Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jun 2005
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2005 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Thomas C. Mountain


I would like to commend Hawai'i's U.S. attorney, Ed Kubo, for his
common sense and humanity in establishing an official policy of
tolerance by federal law enforcement in Hawai'i toward those sick and
injured persons who use marijuana for medicine, as well as for their
physicians who recommend its use.

It is also commendable that Kubo be concerned about the budding
problems with Hawai'i's medical marijuana law. Recently, we have seen
West Coast profiteers advertising in local papers promising a state of
Hawai'i medical marijuana certificate for a fee of $250. We have also
received reports that in Pa'ia on Maui, a storefront "dispensary" is
selling marijuana at street prices, $20 a gram, more expensive than
gold, under the guise of medical marijuana.

Those who would take advantage of the suffering of Hawai'i's AIDS and
cancer patients, to name just two categories, are bloodsuckers, and I
share Kubo's concern about what they are up to.

Unfortunately, reality for the overwhelming majority of patients in
Honolulu is that it is very difficult, if not actually impossible, to
grow their own marijuana. The result is that they are forced to use
the black market, where the price is extortionate and its therapeutic
properties are questionable, not to mention what sort of pesticide
residues they may be consuming due to unscrupulous growers trying to
minimize losses.

With the beginning of a new federal law enforcement policy of
tolerance in Hawai'i toward medical marijuana patients and physicians,
it is time for all parties involved to put our heads together and
figure out a solution to how we can help our sick and injured grow
their own medicine. I would suggest a not-for-profit patients
cooperative that practices collective gardening under the supervision
of the Department of Health. This way the medicine produced would be
of consistent therapeutic strength and supply, minimum expense and
free of any dangerous poisons .

Thomas C. Mountain

Founder, Honolulu Medical Marijuana Patients Co-op
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