Pubdate: Wed, 03 May 2000
Source: Richmond Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2000 Richmond Public Library
Contact:  Unit 140 5671 No. 3 Road, Richmond, B.C.
Fax: (604) 606-8752
Author: Jim Hackney


Re: "Extra Police To Help Fight Marijuana Grow-Ops,"April, 28.

It sounds to me like Richmond is having problems with marijuana grow
operations because the herb is illegal. Thus, there is no regulation
and control. If the herb was legalized for personal use, licenses
and/or permits to grow could be issued. Zoning laws could be

Citizens could grow plants in a back yard garden as opposed to growing
covertly inside of a home. If a citizen wanted to grow inside of a
home, then standards could be developed and electrical inspectors
could inspect the homes to ensure standards are being met. Growers
wouldn't have to worry about law enforcement invading their privacy by
snooping into their electricity use, so they wouldn't feel they have
to steal electricity.

In short, the government would have much more control. mAt this time,
they have no control at all. They are taking a reactive approach
instead of being proactive. They are the cause of the problems they
are whining about.

Would there still be problems? Sure. There would still be people
attempting to smuggle marijuana out of the country. However, I would
bet that the majority of citizens would only be interested in growing
for their own personal use. Contrary to the negative portrayal of
marijuana users by law enforcement and politicians,the vast majority
of marijuana users are otherwise law-abiding citizens. If afforded the
opportunity to legally "grow their own" by forking out money for
permits and going through the hassle of being regulated by the
government, I would bet that they would not be as complacent in their
views on illegal grow operations. This alone would have a positive
affect on law enforcement.

Jim Hackney
Joplin, Missouri -via e-mail