Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jul 2000
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2000
Contact:  P.O. Box 181, 52-66 Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author: Jason Baker-Sherman


It is ironic that Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton justifies the 
prohibition of cannabis based upon his concern about a situation that has 
arisen as a result of decades of prohibition. But the bigger irony is that 
our Minister for Economic Development has already decided that the job 
machine, the industrial use of cannabis, should remain illicit. If cannabis 
use were legalised, there would be no stoned forestry workers because there 
would be no forestry industry. Instead, cannabis could be used to produce 
larger quantities of better quality papers and woods. Instead of 
complaining about petrol prices, Mr Anderton could be helping to free this 
country of the shackles of the oil industry by establishing the technology 
to make better quality fuels from cannabis.

Cannabis use was prohibited for the competition it posed to oil, 
petrochemical, pharmaceutical, cotton and logging concerns with its use as 
an intoxicant being a convenient smoke screen. After years of political 
impotence, Mr Anderton could now make a difference, but instead his 
prejudice makes him betray the people and ideals he says he represents and 
support the things he says he opposes. He should forget about possum skins. 
Get serious and consider the huge potential of an industry in this country 
utilising cannabis, the people's plant.

Jason Baker-Sherman

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