Pubdate: Sun, 05 Aug 2012
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Garry Cooper


The difficulty in developing a marijuana ordinance locally and 
statewide is due to one simple reality that is the "elephant in the room."

A huge percentage of our citizens smoke marijuana daily and use it 
much like a glass of wine at night. They do no harm and see this as 
their right. They grow it, they sell it, and they buy it. It is by 
far Northern California's largest agricultural industry. Nationwide, 
the demand is over 100 million pounds per year, and regardless of law 
enforcement's best efforts this demand is being met.

As it is now, given that the police/prison industrial complex lobbies 
and demands that our failed drug policies be continued, a huge black 
market now exists. Because we buy into the law enforcement/prison 
industry's specious arguments on how to address drugs in our country 
when the fact that their policies have failed drastically is 
painfully apparent, we have no way to meaningfully develop effective 
policies and use good information to do so. This is ridiculous, 
immature, and truly harmful to our nation. Their failed policies have 
led to a war on our border the size of the Vietnam War, gang 
proliferation and decent people being incarcerated.

Want pot out of your neighborhood and out of your national forests? 
Want to stop the war in Mexico and stop gang violence? Grow the pot 
on huge farms and meet this 100 million-pound demand. Stop the police 
industry from paying politicians off and demand thoughtful drug policy.

- - Garry Cooper, Durham
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