Pubdate: Wed, 25 Apr 2001
Source: Union, The (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Nevada County Publishing, Inc.
Author: Martin Webb
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


What an amazing experience we had on Saturday at the Medical Marijuana
School in Grass Valley! The most transformative moment for me was seeing
our district attorney, Mike Ferguson, receive standing ovations (not
once, but twice!) from a crowd of folks often perceived as being at war
with law enforcement. This happened because our community thrives on the
spirit of cooperation. While other counties are busy mounting recalls of
their DAs, we know that the faster we work together on this, the more
the community stands to gain. 

As I was quoted, an "average" patient using marijuana as medicine can
spend $4,000 annually. Realistically, it's more like $5,000 to $8,000
sometimes, for those with life-threatening illness. An extremely
conservative estimate of 1,000 legal users in the greater Nevada City
area arrives at a figure of $5 million annually disappearing out of the
local economy. Marijuana is the largest cash crop in California, and to
the end user is more expensive than gold. 

In Kansas, if you are intending to sell or resell any illicit drug, you
must first fill out an anonymous form at the tax office and prepay a
certain amount of tax on sales projected. In return, the distributor
receives tax stamps that must be placed on packages sold, indicating the
tax paid. Sound crazy? The intention was to arrest drug dealers and add
tax evasion to the charges if no stamps were used. The result? Kansas
took in $6 million in revenue from the stamps. While that model smacks
of the state earning profits off drug dealing while keeping prices up
with prohibition, it is a curious model for legitimate medical marijuana
sales in our state. 

When the federal government gives eight American citizens marijuana for
medicine and then claims it can't be legalized because it has no medical
value and is highly addictive (both of which have been proven false), it
begs the question: What is tobacco? Estimated total American deaths in
2000 from "legal drugs:" 657,000. Marijuana? Zero. America is losing
money and people big time. Will we ever know what we've truly lost? 

Martin Webb

Cannabis Information Resource Center, Legally Endowed 

Penn Valley
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