Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Marijuana is top US cash crop





By Warner M. MontgomeryWarner@TheColumbiaStar.com

According to a report in the December 2006 Bulletin of Canabis Reform (www.drugscience.org/bcr/index.html), marijuana is now the most valuable cash crop in the US, exceeding the value of corn and wheat combined, despite decades of marijuana eradication campaigns in which over 100 million marijuana plants have been destroyed.

The report says:

+ Marijuana is America’s top cash crop with a value of $35.8 billion this year, exceeding the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.45 billion).

+ The top marijuana producing states are California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii, and Washington. South Carolina is number 21.

+ Despite intensive marijuana eradication campaigns that seized over 103 million cultivated marijuana plants and wiped out an average of nearly 36,000 cultivation sites per year, US marijuana production increased tenfold from 1981 to 2006 according to US government estimates.

+ This enormous growth in marijuana cultivation, despite massive eradication efforts, indicates that marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of our national economy that should be put under a system of legal regulation.

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “…Our nation’s laws guarantee that 100% of the proceeds from marijuana sales go to unregulated criminals rather than to legitimate businesses that pay taxes to support schools, police, and roads.”

The Marijuana Policy Project, the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the US, believes the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. (www.MarijuanaPolicy.org)

In SC, seriously ill residents still face arrest and prison for using their medicine. The SC legislature adjourned in June without introducing a medical marijuana bill. Currently, 11 states have effective laws that protect marijuana patients from arrest and prison, and many others have similar bills pending in their state legislatures.

It is time to change the way SC treats medical marijuana patients. Our legislators should introduce a medical marijuana bill next session.

Help South Carolinians for Drug Law Reform (SCDLR) is lobbying legislators to enact a medical marijuana law. The Charleston- based group has launched a statewide petition drive to express public support for medical marijuana patients in SC. (843)723-0382




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