It’s time for my annual rant on the stupidity of marijuana eradication and although it goes on nationally, in no place is it better illustrated than California where they’ve just completed their yearly attack on harmless plants.
[T]he annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting had uprooted some 3 million plants, wiping out an estimated $11.6 billion worth of weed. That is more than twice the value of the state’s largest legal agricultural commodity, milk and cream, which was worth $5.2 billion in 2005, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture. It is nearly four times the value of the state’s largest legal cash crop, grapes, which was worth $3.2 billion.
This is only a fraction of the state’s outdoor crop. Using past state and federal government figures, they failed to eradicate some 14 million plants. And that’s just the outdoor crop. It doesn’t include a prodigious indoor cultivation industry which is increasing as outdoor growers are moving into suburban homes to avoid detection.
Marijuana Policy Project sums up the futility of it all.
“The Department of Justice has confirmed everything we’ve been saying about CAMP all year,” said Bruce Mirken, San Francisco-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “If you want criminal gangs moving in next door to grow marijuana, if you want to make those criminals unbelievably rich, and if you want to guarantee that marijuana becomes more potent, current policies are working perfectly. If you think that’s crazy, then it’s time for California to regulate marijuana production just like we regulate wine.”
In 5,000 years no one has died as a direct result of ingesting cannabis. In contrast, 7,600 people died in a single year from aspirin overdose and hundreds of thousands have died of alcohol abuse and tobacco use. Yet we spend tens of billions of tax dollars every year making war on a harmless weed when we could be reaping possibly hundreds of billions in tax revenues from a regulated legal industry. How dumb is that?