Pubdate: Sun, 20 May 2007
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Page: CM - 2 of the Chronicle Magazine
Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Your April 22 package of marijuana stories was thoughtful and well
done. Despite a couple of minor glitches (like leaving those silly
Drug Enforcement Administration claims about wild increases in potency
unrefuted), this was some of the best, most balanced coverage of
marijuana issues I've seen.

Your stories raise an obvious question: Why is this large and thriving
industry still consigned to the shadows? Given that marijuana clearly
has medical benefits for some, and as a recreational drug is far less
dangerous to one's health than alcohol, why not bring it out of the
criminal underground, tax it and put it into a properly regulated system?

California cannot end federal government idiocy by itself, but it can
end its own. Each year our state wastes millions of dollars on a
futile "marijuana eradication" drive called the Campaign Against
Marijuana Planting. CAMP hasn't eradicated California's No. 1 cash
crop, but it has caused great harm by driving growers into more
remote, dangerous and environmentally sensitive locations. It's time
for some serious rethinking.

Bruce Mirken

Director of communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.
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