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Web Letter

How legalization will effect small growers all depends on the types of regulations states choose to put into effect. For instance, under the current medical marijuana law in Michigan a grower is limited to growing for himself and five other patients--a total of seventy-two plants (twelve per person).

Clearly legalization will take the big money out of small operations. Unlike the booze industry, however, I don't see quite the centralization. And even with much of the alcohol industry is centralized, there remains a clear market for individual wineries and specialized microbrewers of beer. Also there is a dedicated home-brewing culture. Small growers that are particularly good will always have a niche.

Besides the ballot measure in California, if all works out legalization will be on the ballot in Oregon and Washington as well.

Interesting to note, when Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004, they also voted for George W. Bush. Bush received around 60 percent of the vote but marijuana out-polled him. Flash forward 4 years to 2008. Obama took Michigan with around 60 percent of the vote. Medical marijuana out-polled him as well! When are the politicians going to crunch the numbers on this one?

Harold Baranoff

Federal Prison Camp, Jesup, GA

Apr 6 2010 - 12:18pm

Web Letter

Well, progress is progress. Maybe there's room for subsistence farmers in Mexico and elsewhere (Afghanistan?) to get into the game. Don't be such a fatalist, Alex, it's Easter.

Bud Ilic

bloomington, IL

Apr 2 2010 - 3:05pm

Web Letter

While the growers in Humboldt County may not get outrageous prices for their product, it will also reduce drug smuggling from Mexico and the violence that goes with it. The prohibition of alcohol promoted the development of organized crime in the United States, and the end of prohibition turned their attention toward illegal drugs, which because they were illegal drove up their "value." Prohibition only increases the value of illegal drugs, but does not stop people from using them. The war on drugs is not working.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 2 2010 - 11:01am

Web Letter

The marijuana apostles are not helping by demonizing heroin but portraying marijuana as a relatively safe "soft drug." Marijuana is worse for the lungs, heart and brain than cigarettes. Due to the lack of regulations, it is also teeming with bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Pure heroin just causes constipation and dizziness. It was banned only because the Russell opium trust was losing its monopoly in the 1920s. Now there is a holy war against narcotics with no more scientific basis than astrology. Thousands of chronic pain patients are driven to suicide for lack of narcotics. Dr. William Hurwitz was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison simply for treating patients in excruciating pain when everyone else refused. The wife of one of Dr. Hurwitz's patients, Siobhan Reynolds, was prosecuted for obstruction of justice, simply for establishing the Pain Relief Network.

See "Wichita Witchhunt," by Harvey A. Silverglate, Forbes, September 1, 2009.

Mark Scott Oller

Alexandria, VA

Apr 2 2010 - 9:57am