Hard-Up Calif. Town Out of Joint Over Pot Influx

Green gold rattles community
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 3, 2009 1:50 AM CST
A box is filled with marijuana plants at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Clinic in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – A hard-scrabble northern California town has been turned topsy-turvy since the folks with tokes moved in. Thousands of pungent marijuana plants pack fields and yards in tiny Hayfork, population 1,900, where a quarter of the residents are poor. The local Timberjacks football team recently moved its halftime huddle to avoid pot smoke from nearby houses, and high school grads talk of going into marijuana farming because not much else is happening in town.

Some welcome the new green gold, but others are angry about the change. "It's torn the fabric of our society," a 50-year resident tells the Los Angeles Times. "It's pitted people against one another." Hayfork is deep in the heart of prime pot growing land in Trinity County, where farmers raise marijuana for "medical use." But many locals laugh at the justification for loose pot laws. All smokers need "is a recommendation from a doctor on a matchbook," says a local politician. "Dr. Seuss could be writing these prescriptions."