Roundup Staff Misses Point In Marijuana Stories

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Editor:

In Max Foster's Aug. 1 article, "Marijuana grower sentenced to 10 years," you and the editorial staff missed several points and issues that should have been discussed.

Firstly, Foster quotes a drug force agent that says that marijuana gardens "present a danger to hikers" and cause "tremendous" environmental damage, but never explains what these dangers are or how such damage actually occurs.

In addition, Foster, in his August 4. Article, "Marijuana garden kept intact for training," does not ask why law enforcement officers would use the "danger to hikers" and "environmental damage" argument to send a man to prison for ten years, but then keep an even larger garden for its own benefit. Foster quotes DEA Special Agent Tim Landrum as he celebrates that "millions of dirty dollars never made it into the drug trade" but never asks how much money tax payers are forced to spend in order to fund the GCNTF (Gila County Narcotics Task Force), Department of Public Safety, Gila County's Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Gila County Attorney's Office, DEA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, all of whom, Foster reports, participate in the marijuana raids, along with a "DPS Ranger helicopter and a SWAT team."

Foster and the Roundup's editorial staff also fail to see that all of this money could be kept in the open market to benefit Arizona citizens, their communities, and America at large if marijuana were legalized, allowing it to be safely and efficiently sold in the free market.

Joel Handley

Evanston, Ill

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