Pubdate: Sun, 11 Mar 2001
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2001 San Francisco Chronicle
Contact:  901 Mission St., San Francisco CA 94103
Author: Patti Morey, Ashland, Ore.


Editor -- Many are wondering why there is suddenly a power shortage in
the Pacific Northwest ("On the Grid or Off the Grid," Sunday, Feb.
25). The recent mysterious blackout in Trail, Ore., offers a clue.
It's the grow-lights. Grow-lights use a lot of kilowatts, which just
goes to show that a high number of people are growing kilos these
days. The law and also wintertime have caused many to take their
potted plants indoors, to avoid arrest and to keep their plants from
dying. But while a pound of cure is apparently well worth the ounce of
prevention, (more than its weight in gold), we all are paying the
price, currently.

Thus, I think we can nip this energy crisis in the bud by legalizing
marijuana. In fact, legalizing marijuana will save all kinds of
energy. Though I myself do not smoke it, I've never understood how a
natural plant of the earth which God gave us can be decreed "illegal,"
permitting violent searches of people's homes, seizure of all their
property, trial at taxpayer expense and then prison at taxpayer
expense, where people are permitted to be brutalized and raped, even
killed -- for what -- for growing plants. (Transcendental
horticulture). So what if people grow marijuana? So what if they smoke
it? So many do, criminalization of it has amounted to nothing more
than an incredible waste of energy.

Some suggest legalization of marijuana would result in joblessness for
the police. This is just a smoke screen. In actuality, legalizing
marijuana would put a lid on crime. By rightfully viewing marijuana
from the same perspective as alcohol, we'd put more police on the
streets and in the towns where they should be instead of traipsing
around in the woods or flying about in planes and helicopters with
ridiculous and costly marijuana-detection equipment. We'd save energy
and our towns would become safer. Tickets could be issued for public
smoking and intoxication, DUI, etc., generating funds for city coffers
that could be used to offset high energy bills.

We'd see new markets blossom and stimulate the economy: American
produced hemp and hemp products; genetic research and engineering to
enhance THC properties and plant growth in wan winter sunlight;
special growing and harvesting equipment & supplies for home gardens,
not to mention a highly awaited comeback of the corn cob pipe. Food
and snack stocks would rise. Also, we'd see a more peaceful nation of
people who laugh a lot more. Note how that is all positive energy. The
grass really is greener on that other side.

We need to carefully hash out these ideas. Meanwhile, if we are to
solve this West Coast energy crisis, we must legalize marijuana and
bring it out from under the grow-lights. Any way we look at it,
legalizing marijuana will save energy.


Ashland, Ore.
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