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'Virtually Worthless' 


Regarding Grant Scott-Goforth's Feb. 5 column ("Buying in"), the suits cashing in on the current green rush will ultimately be replaced by farmers in overalls. One day marijuana will be fully legal nationwide and there will be no suburban basement grows with artificial lights and massive carbon footprints.

Environmentally destructive wilderness grows will become a thing of the past. These are vestiges of marijuana prohibition. When fully legal, legitimate farmers will produce marijuana by the ton under natural sunlight at a fraction of the current cost. It will be virtually worthless.

Financial incentives drive destructive cultivation practices. Marijuana prohibition distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. Mexican drug cartels don't sneak into national forests to cultivate cucumbers and tomatoes. They cannot compete with farmers. The time for California to regulate medical marijuana has passed. As a policy analyst with Common Sense for Drug Policy, I believe now is the time for California to catch up with Colorado. For the sake of the environment, the sooner the marijuana plant is treated as a fully legal agricultural commodity, the better.

Robert Sharpe, Washington D.C.

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