Pubdate: Fri, 26 Sep 2003
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2003 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Jay Bergstrom


Re "Redding police fatally shoot 3," Sept. 19: What a sad commentary on our 
priorities to read that two of three people killed were shot while a 
multiple-agency task force cut down the local pot harvest. If pot were 
available in a local smoke or liquor store, it would probably not be worth 
$4,000 a plant, since prohibition perversely inflates the price of this 
weed to more than gold.

Imagine the cost of mass-produced, controlled-climate plants at closer to 
$40 a plant, and the crop that the police ruined would sell at $1,334,160. 
Sales tax at around 7 percent on legitimate sales would generate $93,391 
for the state, as well as providing someone currently considered criminal a 
legitimate job and a place in the community.

The unique growing environments in our state could put "California's gold" 
at the same level of our incredible connoisseur wines, as well as the 
noningestive uses of hemp rope, clothing, acid-lignin-free paper. A hemp 
field rotates three times a year and saves old growth for lumber instead of 
toilet paper.

Why pay police to run around the woods and cut down weeds? I'm sure the 
real criminals of Shasta County smiled when they read the story.

- - Jay Bergstrom, Sacramento
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom