In an announcement proclaiming his opposition to Proposition 19—which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in California—local marijuana dealer Darryl Hummins said the current system of strong federal crackdowns has been “great for business” and thanked the DEA for providing “the kind of market protection that you can’t find anywhere else.”
“I think it’s great that marijuana is illegal,” Hummins said. “If it were legal, then I’d have to deal with a market that is affected by all that business crap like supply and demand and federal regulation. There’d be taxes, I’d have to advertise—that’s not why I got into selling weed.”
Hummins said that in the past, he was able to operate his business as he pleased with all the protections afforded any average small business owner. Under Prop 19, however, all this would go “up in smoke.”
“It just hurts when the politicians say they’re protecting the common man and then they jump to legalizing marijuana,” Hummins said. “I’ve built my life around this business—they can’t take it away from me. I feel betrayed.”
While billions of dollars in potential tax revenue might be persuasive to many people, Hummins said he believes that it is “selling out to just focus on the money, man.”
“Real people are going to lose everything they have for this proposition,” Hummins said. “The feds should show more compassion and stop just dismissing us as criminals. Of course, we are criminals, but we’re people too.”
Larry Prine, one of Hummins’s customers, said that he will try to support Hummins if marijuana becomes legal but warned that it might be hard.
“Of course I’m going to look out for Hummins because we’re friends, but I’m not gonna lie, it might be tough once the competition really heats up,” Prine said. “Bigger companies might have special promotions, like ‘Buy McDonald’s weed and get 10 free cheeseburgers.’ Darryl can’t compete with the corporations, man, and to be honest his homemade brownie recipe just isn’t cutting it anymore.”
As a backup to selling weed, Hummins is considering panhandling and passing a donation box around his local church.
“If all else fails, there’s always God,” Hummins said.