Saturday, October 11, 2008

Marijuana Misinformation

pic of me from 2004 at a Canadian grow-op

Yesterday the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department busted what a lot of people apparently think is a 'huge marijuana grow-op'. The feds say it is Alabama's largest in history. By my standards it is a nice one but far from the biggest that I've personally seen in Canada and the west coast. But...anyway.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the enlightened comments on the AL.com forums regarding the futility of the drug war. Usually all I can find on those forums related to drug stories is the same old idiotic, prohibitionist non-logic that premeates every aspect of the discussion around anything drug related. But yesterday this happened. Ten or so of the people who were commenting on that story have expressed an interest in attending an upcoming meeting on medical marijuana.

Today the prohibitionist non-logic was back in full swing with this story from the Birmingham News.
Busted Indoor Pot Farm Alabama's Largest

Hydroponics is the preferred method of growing marijuana to make the drug more potent, which generates more money for the drug dealers, authorities said. The product sells for $4,500 per pound versus the normal $1,000 per pound.


This is untrue and anyone who knows anything about gardening should be able to spot the untruthfulness right away. For those of you who have never gardened, and I am talking about a regular veggie garden here, let me explain. Hydroponics is simply a way to grow plants. It in no way increases the potency of marijuana or any other plant. Breeding and genetics can increase potency but the growing method itself has no bearing on the potency of the final product. If you start out with crappy weed seeds then the finished product will be crappy weed whether you grow it in dirt or hydroponically or aeroponically.

Growing hydro gives the grower more direct control over how much can be harvested. It is a way to produce more because you can control the light cycle and make the plants bloom whenever you want. You can also make the vegetative cycle much shorter by using 18 to 24 hours of light a day as opposed to the 10-12 hours you would depend on if you were able to grow outside without going to prison. Growing hydro allows one to manipulate the growing environment. But it doesn't in any way increase potency.

Anyone paying $4500 a pound for hydro is a fool if the only reason they are paying that much is because of the way it was grown. I suspect good genetics are generally involved in any weed costing that much money. And when did the cops drop the price of weed from $2000 a pound to $1000 a pound? In every other story about plants cops claim each plant is worth $2000 because as much as one pound of weed can be harvested from each plant. That's a hoot. Even most master gardeners can't get a pound of weed from a pot plant.

Nationwide, hydroponic marijuana has increased in popularity and become an organized criminal enterprise, bringing with it noticeable increases in violent crimes such as home invasions, armed robberies, arsons and homicides, authorities said.


So, the growing method is the reason for organized crime,violent crime, home invasions, robberies, arson and homicide? Good God now I have heard it all. Why not throw child molestation and wife beating in there, too, guys? Doing so couldn't possibly make that statement any less believable. PROHIBITION is the reason for the vast majority of crime around any illicit substance. And if you support prohibition then you support the way things are now and you support all of that crime and you support the drug dealers.

Sheriff Mike Hale said he didn't initially appreciate the magnitude of what his drug investigators were uncovering.

"It would be impressive if it was a legitimate business," he said.


So, why not legitimize it and collect the tax money and build Larry's BirmingDome, pay off the sewer debt and use police resources to go after all those murders in the Birmingham area?

And by far my favorite quote...

Thursday's bust is another example of the department's focus on eradicating illegal drugs from the community. Marijuana, Hale said, is a gateway drug that leads to more violent crime.


Marijuana is not a 'gateway drug'. The gateway theory is just that A THEORY. And a goofy one at that. I could say that milk leads to heroin addiction because every heroin addict drank milk at some point in their life therefore milk is a gateway drug. Of course that would be silly and no one would believe it....but somehow folks believe it with weed. Even the American Medical Association says there is no scientific evidence that marijuana leads to hard drugs.

And really, if some want to persist with the 'gateway theory' then what about alcohol and tobacco being gateway drugs? I asked that question of Jefferson Co. drug court judge Davis Lawley and Lt. James Chambliss head of the Narcotics Division in the Birmingham Police Dept. Here is what they had to say.

Here is a letter to the editor of the Birmingham News sent today. If you'd like to write one send it to epage@bhamnews.com


Dear Editor,

This is in response to 'Busted indoor pot farm' (10/11), which was riddled with marijuana misinformation.

Authorities stated that growing marijuana hydroponically makes it more potent.

Hydroponics is simply a growing method. It in no way increases the potency of marijuana or any other plant. Breeding and genetics can increase potency and quality but the growing method itself has no bearing on the potency of the final product.

Authorities also claimed that hydroponic marijuana is responsible for organized crime, home invasions, armed robberies, arsons and homicides.

So, the growing method is the reason for all that? Now I have heard it all. Why not throw child molestation and wife beating in there too? Doing so couldn't possibly make that statement any less believable.

Prohibition is the reason for the majority of crime around any illicit substance. If you support prohibition then you support crime. You support the drug dealers. Refusing to control and regulate the drug market enables all of this crime. If Sheriff Hale wants to talk about gateway theories then prohibition is the gateway to crime.

Sheriff Hale said of the grow operation "It would be impressive if it was a legitimate business.

So, why not legitimize it and collect taxes, build the BirmingDome, pay off the sewer debt and use police resources to go after all those murderers in the Birmingham area? Why not grow it for those suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, MS and a whole host of other painful conditions that marijuana is good medicine for?







7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really hate that these two non-violent guys will be spending many, many years in prison. Definitely not fair.

Not sure if you've seen CBS42's page on this, but they have some video with more details of operation: http://www.cbs42.com/news/local/30748414.html The guy speaking doesn't seem to be an expert by any stretch..

ShavenYak said...

Marijuana is not a 'gateway drug'. The gateway theory is just that A THEORY.

Arrgh, I expect better from you, Loretta. That's the common misuse of the word "theory" that creationists take advantage of when they attempt to get their fairy tales into public school classrooms. There is not enough supporting evidence to elevate the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug to the level of "theory". At best, it's a hypothesis, but I think it is better described as a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

Loretta, have you seen this article? Very interesting.

http://www.al.com/newsflash/national/index.ssf?/base/national-13/1223928850171140.xml&storylist=national

Mark Godrey said...

Loretta:

I saw your name in the debate in a letter-to-the-editor and I wondered two things:

1. Why can the newspapers never find anyone on the other side that doesn't make a living off prohibition? They are always completely biased.

2. Why do the newspapers never ask for particulars on these "studies" we hear so much about?

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