I'm encouraged and dismayed at the debate on the legalization of cannabis. I'm in agreement with "Woods" ("Growing Greed," July 9) and Amy Gustin on their take on the situation (small farms, environmental awareness of impacts). I'm dismayed by the California Legislature's attempts to craft a bill so far, since all I see is dollar signs in their eyes. In The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, the REAL reason cannabis became prohibited is not because of its effects after smoking it, but the effects on the wallets of some powerful businessmen who found cannabis' cultivation as a threat to their livelihoods: the timber/cotton/drug/oil industries.
In response to this, a group of citizens crafted the CA Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016 (www.cchi2016.org). Some salient points: It allows cultivation for personal consumption; does NOT allow for taxing cannabis hemp medicines; defines the various ways cannabis can be used and viewed legally; calls for the California government to release prisoners whose sole crime is related to the use and/or business of cannabis; caps excise taxes on retail sales at 10 percent, and demands that half of the tax revenue go toward assisting in development and promotion of the cannabis industry; caps fees on production to $1,000; calls for the end of discriminatory practices to doctors who prescribe cannabis and unfair zoning restrictions to businesses that sell these products; and, finally, for California to deal with recreational sales the same way as alcohol.
I ask everyone to go to the website, read the text, and come join us as we "blow away the smoke" of propaganda that has withheld the bountiful gifts this plant offers. We begin petitioning in September to place it on the ballot in 2016.
Scott Kender, Garberville