The California wildfires: more than trees burning.
The California wildfires: more than trees burning. DAVID McNEW VIA GETTY IMAGES

There are a lot of sad and scary stories of the damage being done by the Napa Valley and Sonoma County fires—and that includes weed farms. Also, mixed messages about public smoking in California, confused teens, and weed-loving librarians. Read on.

California Wildfires Hitting Cannabis Farms

The devastating wildfires in Sonoma County have burned over a hundred thousand acres of vineyards, agriculture, and homes so far. Now, the flames are skirting the edge of the Emerald Triangle—Mendocino County, Humboldt County, and Trinity County—where most of California’s weed is grown. Some cannabis farms are already gone, and other growers are worried about ash and smoke from the fire ruining their crops. Unfortunately, cannabis farms often can’t get insurance (since their crops are federally illegal), which puts them in a really bad position—they have no recourse to gain back lost revenue.

The Media Is Confused About Smoking Weed on California’s Beaches

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure that would have made it a crime to smoke weed in public parks and beaches. Sounding like a desperate stoner with no other place to go, he said:

“If people can’t even smoke on a deserted beach, when can they? There must be some limit to the coercive power of government.”

It’s important to note that the veto does not change the fact that public pot smoking is still considered illegal in California. As marijuana journalist Tom Angell points out, some media outlets got it wrong, telling people that “Californians can smoke and vape weed” in parks and on beaches. Please don’t confuse the stoners even more (who will probably do it anyway, after all).

And Teens Are Confused About Driving While Stoned

A new study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) found that 33 percent of teens (in a survey of 2,800) think that driving while under the influence of marijuana is legal. And 39 percent of participants in another study said they feel comfortable getting in the driver’s seat within two hours after smoking weed.

Only Two Doctors Applied for MMJ Permits in Louisiana

Understandably, Louisiana is an extremely conservative state with an MMJ program that’s so highly regulated it barely functions, but still! Many pot advocates in the state worried that people won’t be getting access to medical marijuana as an option to treat for chronic pain and diseases.

In other southern state news, a tiny Texas town called Schulenburg (population 2,929) will be home to the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, strategically located between the bigger cities of Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. But don’t expect long lines: the store will only sell a cannabis oil high in CBD, and only to patients with “intractable epilepsy” and a prescription will be able to buy it.

Elena Kagan Used to Be Invited to Parties Where There May Have Been Weed, Even

Is this possibly the most fun Supreme Court case ever? It involves an abandoned building where a party was held, a number of people arrested for trespassing, and a host named Peaches. As the justices discussed the case, Kagan chimed in that back in the day she was invited to parties where she didn’t know the host, “And can I say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties." That’s cool I guess, but… why couldn’t it have been RBG?

Libraries + Weed=Warm Fuzzies

Read this charming piece about how librarians in Colorado are embracing weed: stocking up on cannabis books, hosting information panels and educating themselves about cannabis resources so they can help others:

In a series of sessions with the Public Library Association's Colorado and national chapters, the team has taught colleagues which growing guides, cookbooks, historical recollections, fiction and more to put on their shelves.

And Hendzlik and Bock didn't stop there: They brought in oregano and rolling papers to teach attendees how to roll a joint, and Hendzlik shared her favorite book and bud pairings, a list of books and the strains she thinks matches well with them.

And it just gets more adorable from there:

Hendzlik thinks that pairing… Girl Scout Cookies with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows librarians and readers that enjoying a joint and a book is no different than reading with a glass of wine. "We called it 'puff, puff, lend,'" she jokes.