Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 2009
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2009 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Verna Gordon Binns


The Editor, Sir:

A popular US-based news station reported recently that 13 states in 
the USA currently have 600 legal marijuana pharmacies with trained 
pharmacists on-board. Other states are lined up to put it on the 
ballot for their residents to decide whether marijuana for medicinal 
purposes should be legalised.

People can access online prescriptions, with no limit to the amount 
they want. The dried marijuana is available in an unending list of 
names depending on the farmer's choice - names like 'third eye', 'air 
force one', etc.

Also available are marijuana chocolate bars, lollipops, butter, 
enhanced drinks and other goodies too numerous to name. It was also 
reported that approximately 6,000 people across the nation tried 
smoking the herb daily.

Two women were interviewed. One swore by the medical advantage of 
ingesting the herb during and post-radiation treatment stages, that 
the crippling cancer pains left her. The other, a teacher with 
bipolar disorder, tried to commit suicide after smoking eight big 
joints a day for over an extended period.

It was however, noted, that that was not her first attempt at 
suicide, and also that there was no discretionary sale of the weed to her.

I have never even smoked a cigarette in all my life so I have no 
agenda when I question the reasons why our country continue to 
destroy the labour of our ganja farmers. Ignorance has enshrined the 
thoughts of our people. Sure, there are disadvantages of smoking or 
drinking the herb. Like anything on this planet, if ganja is taken 
excessively it will damage the senses temporarily.

The reality of the situation is that this country is losing out big 
time on taxes from the illegal sales of marijuana. Some of the 
fastest-selling items in Jamaica are lighters, rizzla, matches, 
cigarettes and weed. Weed is available on every corner. We could 
collect some taxes there!

Some of the most modern and advanced countries around the world have 
legalised marijuana. We missed the tidal waves of the offshore 
banking days. Let us not miss the boat of the marijuana export opportunities.

I am, etc.,

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom