missing, more per capita than any other county in California.

Every year visiting workers flock to northern California. Some of these “trimmigrants,” say they have been held against their consent, sexually assaulted or sexually exploited to receive their pay. It’s common for female trimmers to be paid extra to work topless. It appears that the vast majority of these cases never get reported.

“There’s a lot of wilderness here, and dirt roads and acres of forest,” said Amy Benitez, a victims’ advocate in Humboldt County. “There’s a lot of nooks and crannies you can hide in. You add this criminal element to it, where there’s money, and there’s just more ways that you can abuse power and control.”

Insys Therapeutics, an Arizona pharmaceutical firm, contributed $500,000 to oppose REC in the state. The company’s only available product is a powerful opioid painkiller approved for cancer patients.

In a prepared statement, the company said the proposed law “fails to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.” Insys is also developing at least one cannabinoid-based drug. The whole story in Arizona Capital Times is worth a read.

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected a bid to repeal rules that can disbar lawyers who work with cannabis companies.

Further MED delays are possible in Maryland as regulators seek to increase the diversity of business owners. The state awarded the first batch of licenses without regard for race.

An anti-REC group in California reported almost $1.3M in contributions from a retiree named Julie Schauer.

At Inc., Will Yakowicz looks at how the next president could reschedule marijuana.

The Compton (Calif.) Herald asked locals what they think of legalization.

In SFWeekly, I wrote about what pot opponents should say and the things we don’t know about legalization.