Pubdate: Mon, 05 May 2003
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Francis Warren


Re: Federal marijuana too potent to use, April 21.

As a retired agronomist, I find it amusing that the federal government has 
again had problems in producing marijuana for medical purposes.

First, the company with the Health Canada's medicinal marijuana contract 
since 2000 has had problems for two years getting a satisfactory crop.

What is so hard about growing this crop? According to a news story last 
week (Illegal raising of marijuana an 'epidemic,' April 29), many illegal 
growers manage to get good results either indoors or out. In some parts of 
the country, the gardeners have been so successful that grow operations 
have increased sixfold in 10 years.

Back in 1971, I led a group of scientists at the Central Experimental Farm 
who grew several thousand plants for the RCMP in fields alongside Maple 
Lane. The objective was to compare plants from seed seized at various 
locations to see whether this would help in identifying sources. We 
surrounded the plot area with leafy corn hybrids, and everything grew well, 
as expected. But the project was a failure because the plants all looked 
the same.

No one appeared to notice what we were doing until a story appeared in the 
newspaper after some politician made a try for glory by blurting about the 

After the news leaked out, people appeared in daytime and at night to 
harvest most of the crop in raids. That happened in spite of our posting 
armed guards and dogs. The experiment was not repeated.

But we did prove that marijuana is not hard to grow in Eastern Ontario, 
even by the government.

Francis Warren,

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