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Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Marijuana farming: a legal agricultural commodity; don’t use precious water resources

Move toward marijuana as a legal agricultural commodity

Our federal government continues to treat marijuana like Kryptonite [“Bureau of Reclamation should not restrict water to Eastern Washington marijuana farms,” Opinion, May 4]. They are not alone.

Washington state’s rollout of marijuana legalization has been hampered by a similar mindset. One day marijuana will be fully legal nationwide and there will be no suburban basement grows with massive carbon footprints. Environmentally destructive backcountry grows would become a thing of the past. These are vestiges of marijuana prohibition.

One day legitimate farmers will produce marijuana 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 cultivate cucumbers and tomatoes.

They cannot compete with farmers. The sooner the federal government allows states to treat the marijuana plant as a legal agricultural commodity, the better.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst at the Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.

Don’t divert precious water resources to marijuana

Insane. That’s what thinking about allocating already precious supplies of water from farmers growing our food supply to marijuana growers is.

Food is fundamental to survival; marijuana is not.

Worse, as population worldwide expands over land capable of growing food, and cities suck up more water needed for food production, it’s insane to speed up the water crisis already under way.

Just confine the damage to bodies of those who choose to indulge in using recreational drugs. Don’t divert our water. Many of us voted to legalize use and purchase of marijuana to avoid denying pleasure to others, without thought that growing and production would be large enough to need added water.

Farming is risky already, and is dependent on climate, access to water and land. Adding competition for land and water by marijuana, which might be more lucrative, would mean fewer farmers would grow food.

Ethanol is one example: Food corn supplies declined as corn went to ethanol production for greater profit. The same will happen with marijuana, at least until so little land and water remain causing food prices to skyrocket.

Land is scarce. Potable water is the real shortage worldwide. Diverting water to marijuana is insane.

Marilyn Martinetto, Steilacoom

Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: Common Sense for Drug Policy, farming, marijuana

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