Pubdate: Sun, 01 Oct 2000
Date: 10/01/2000
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Author: Ellen Komp

I notice a disturbing trend in marijuana enforcement in this state. As
counties and the federal government act against patients, caregivers
and collectives growing and distributing marijuana to patients with
doctors' recommendations, larger and larger marijuana crops are
discovered and eradicated =97 almost always without a single arrest.

Your article details how as many as 58,000 plants guarded with AK-47s
are being discovered, as Mexican syndicates push out peaceful small
farmers in California. Our misguided drug laws and misenforcement of
them have effected this change.

Just as the prohibition of alcohol had to be repealed because of the
violence it caused, so too the prohibition of marijuana.

If the federal government has any role in marijuana enforcement in
California, it should be in investigating and prosecuting large
foreign organizations that are growing and distributing marijuana here.

It's much easier to prosecute citizens who announce they are growing
pot legally under Proposition 215, and quibble about a few dozen
plants deemed too many for medical use.

More than 62,000 people were arrested in California on marijuana
charges last year, an increasing percentage of them for possession
only, while the largest growers went free. This is madness. The only
sane solution is a regulated market for marijuana, and legalized
personal cultivation.

Ellen Komp,
Program Associate,
Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation,
San Francisco