Pubdate: Mon, 09 Apr 2007
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2007 The Patriot Ledger
Author: Rick Collins, The Patriot Ledger
Cited: Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition
Bookmark: (Marijuana)


At Area Bookstores, Info Right Next to Latest Potboilers

Do your marijuana plants have mildew problems?

Are you curious about optimal lighting wattage or carbon dioxide 
concentrations for growing a premium cannabis crop?

The answers, and many others, can be easily found by browsing the 
magazine racks and horticultural shelves at local bookstores. Two 
popular Braintree bookstores, Borders and Barnes & Noble, sell 
detailed blueprints for starting home marijuana gardens, - including 
full-sized glossy pictures of growing plants and advertisements 
offering a variety of seeds and equipment.

At Borders, books with titles such as "The Cannabible" and "The 
Marijuana Growers Guide" can be found on the same shelf with bonsai 
tree care manuals.

Marijuana is illegal to possess, grow or sell, but the First 
Amendment protects the sale of books and magazines dedicated to growing it.

"It's disturbing that those magazines are out there and that they 
sell them and have a customer base for them," Braintree Deputy Police 
Chief Russell Jenkins said. "I assume they're on the shelf because 
they do make sales."

Braintree police broke up an alleged marijuana growing operation in a 
local home last month, and on Friday the remains of an indoor pot 
farm were discovered in Weymouth.

In the past, police have busted South Shore shops that sold glass 
pipes and bongs under state laws prohibiting possession of drug 
paraphernalia. But there is no similar ban on periodicals.

"I don't think there's anything we can do about it," Jenkins said.

Anne Roman, a spokeswoman for Borders, said the company sells a broad 
spectrum of books and magazines based on customer interest.

"We believe in and support their right to choose what to read," she 
said. "Just as we have books and magazines on (growing marijuana), we 
also have books on drug prevention."

Buttonwood Books in Cohasset does not sell marijuana growing manuals 
and owner Betsey Detwiler says she has no plans to start.

"Being in a small community where I know a lot of the customers' 
mothers and grandmothers, I feel I have somewhat of a responsibility 
for what the kids are reading," she said.

The recent discoveries of indoor pot farms in Braintree and Weymouth 
by police are evidence that not every green thumb and bag of potting 
soil on the South Shore is being used to grow begonias and azaleas.

On Thursday, the owner of an East Weymouth apartment called police 
after two tenants moved out and left behind 20 drying marijuana 
plants and the remnants of an indoor-growing operation.

And a Braintree couple faces drug charges after police found 367 
growing marijuana plants and dozens of harvested plants in the 
basement of an Elm Street home.

Despite the recent seizures of marijuana plants, police do not 
consider homegrown marijuana a major problem.

"It's not that prevalent in Massachusetts," State Trooper Tom Murphy said.

However, according to marijuana advocates, an increasing share of the 
drug is being grown domestically by small-time users and large-volume dealers.

Dan Skye, a senior editor with High Times Magazine, compared the 
horticultural mindset of smokers growing their own to that of amateur 
chefs raising tomatoes.

"In every community, people are growing their own," he said. "People 
have a great affinity for this plant."

Bill Downing, a director with the Mass Cannabis Reform Coalition, 
said plenty of pot is being grown outdoors as well.

"If you live outside the urban areas, there's plenty of good, open 
farm land out there," he said. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake