Pubdate: Mon, 21 Aug 2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: The Vancouver Sun 2000
Page: A7
Contact:  200 Granville Street, Ste.#1, Vancouver BC V6C 3N3
Fax: (604) 605-2323
Author: Floyd Ferris Landrath


Writer Chris Nuttall-Smith has done an excellent job describing the
trials and tribulations of those involved in the clandestine
production of cannabis products for the masses, and the illegal
profits (Inside growing operations, Aug. 7).

He also gives us good, real-life examples of the folly of cannabis
prohibition, along with a hint of the massive economic incentive
that's involved in maintaining it, especially down here in the Lower

Nonetheless, unless one is blinded by those profits or on some
holier-than-thou crusade to protect us from ourselves, the conclusion
is nearly inescapable to any reasonable person.  Prohibition is the
real problem, and tolerance with regulation the only viable answer
compatible with a free society which purports to operate fairly, under
the rule of law.

In 1998, here where I live, voters petitioned and then passed the
Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.  As a registered "caregiver," I carry a
card and grow cannabis for registered medical users.  After two years,
there are nearly 1,000 patients and caregivers statewide participating
in the program administered by the public health system and funded by
a yearly registration fee.

I have heard of no reports of any cannibis being diverted to the
commercial market.  Despite its inherant flaws and limitations, even
under political attack and special interest opposition, the act still
works and grows.

With the act, we have real-world proof; cannabis regulation not only
benefits responsible consumers, it also reduces illegal production and
distribution, thereby reducing the public costs of police, courts,
jails and black-market violence.  Thanks to the act, there is less pot
out there on the streets.

Voters are not stupid.  When they understand how much better
regulation works, they will want more of the same.  Then maybe those
of us, Americans and Canadians alike, can find a way to make an honest
living doing what we love, growing and producing high quality, adult
cannabis products.

And now I must get back to my little, albeit legal "vineyard".  The
lights just went on in the garden, and I've got a guy here in a
wheelchair with multiple sclerosis who needs some medicine.

Floyd Ferris Landrath
Portland, Oregon
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