We Don't Allow No Dopers
© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
Several years before she stopped practicing law, the Old Lady started making trips to northern California to find a place to retire. The idea was to find a lot in the redwoods where she would live in her old motor home until she found the right manufactured home to move onto the land.
On her very first exploratory trip, the Old Lady spotted a beautiful lot for sale. There were 3+ acres of redwoods with one acre cleared in the front. She could see a circular driveway and to the side an old house trailer. It was difficult to see more because when she parked in the driveway for a better look, a long haired man emerged from the trailer with two very unfriendly dogs. She ended up driving away because she was not yet ready to buy nor was she prepared to deal with a hippie.
Eight years later, the lot was still for sale but the old trailer was gone. The real estate agent told her that the original seller had foreclosed on the trailer people. She should know that the locals had been using the lot as a free dump site for two years. In addition, the lot flooded in the Winter. The Old Lady made a ridiculously low offer. When, to her shock, the owner accepted, she wrote out a check for the full amount.
Now she spent her days rounding up trash, bagging the items which could be carried and dragging the larger ones with a tow strap and her old pickup to a central location. She had to hire help to load the furnaces, refrigerators and mattresses into the truck bed, After six months and many truckloads to the dump, the land was clean.
The Old Lady knew from studying the map on file at the Tax Assessor's office that a stream ran diagonally across the lot in the redwood section in the back. She reasoned that the old stream was clogged with brush so that the water did not flow freely. If the stream could be located and the streambed cleaned before the Winter rains, flooding might be largely curtailed. So one morning she put on rubber boots and carrying a small hatchet, she headed back into the woods.
The going was rough, her progress impeded by fallen redwoods, puddles of muddy water, and heavy underbrush. The Old Lady set her sights on a spot where she would rest and her search would be done for the day. At last she reached the old stump and sat down to catch her breath.
The realization of what she was seeing filled the Old Lady with a mixture of shock, joy, and fear. Marijuana plants were everywhere, between, around and behind the redwoods, covering an acre or so of ground. Most plants were at least six feet tall, some taller. She knew that the value of the crop was at least several hundred thousand dollars because decades of representing dopers in Court had taught her a few things.
Cutting a small branch with the hatchet, she made her way back to her motor home. Following directions that she found on the internet, the Old Lady dried the cutting in her microwave. It was very good grass and she had a very good night.
She knew that harvesting the grass and realizing any money from the crop without getting caught would take very careful planning, For the time being, the Old Lady left the area alone. She spent her afternoons sunning herself in a lawn chair, reading a book and listening to her favorite Beethoven symphonies.
One afternoon a pickup truck parked alongside the property. The man swaggered in her direction, stern faced, arms folded. "I'm your neighbor", he said. "I just want you to know we don't allow no dopers in this neighborhood". The Old Lady knew that a drug enforcement undercover Deputy Sheriff lived in the fancy house at the end of the road. His words filled her with fear. She began to sweat, her heart pounding in her chest. She was going to jail for a crop of marijuana that she didn't even know existed until the week before.
But she did not go to jail. The Deputy Sheriff went back and forth to work every day, slowing down as he passed by, but he did not stop again. The Old Lady reasoned that there would have been a huge bust if the Deputy had known about the plants. He had been on a fishing expedition and he had almost landed the Big One!
The Old Lady enjoyed a long term trusting relationship with her nephew, who lived in Washington State. She convinced him to take a week off from building houses, suggesting that there would be some money in it for him.
He arrived in a rental car, full of curiosity, confident that his Aunt was on to something big. They made their way to the back of the property, where he got the shock of his life, laughing aloud with joy at the sight in front of him. He carefully cut large samples which the two of them dried for use. That evening they coasted in a paradise of contentment, surrounded by the smoke and the delicious smell.
The following day, after much discussion, they made a plan. The Old Lady would rent a tractor with a cutting arm as well as a panel truck. He would spend the day cutting the plants and dragging them to the edge of the open area. After dark he would load the cuttings into the truck. When completed he would take the truck North and rent a storage unit near his workplace. The grass would be dried, packaged, and sold to his construction buddies. They would split the money 50-50.
Every evening they smoked away the day's hard work, eyes closed, at peace with the world.
After four days it was done. The truck was on its way North. The Old Lady returned the rental car and the tractor. The grass plants were gone but she had kept three gallon jars of seeds
For the next week the Old Lady carefully dried the seeds until they were ready to germinate.
One night she placed two of the jars in her car before making her way to the house at the end of the road. She knew that the Deputy worked the night shift, so she was able to approach the area without the fear of detection.
Now she flung handfuls of seeds behind and between the redwoods near the house. She made her way into the vacant lot next door where she emptied the second jar into large areas which had previously been cleared.
Once a month she drove to the end of the road to view her handiwork. After two months the plants were clearly visible. The Old Lady knew that the plants might be discovered and removed. It didn't happen.
After six months, she made the call.
Epilogue: When the marijuana was all sold, the Old Lady and her nephew split $240,000.00. He remarried and made a substantial downpayment on a house.
The Old Lady bought a brand new manufactured home and had it moved onto the land. Part of the building now rests where the crop once stood. In the back room, grass plants flourish under fluorescent lights, her own personal stash.
After she made the call, the Old Lady watched the Highway Patrol and fire vehicles making their way down the gravel road, no sirens, lights blazing and blinking. With some difficulty, she resisted the impulse to drive to the end of the road to see what was going on.
The newspaper the next day told it all. Someone had phoned in an anonymous tip to the Highway Patrol that an undercover drug officer working as a Deputy Sheriff was growing marijuana behind and between the redwoods near his home, as well as all over the vacant lot next door, which he also owned. He was charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute.
District Attorney felt that three years was not enough time for a
dishonest cop. The Old Lady thought it was just about right because,
after all, "We don't allow no dopers in this neighborhood".