Tuesday, May 05, 2009


It’s time for Hawaii to chase out the GMO industry and plant a real cash crop

by Larry Geller

Can you believe it?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Tuesday he welcomes a public debate on proposals to legalize and tax marijuana, which some suggest could provide a lucrative new revenue source for the cash-strapped state.

The Republican governor, whose term in office expires at the end of next year, was asked about the idea of treating pot like alcohol at an appearance in northern California to promote wildfire preparedness.

"No, I don't think it's time for that, but I think it's time for a debate," he said. "And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what affect it had on those countries, and are they happy with that decision." [Reuters, Schwarzenegger welcomes debate over legalizing pot, 5/5/2009]

Criticism has been leveled at Hawaii’s ongoing failure at high-tech and its controversial Act 221 tax credit may be curtailed. Maybe we should concentrate instead at being world leaders in, um, a certain potentially lucrative agricultural niche market.

Tourism isn’t carrying us through this great recession very well. We could use an alternative approach. Why not look to something that we can do in our own back yards? Not only that, but it might assist the rebound of our economy too.

Legalization makes sense anyway. Here’s a short PSA by Jack Cole, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Check out their website. Cole was invited to speak at a Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii annual meeting which I attended, and I spoke with him further over dinner at the Olive Tree in Kahala. He had on a t-shirt emblazoned with "Cops say legalize drugs -- Ask me why," on the back. It’s amazing how many people waiting in line for their orders pointed to the shirt and talked about it. The message reached everyone in the restaurant. I have never met someone so confident in his conviction that America's drug policy is so damaging so many different ways that it needs to be changed.

If Republican governor Schwarzenegger is ready to talk, then it’s time the debate began here as well, don’t you think?


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