Pubdate: Mon, 26 Jan 2009
Source: Maui News, The (HI)
Copyright: 2009 The Maui News
Author: Brian J. Murphy


A recent article described Gov. Linda Lingle as "willing to discuss
everything to help solve the state's budget woes." While some people
are considering gambling as a source of revenue, we should also study
the economic benefits of industrial hemp and medicinal marijuana.

The economic benefits of industrial hemp are far too numerous to
rehash here. Do an Internet search and you will be amazed to learn
that such a valuable crop is regulated in such a draconian fashion.
Perhaps the exemption during World War II could serve as a model for
an economic recovery exemption.

Another rescue from our economic troubles can be found in the debate
surrounding medical marijuana. Maui County Citizens For Democracy In
Action has proposed a family farm program designed to provide licensed
patients safe access to medical grade cannabis. These farms would
establish quality control, provide safety from the black market and
create the jobs and tax base that could conceivably save these islands.

The desperation and immediacy of our economic challenges have prompted
Gov. Lingle to consider once-opposed ideas in the belief that we
should not take anything off the table. Of all the many ideas we will
hear, perhaps we should consider the win-win propositions first.

Brian J. Murphy

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