Rockport

Rockport lost a lot of structures during Harvey, though there has been a lot of rebuilding, especially homes. The blank spaces are very much clean and tidy. There aren’t a lot of people around.

Aransas NWR

CBD products are sold in absolutely every place that sells anything here in Texas. Consider that nearly no one can tell you what CBD is, or does, or comes from, they buy it anyway.

I went to the refuge today and quickly spotted whoopers. The weather was splendid, sunny, calm, flat seas, all of which encourage birds to scatter all over the place. Got my first (2019) armadillo road kill today, and three live gators. Otherwise quite quiet.

The Goose Island State Park bay-side camping is being rebuilt. Completely, including the concrete shelters. But, the number of spots has doubled, maybe tripled, making for some very tight fits. It won’t be near as enjoyable as when there was lots of space.

Rockport/Fulton

My usual camping spot is Goose Island State Park, but the campground was damaged by Hurricane Harvey and is still under repair. So I’m trying out a new experience, paying Rockport rates to park in an RV place in Fulton. It’s not pretty, it’s expensive, but a great location. I’ll be here 2 weeks.

Padre Island

Padre Island National Seashore to be precise. Specifically I’m at the Bird Island Basin windsurfing beach on the Intracoastal Waterway. This was my driving goal, and now I have to figure out my next moves.

But for the next several days (I have 2 weeks) I can do some beach driving, grocery shop at HEB, and explore the good birding spots.

Choke Canyon SP

Always a nice place to stop for animals and birds. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in South Texas and found that I’ve forgotten a lot of bird ID’s. So it will be a lot of fun getting refreshed.

Tomorrow to North Padre Island.

Del Rio

My criticism of West Texas scenery, or lack of it, must have been bad karma. It was fog for 2 hours this morning, so no scenery.

The MORE Act to legalize marijuana passed out of the House’s Judiciary Committee to the floor today, a rather significant event. It completely deletes marijuana from the controlled substances act. If it were me, I’d stop right there, but the act adds a lot of other stuff that’s popular.

The bill was sponsored by Jerrold Nadler, who is the Committee Chair. After watching so many people try to get marijuana bills even through committee in so many jurisdictions, this seems like a cheat.

The bill is expected to pass in the House. The Senate does not know what to do until Trump tells them, and he doesn’t know until Fox polls his base.

Marathon, TX

I had to take 2 days of sick leave just as I planned to leave Deming, but after a long drive I reached Van Horn. I’ve got several days of long drives ahead of me, mostly bored by the uninteresting scenery of West Texas.

Texas tomorrow

It’s off through West Texas tomorrow. I’m aiming for Corpus Christie, but it will take me a few days to get there. This is always the least favorite trip for me.

California Cannabis Reform?

Normally when we hear about a reform to public policy it’s because the existing system is older, the world has changed in a significant way, or public attitudes have changed. California’s legal cannabis program is only 2 years old, and not completely implemented yet, but it appears reforms are already being contemplated.

The California program is a disappointment to almost all the players. The regulatory burden (still growing) is extreme, the capital requirements to get even a tiny operation fully licensed and off the ground are prohibitive to all but the most well-heeled large corporations, and local restrictions are slowing down businesses to a crawl. This all works against the “legacy” operators, tens of thousands of small family-owned producers who have been putting up with the war on drugs for generations.

Meanwhile large corporations are using money and lawyers to sail through the permitting maze and building out shockingly large operations designed to capture “market share”.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors put an item on the agenda for the first time called “Amnesty Transition Pathway”; this is a study item right now, something for the county to look at and discuss. No action has been proposed yet.

The title of this initiative is awkward but it kinda looks like the county might be considering relaxing the more onerous rules and regulations temporarily to give the legacy operators without licenses a chance to get a start in the industry they created without burdensome regulations.

The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance immediately sent a memo in support of this effort and some of the points it raises illustrates what might be happening. They ask for a “new paradigm” of the California approach, which is unusual so soon after the program was started. They want to “reconceptualize county and state” regulations, and address the “insurmountable capital requirements” faced by the legacy producers. And many other points. They are asking for “meaningful policy reform”.

The list of deficiencies in the California model for legal cannabis is very long, and it has created more problems than it’s solved. Good reasons to consider reform, but unusual with such a new program. The discussion has just started.

Deming, NM

I left Yuma the other day after completing all my tasks there and headed Eastward, planning on taking a few days stopping at favorite spots. In Gila Bend last night I realized that my goal was to see alligators and Yellow-headed herons on the Gulf Coast, and by messing around in Arizona I was risking “weather events”.

I will be idling here for a week, though. I’m not in the mood for another long haul through West Texas right now.

A bit of justice today: I was going through Tuscon and a lady was merging on to the Interstate in front of me. And slowed down as soon as she saw me. No where for me to go. I leaned on the brakes, as did the highway patrolman behind her doomed to be sandwiched between us. The semi to my left saw what was happening and diverted away. I swear the cop rear-ended her and pushed her out of the lane. I have no doubt from the way he handled his car that he was super pissed. She’s going to be out some serious money….