Group Calls Marijuana State's Top Cash Crop

Group Calls Marijuana State's Top Cash Crop
Posted by CN Staff on December 19, 2006 at 08:53:22 PT
By Jennifer Brooks, Staff Writer
Source: Dickson Herald
TN -- Tennessee's biggest cash crop isn't cotton or soybeans or corn. It's marijuana.State officials have known this for years and responded with an ever-escalating war on the drug — patrolling the skies, searching remote mountainsides with heat sensors, sending in the National Guard, burning the crops to the ground and casting a wide net to catch the drug as it moves across the state.
Using law enforcement's own records of marijuana seizures, a group dedicated to the legalization of marijuana has released a new report, ranking Tennessee number two in the nation in marijuana cultivation."You have a very big state that's also very rugged," said the report's author, public policy expert Jon Gettman. "The climate lends itself to cultivation, and marijuana thrives in marginal areas like fence lines, mountainous areas, places that don't get a lot of heat and light."Gettman is the former publisher of High Times magazine and past president of NORML, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He also holds a doctorate in public policy.The study, which ran in the December issue of The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform, looked at the amount of marijuana seized by law enforcement officials in each state and used that figure to estimate the total amount being grown and sold.Gettman's report concluded that marijuana is a $35 billion a year business in the United States. That would make it the most lucrative crop in the nation, worth more than all the corn and wheat crops combined.In Tennessee, he estimates there are 6.7 billion marijuana plants growing either in the fields or indoors. The state produces 2.9 million pounds of the drug, with an estimated value of $4.7 billion.By contrast, the value of the state's top three legal cash crops — cotton, soybeans and hay — comes to barely $1 billion combined.Drug enforcement agencies are skeptical about Gettman's dollar figure. It's hard to prove a negative — the number of marijuana plants out there that haven't been found. But many of Gettman's findings match law enforcement's beliefs, including Tennessee's high ranking among marijuana-producing states."We are part of a group of seven states that have the highest marijuana production rates," said T.J. Jordan, a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation who heads the Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication. The other members of the so-called Marijuana Seven — also known as the Mary Seven and M7 — are Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Kentucky and West Virginia.Jordan was particularly un-impressed by the economic argument in favor of legalizing marijuana. "We see it as a gateway drug that's easily accessible to children," he said.Note: $4.7B estimate exceeds top 3 legal crops.Marijuana Production in the United States (2006) -- Dickson Herald, The (TN)Author: Jennifer Brooks, Staff WriterPublished: December 19, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Dickson HeraldContact: dhnews mtcngroup.comWebsite: Articles:Marijuana Top US Cash Crop, Analyst Says is Called Biggest Cash Crop 
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Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 20, 2006 at 00:54:31 PT
2 real verses from Rocky Top -
Once two strangers climbed ole Rocky TopLookin' for a moonshine stillStrangers ain't come down from Rocky TopReckon they never willCorn won't grow at all on Rocky TopDirt's too rocky by farThat's why all the folks on Rocky TopGet their corn from a jar
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Comment #3 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on December 20, 2006 at 00:23:09 PT
Everyone sing the Volunteer toke song -
Rocky Pot, you'll always beToke sweet toke to meGood ole Rocky Pot (inhale)Rocky Pot, TennesseeRocky Pot, Tennessee
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 19, 2006 at 13:27:36 PT
From MPP
This has been an exciting day so far. I've just returned to the MPP office after debating a prohibitionist from the Drug Free America Foundation on live national TV on MSNBC. And I have to dash off again in a moment for another appearance, because the segment is, according to an MSNBC producer, “one of the most e-mailed stories today.”The topic? The new report that MPP co-released yesterday that shows marijuana is the nation's number one cash crop. The report, written by Jon Gettman, Ph.D., explains that wholesale marijuana sales are at $36 billion annually, which is greater than corn ($23 billion) and vegetables ($11 billion) combined.This report is a damning indictment of the government's marijuana policies. The government has been waging its war on marijuana users since 1937, seizing approximately 4 million marijuana plants — and arresting nearly 800,000 Americans — last year alone. Despite this endless war on the American people, nearly 100 million Americans have tried marijuana, 25 million have used it in the past year, and 15 million have used it in the last month.The report is generating a great deal of worldwide news coverage, including articles by the BBC, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse; in the Sidney Morning Herald (Australia), The Scotsman, The Times of India, the Irish Times, the China Post (Taiwan), and at least 14 papers in New Zealand; and on the Australian Broadcasting Company — which also interviewed MPP’s director of communications, Bruce Mirken. Nationally, the story has been covered on ABC’s “America This Morning,” NBC’s “Early Today,” CNN’s “American Morning,” CNN Headline News, MSNBC’s “The Situation With Tucker Carlson,” as well as on more than 50 local TV stations across the country. Please click on the following links to coverage in the L.A. Times, in Britain’s The Independent, and on ABC News.
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Comment #1 posted by thestales on December 19, 2006 at 10:18:08 PT
"We see it as a gateway drug that's easily accessible to children," he said.I am happy for you that you are delusional or hallucinating. Maybe some cannabis can help with your sickness. You can "see" things all you like, but the fact is there is no gateway, or at least that's what your government (boss) says. My Question is how do you make it not easily accessible to children? So far Prohibition has only made it the biggest US cash crop. Care to change your tune now? Probably not. How unfortunate that you can't "see" the truth.
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