17 Sep Marijuana – a cash crop for Samoa?

Earlier this week, a young man was sentenced to 2 years in prison for possession of marijuana. A lot of it. The Judge pointed out that he was clearly selling it, ‘for commercial gain’. She told him he should have thought of his family before breaking the law.

But maybe, just maybe – that’s what he was doing? Thinking of his family? Selling marijuana so he could earn an income to help support them? It sure beats sitting around waiting for remittances from long-suffering aiga overseas. Or breaking and entering to steal for a living.

I can buy and consume alcohol without going to prison. I can get a license to sell it. Is marijuana any worse for you than alcohol?

Do we have lots of people getting high on dope and causing traffic accidents? Or going to jail for assault and/or murder like they do after a drinking session goes wrong and everyone starts fighting?

I don’t know what the going rate is for a joint these days, but maybe selling marijuana makes you more money than selling taro?

I have no idea what’s involved in growing it. (I may be the daughter of an agriculture Professor, but sadly, I know very little about farming. Taro OR marijuana.)

Is it easier than growing taro? Does it need fertiliser and chemical spraying to protect it from bugs and viruses? Does it yield more per square meter than taro? And if we exported it, would we get more money than from taro?

Some years ago, a local manufacturer/exporter (and much respected in his field) put forward a proposal for making marijuana a cash crop for export. It was done ‘tongue-in-cheek’ I’m sure, but I’ve seen the proposal and a great deal of thought and time went into writing it!

Backed by extensive research into the commercial market worldwide for marijuana as a medicinal drug, his proposal argued that Samoa could be THE supplier of fabulous Grade A marijuana. All organically grown in the rich tropical soil and lush forests…watered by the pure mountain streams and heavenly rains… (can you just see the brochure now?)

According to the proposal, marijuana would not be legalised to sell and use in Samoa, but as an export crop and farmers would need to apply for special licenses to grow it. The industry would be monitored and taxed, thus providing government revenue.

Compared with the situation now where SOMEWHERE OUT THERE, people are growing it and selling it, and doing all sorts of things we don’t know about (and government can’t make any money off it).

Compared with the situation now where it seems they catch a lot of the small-time sellers like the one sentenced to jail earlier this week,  while the big players still roam free?

If his proposal went ahead, then maybe police resources and court time could be freed up for other things? Because how many marijuana cases go before the court? How much police time and resources are spent on chasing marijuana growers, distributors and users? Extensive police raids on marijuana growing strongholds – how much do they cost?

If it comes down to allocating resources to investigating the rape of a 10yr old – or a person caught with a joint and some leaves – which case would you say should take priority?

Or maybe any kind of marijuana legalisation would spell disaster for Samoa and we would end up a country of forever-high “dope heads”? And only attracting druggie tourists coming here to get high on the beach? All which does not fit our image as being Founded on God?

Some things to think about!

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