Pubdate: Sat, 06 Sep 2014
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2014 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: A9


Regarding "Illegal marijuana grow sites despoil our national forests" 
(Open Forum, Sept. 3): Sam Hodder is barking up the wrong tree. 
Illegal marijuana grows in national forests are a direct result of 
marijuana prohibition. Federal anti-marijuana enforcement is the root 
cause of the problem, not the solution. One day, marijuana will be 
legal nationwide and there will be no suburban basement grows under 
artificial lights with massive carbon footprints.

Environmentally destructive backcountry grows will become a thing of 
the past. When marijuana is fully legal, legitimate farmers will 
produce it by the ton under natural sunlight. It will be virtually 
worthless. This is important. Financial incentives drive destructive 
cultivation practices.

Mexican drug cartels don't sneak into national forests to grow 
cucumbers and tomatoes. They cannot compete with legitimate farmers. 
The sooner the federal government allows states to treat the 
marijuana plant as a legal agricultural commodity, the better.

Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.
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