Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jul 2007
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2007 Record Searchlight
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


Your July 15 editorial, "County strikes overdue blow with Alesia," 
tells only half the story. You write: "The figures for seizures speak 
for themselves. In 2006, the statewide Campaign Against Marijuana 
Planting uprooted nearly 1.7 million plants."

What you neglected to mention was that after those massive seizures 
- -- up 1,200 percent in just a decade -- marijuana remained 
California's No. 1 cash crop by a whopping margin. These raids don't 
"eradicate" marijuana. They simply chase the growers further into 
more remote, environmentally sensitive areas, while artificially 
inflating marijuana's price -- and thus creating an incentive for new 
traffickers to replace each one who is busted.

There's a reason we never hear of criminal gangs planting clandestine 
vineyards in our national forests. If we regulated marijuana like 
wine, the problem that raids like Operation Alesia seek -- and fail 
- -- to solve would be eliminated overnight.

Bruce Mirken

Marijuana Policy Project, San Francisco
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman