Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jun 2003
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Stan Sambey


Dear Editor,

Yes, cannabis licensing should be under provincial jurisdiction
[Stirring the pot, May 2 Yours Truly Telepoll, Langley Advance News].
I would even go so far as to propose that it be dealt with on a
municipal level, to more individually display regional cultural

Should the government wise up to the problems inherent in
decriminalization and more towards full legalization, a new industry
worth billions would be created. The more than $10 billion generated
each year currently for illicit markets would become a job creation

The plant has other qualities as well. The industrial hemp industry
has suffered a horrendous blow in research and development from the
last near century of inane legislation. Legalizing cannabis
plantations would increase both the raw amount of usable fibre created
each year, and provide incentive for research and development into
other potential uses.

The plant generates an amazing amount of renewable biomass each

Cannabis can sequester upwards of 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide per
hectare each year. That's also known as a carbon sink, which works
with the Kyoto agreement.

Cannabis seed oil is unparalleled as a natural food oil. The seeds can
be eaten by both man and livestock, and have been for centuries.

People can simply get high sniffing glue or gasoline. They can buy
wine, beer, and spirits. The down and out will drink aftershave.
Cannabis is many times safer to use than $1 worth of gasoline. Table
salt is more toxic than THC.

As with beer and wine, people should be free to cultivate cannabis for
personal use. However, just as with beer and wine, retail production
should be licensed. There could be large-scale corporate production,
like beer, wine, and spirits, or there could also be small,
independent producers, like microbreweries and small vineyards. And
there would be room for the amateur hobbyist, as well.

The greatest effect of full legalization would be seen in the
agricultural industry. One acre of well tended outdoor cannabis would
be worth more than 1,000 acres of canola. Less fertilizer. Less
pesticides. The cannabis plant is called a weed for a reason: it will
grow in gravel.

Smaller crop size with higher profit yield also means less drain on
the local water tables - another environmental boon.

There's more at stake here than just another type of legal,
mind-altering substance. We're talking about a dramatic shift of the
very economic foundation of this country. Consider there are 30
million Canadians and 230 million Americans. If only 1 in 10 Americans
smokes cannabis even occasionally, then there are almost more cannabis
users in the USA than there are people in Canada.

Americans already flock to Vancouver for the lax cannabis enforcement.
Should all of Canada fully legalize, we would witness a drove of
border-crossing never before seen.

If we legalize and the US does not, we will slowly but surely suck
every penny out of their economy. The US would be forced to legalize
as well, or be defeated by its own free enterprise system.

Stan Sambey

Marijuana Party of Canada 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake