Medical Marijuana: The Three Issues To Consider

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Medical Marijuana: The Three Issues To Consider

Here’s the latest post from Senior Online Editor Sara Tambascio’s Sara’s Green Space blog.

I didn’t think I was a conservative, but all this talk about medical marijuana, grow lights and garden centers has me squirming in my chair. I’ve probably been to more Dave Matthews Band concerts than the average person, but I’m still nervous Googling “medical marijuana” on my work computer. What will the IT department think?

You’ve probably heard by now that Scotts wants to target the pot market. This news, combined with all the talk about hydroponic production has generated a lot of discussion at our office. Should we cover hydroponics?

Our readers have shared their opinions with us. A few retailers say they sell supplies on the downlow. One reader of sister publication Today’s Garden Center said that when customers ask for supplies, staff is told to say, “According to federal law, we cannot sell supplies related to or give advice related to the production of marijuana. We do carry a variety of equipment and supplies that can be used for indoor gardening, which I would be happy to show you.”

Growers responses have been more varied, positive to negative, everything from the gateway drug argument to the other uses of marijuana (hemp) and the extremely lucrative nature of the marijuana business.

It seems to me that there are three issues with selling marijuana supplies or marketing to that niche:

1. The legal issue. Some states and the federal government are still at odds over legalization, and I can’t imagine I’d want my business tangled up in it.

2. The moral issue. You may consider this the first issue, actually, whether you think marijuana use is a bad idea or a relief for chemotherapy, glaucoma and AIDS patients.

3. The business issue. If you stock these products, is it a good business for you? A commenter on our site says it actually brings buyers into the store. What I do like about the stance that Scotts CEO Jim Hagedorn has taken is that he’s thinking differently—about new products, new markets, evolution. In the Wall Street Journal article, Hagedorn said:

“In the past, Scotts wouldn’t have considered pursuing businesses or product lines that generated less than $10 million a year in revenue. But, Mr. Hagedorn said, ‘We can’t operate our business like that anymore.'”

Here’s a question for you: If it wasn’t possible to grow your own medical marijuana, would this whole situation be different? It will never be a controlled substance, not that controlled substances ever truly are. If you could grow oxycodone in your backyard, it might be illegal instead of controlled.

I don’t know where I stand on this issue. The older I get, the bigger the gray area in the world gets. But as far as legalization goes, what would happen if marijuana was made legal? Amsterdam still hasn’t burned to the ground. And while I know that Europeans and Americans are very different, it’s another good question to ask yourself. What would America be like if marijuana were legalized? If this were a cut and dry issue, it wouldn’t be controversial. Your thoughts in the comments.

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4 comments on “Medical Marijuana: The Three Issues To Consider

  1. Anonymous

    Orchard Supply Hardware here in CA has had a section in the garden center targeting the mj growers for years; $60 gallons of 2% organic nitrogen?? Back in college, the closet growers got all their supplies from Walmart at 2AM. Business is business, we are in the land of the free. Keep the pot leaves off the labels and sell your products to whomever is shopping. Now, get back to work and stop messing around on the internet.

  2. Anonymous

    I consider myself to be fairly conservative, but aren’t we talking about yet another drug? Like alcohol isn’t a bigger deal? And aren’t we talking about MEDICAL usage? It seems to me that we need to clarify the usage as well as the moral implications of each.

  3. Chuck Jonson

    If anyone in our country had a few brain cells left after they had a few scotch and sodas, they might come to realize that we could be taxing a multi billion dollar industry. It is not that we need the money is it? In five thousand years no one has been hurt, maimed or killed by this innocent plant. The CDC will not tell you that fact. The market will always be there so why not take advantage?

  4. Michael Malone

    I don't smoke pot, but I drink beer – mostly elevated alcohol content microbrews and wine, with the occasional mixed drink now and then. What's the difference? As a farmer I have grown a few pot plants just to see what it's habits and characteristics are. I don't know if the stuff was any good. I didn't smoke it. I just composted it. We need to face the fact that alcohol is just as problematic as pot, and that if we can control alcohol in the name of liberty, then we can do the same with pot — and generate tax dollars, eliminate wasted drug enforcement costs, increase horticultural interest and sales, and un-criminalize millions of people. And by the way, I have encountered many belligerent and violent drinkers in my life, but very rarely an angry pot smoker.