Say NO to unions, YES to Ganja

Katy Grimes: Of all the anti-free market moves, marijuana growers are now unionizing.

This is what California has come to – the last vestige of entrepreneurial, cash-based business spirit… unionized. I’m not surprised.  Organized labor has had declining membership for years, so of course they are going to latch on to the latest group of workers needing organizing, and claim they need representation from the mean, abusive boss.

Except, the bosses should be just about the coolest dudes in any workplace.

Can you imagine how totally cool their union meetings will be? Pass the brownies, dude.

Instead of using Rocko and Guido for muscle, the union thugs for the marijuana growers will be Shane and Josh. And they won’t wear dark suits or tacky 70’s clothes, or drive dark American sedans – they’ll wear socks and sandals, or Birkenstock’s, board shorts and tank tops, and Maui Jim sunglasses, and they will drive old Volkswagon vans.

A story in The Sacramento Bee reports today, “As organized labor faces declining membership, one of the country’s most storied unions is looking to a new growth industry: marijuana. The Teamsters added nearly 40 new members earlier this month by organizing the country’s first group of unionized marijuana growers. Such an arrangement is likely only possible in California, which has the nation’s loosest medical marijuana laws.

But it’s still unclear how the Teamsters will safeguard the rights of members who do work that’s considered a federal crime.”

How to safeguard the members is another issue, but it could involve a lot of Doritos.

Their newly negotiated two-year contract provides them with a pension, paid vacation and health insurance. Their current wages of $18 per hour will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months, according to the union.

It strikes me as absurdly funny that marijuana field workers will earn paid vacation and $25 an hour.

But the best comment in the story is from the Teamters representative Lou Marchetti, who said, the union would not have gotten involved with the growers if it didn’t believe the business was legitimate under state law.”The Teamsters would never organize an illegal business,” Marchetti said.

One astute reader dude left a comment on the story that sums it up best: “We should legalize marijuana to increase liberty, not to increase taxes. Say no to the unions, but yes to the Ganja.”

SEPT. 20, 2010

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