Here's My Marijuana Card, Officer

In the capital of legal pot, you don't need much of an excuse

It is not that Mel Brown, police chief of this tie-dye-and-tofu town, set out to flout federal law. But here he is, a 53-year-old father of two who has never inhaled, issuing laminated and embossed get-out-of-jail-free cards for partakers of the infamous Humboldt bud, a potent local variety of marijuana. "You can photograph me," he tells a reporter genially, "but not reclining on a bearskin rug and smoking a joint."

Arcata (pop. 16,000) lies in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, the three lush California counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity, 275 miles north of San Francisco as the spotted...

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