Pubdate: Wed, 28 Dec 2011
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)
Copyright: 2011 Hawaii Tribune Herald
Author: Andrea Tischler


It is truly criminal that unscrupulous drug gangs cultivate marijuana
in national forests with complete disregard for the environment
("Forests vs. marijuana," Tribune-Herald, Dec. 27). This is solely
because the high price of illegal cannabis makes this activity worth
the risk.

And so, the U.S. Forest Service will continue with eradication and
cleanup efforts and will begin advocating for re-legalizing cannabis
as a disincentive to grow pot on public lands. BINGO! Now why hasn't
that brilliant idea been forwarded sooner?

When pot becomes legal and with no fear of seizure and arrest, private
land owners, not drug gangs, will be the ones entrusted to grow
cannabis for patients and consumers. The farmers will be licensed and
good land stewards, as they want to continue cultivating for years to

Further, the huge benefit will be that in addition to the savings
derived from far fewer arrests and a dwindling prison population, the
product will be regulated and taxed the way wine and tobacco are now
treated, generating billions from legal sales. This will boost the
economy and reduce the deficit. In these difficult times, this is a
big win-win.

I do take one exception to the author of "Their View." To confiscate
cannabis on public lands and sell it to medical patients is a bad idea
because the product could be loaded with chemical pesticides,
herbicides and who knows what. Patients require organically grown
medicinal grade cannabis, only. Seized pot on public lands should
continue to be destroyed.

Nevertheless, re-legalizing cannabis will put an end to drug gangs
destroying public lands for profit. We want to ensure that our
national forests are preserved for future generations of Americans to
use and enjoy. And, that's a good thing.

Andrea Tischler

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.