Pubdate: Tue, 7 Sep 2010
Source: Comox Valley Echo (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Matthew M. Elrod
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


I hate to rain on the Budbusters' parade, but their "seek-and-destroy"
operations do not put "a real dent" in the drugs market. ('Budbusters'
move in on pot plantations,' Sept 3).

According to the RCMP, annual Canadian cannabis production is roughly
estimated at between 1,399 and 3,498 metric tonnes. About 50
tonnes were seized in 2007, less than 5 per cent, less than
cultivators lost to plant diseases and pests, and less than
distributors would have paid in taxes if cannabis were legal.

When all goes as planned, there may be a brief, localized scarcity of
cannabis, and an increase in the "street value." However, when the
price of cannabis rises, the economic incentive to traffic, and grow
indoors, rises in tandem.

Cannabis consumers substitute other drugs, primarily alcohol,
pharmaceuticals and solvents, causing addiction, violence, overdose
deaths, domestic abuse, traffic accidents and all the other social
costs associated with alcohol to rise as well.

The resources wasted on these annual cannabis eradication efforts
might be better deployed eradicating the invasive, alien Scotch Broom
taking over our landscape.

The bright yellow flowers are psychoactive when dried, and are easily
spotted from the air.

Matthew M. Elrod

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