Ex-Mortgage Broker Gave Up Riches for a Cause

Ex-Mortgage Broker Gave Up Riches for a Cause
Posted by CN Staff on July 14, 2006 at 07:16:12 PT
By Roger Sideman, Sentinel Staff Writer 
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel 
Santa Cruz -- Just 24 months ago, Aaron Carvajal had all the trappings of success: silk ties and suits in his closet, an orange Infinity SUV in the driveway, a corner office in a building overlooking Watsonville's Downtown Plaza and a $600,000 salary to put in the bank."But I felt I was in a cesspool of desire," he says. Carvajal abandoned his mortgage lending business and packed up for Santa Cruz, acquiring a new biodiesel car, a loose, earth-toned wardrobe and a redefined meaning of success.
"Driving home every day I knew the desk job was a means to an end  that I would always end up working in an 'eco-industry,'" he said.Now, Carvajal with his beaming smile and close-cropped hair stands in front of a hemp American flag at the new U.S. Hemp Co. store and museum on North Pacific Avenue.He sells clothes and twines, health foods and cosmetics, all made from hemp. But what he's really selling is a cause. Carvajal's ideal, the retailer-as-activist, is about discrediting "government lies" about hemp while promoting its virtues as the cure-all crop of the future."That means you're an advocate and gotta make people's ears bleed by telling them about hemp," he says, his eyes wide. He laughs.The state-approved medical marijuana card he keeps at home is his reminder that the hemp plant is more outlawed than its psychoactive cousin cannabis. He doesn't confuse the two, so why should the government, he asks."I make a fraction of what I made, but it's exponentially better now because each day I talk to someone about  and this is not an exaggeration  the most valuable plant in the world."Last week, he sold a VHS documentary to a chance customer who teaches history at Pajaro Valley High School. Carvajal told him the plant fiber's importance for paper and cloth before the cotton gin was invented in the 19th century."I'll include you in my bit on the industrial revolution," the teacher told him before walking out the door."That's what it's all about," Carvajal said.Aaron Carvajal:Age: 36.Birthplace: San JoseBusiness: U.S. Hemp Co., Santa Cruz.Whay he left: 'To use an eco-word, it was unsustainable.'Goal: 'To ignite mass consciousness of the truth to a level that cannot be ignored.'Top three worst habits: 1. I work too hard2. I have a hard time saying 'no.'3. I crack my ear 'bone' like knuckles and it makes a loud pop.Coming Sunday:Hemp is staging a comeback and Santa Cruz is right in the middle of it. See Sunday's Business section.Complete Title: Aaron Carvajal: Ex-Mortgage Broker Gave Up Riches for a CauseSource: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Author: Roger Sideman, Sentinel Staff Writer Published: July 14, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Hemp Archives
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on July 14, 2006 at 21:51:01 PT
Cool Fuel: OT, the Article; OnT, the Posts 
I chanced upon two episodes of a TV show (aired unannounced and unscheduled after two Tour de France stages on OLN) called Cool Fuel. The first one I wanted to videotape, but I was out of videotape. It showed biodiesel cars, an electric motorcycle, water wheel turbine electricity generators and Daryl Hannah who is an active eco-enthusiast, growing her own organic food. I did tape the second one which explored geothermal energy and a earth house built from recycled tires. The earth house was owned by Dennis Weaver (remember Chester in Gunsmoke) and was partly underground in order to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It's good to see that some people with money have a sustainable vision of the future and are actually involved in helping to make it happen.If "Cool Fuel" becomes available on DVD, I want it.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on July 14, 2006 at 17:13:51 PT
Hemp Wins MVP!
"I make a fraction of what I made, but it's exponentially better now because each day I talk to someone about  and this is not an exaggeration  the most valuable plant in the world."Hats off to Aaron Carvajal. The fact that industrial hemp cannot be legally cultivated in the U.S. is very indicative of the true agenda of the ptb. Keeping the masses reliant on finite resources and away from sustainability is a means to steal our money and control every aspect of our lives. Not a very honest or moral agenda, is it? Many folks used to think that the government had some sort of moral high ground but that government is now being seen as wearing no clothes. Almost every problem this country faces can be fixed by allowing our farmers to grow industrial hemp.SHADOW OF THE SWASTIKA: The Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Re-legalization: an unrelated note, here's a picture of Bush getting ready to have dinner with Putin in which Bush appears to have a beer sitting in front of him and he looks very tipsy... WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Conspiracy or MASTER PLAN? Two Plus Two Make Four: Out At Congress, 9/11-9/18: National 9/11 Debate, 9/16 - Charleston, South Carolina: Truth NYC:'s Counter-Coup:
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Comment #2 posted by Universer on July 14, 2006 at 10:46:08 PT:
Role Model
I admire this man. I'm glad this article was posted; I'm glad I read it. Though I haven't (yet) achieved the level of financial success that Mr. Carvajal has done, I think (and hope) that I'm on my way within my own profession. But I do feel, driving home every day, that it is but means to an end: that being to work eventually for a greater good, for ecological (and, therefore, economical) sustainability, to promote peacefulness and serenity and recognition of the actual interconnectedness of all things. Quasi-neo-hippieism.In the meantime, I conduct my financial advisory business in a socially and environmentally conscious way. Plus, many of my clients are fellow weeders anyway. ;-)Way to go, Mr. Carvajal. You are truly a Buddha, truly an admirable human being.
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Comment #1 posted by Truth on July 14, 2006 at 08:18:29 PT
Santa Cruz
Martha and I went to our son's wedding in Santa Cruz on the 3rd. The sacred plant was very much a part of the ceremony.
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