Pubdate: Sun, 01 Oct 2000
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Francisco Examiner
Contact:  http://www.examiner.com/
Forum: http://examiner.com/cgi-bin/WebX
Author: Ellen Komp, Program Associate, Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy
Foundation, San Francisco

DOOMED EFFORT AGAINST POT

I notice a disturbing trend in marijuana enforcement in this state. As
counties and the federal government act against patients, caregivers and
collectives growing and distributing marijuana to patients with doctors'
recommendations, larger and larger marijuana crops are discovered and
eradicated  almost always without a single arrest.

Your article details how as many as 58,000 plants guarded with AK-47s are
being discovered, as Mexican syndicates push out peaceful small farmers in
California. Our misguided drug laws and misenforcement of them have effected
this change.

Just as the prohibition of alcohol had to be repealed because of the
violence it caused, so too the prohibition of marijuana.

If the federal government has any role in marijuana enforcement in
California, it should be in investigating and prosecuting large foreign
organizations that are growing and distributing marijuana here.

It's much easier to prosecute citizens who announce they are growing pot
legally under Proposition 215, and quibble about a few dozen plants deemed
too many for medical use.

More than 62,000 people were arrested in California on marijuana charges
last year, an increasing percentage of them for possession only, while the
largest growers went free. This is madness. The only sane solution is a
regulated market for marijuana, and legalized personal cultivation.

Ellen Komp, Program Associate, Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, San
Francisco
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