Clipped From Garden City Telegram
acknowledged that the delegate-stealing scheme hasn't been abandoned. OVER-THE-COUNTER POT: In the paneled board rooms of some large corporations, corporations, the executives are casting covetous eyes on the multibillion-dollar marijuana market. The secret estimates indicate indicate marijuana users are now smoking $4 billion worth of pot per year. If marijuana were legalized, the market could soar to $10 billion annually. annually. This is enough pot to tempt the biggest of businesses. In anticipation of the day pot will be made legal, some alcohol and tobacco companies already are making production plans. Government-sponsored tests at the University of Mississippi have produced an experimental marijuana five or six times stronger than the pot now sold on the streets. Tobacco companies, therefore, have' set aside choice Southern land for future marijuana harvests, compentent sources report. Some firms have even registered trademarks on brand names, lifted straight .from marijuana street lingo. Since trademarks cannot be issued for illegal products, the companies are using them temporarily on other obscure tobacco items. Once marijuana is legalized, the firms can switch the trademarks, say, from cigars to pot. The corporate executives are closely watching the status of legislation that would make marijuana legal to market. One corporate representative made a quiet trip to Washington recently to consult with experts on the law. He wanted to know what could be done to speed the legislation along. Eight states have already decriminalized marijuana use; another 27 are considering considering similar legislation. There are also bills before the Senate and House which would decriminalize pot possession on the federal level. They will probably be taken up, according according to our sources, after the presidential election. Meanwhile, the marijuana question may become an issue in the election. Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter has already taken a stand in favor of decriminalization. President Ford has stated, his opposition to the idea but has indicated privately he has an open mind on the subject. Ronald Reagan is staunchly against decriminalization. If he gets the GOP nomination, he reportedly plans to attack Carter on the issue. Footnote: The moving force behind the decriminalization effort, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is opposed to any corporate takeover of the marijuana market. Instead, the group advocates using tax revenues generated from marijuana sales for social purposes. RADAR RESULTS: An unusual veterans' meeting was held recently in Framingham, Mass. Military men and civilians partially blinded by radar microwaves gathered from around the country. The victims were led by Joseph Towne, known as the "Ralph Nadar of microwaves," who came from California. The microwave visitors were seeking ways to expand favorable decisions by the Labor Dept. and Veterans Administration, which grant disability payments to those with microwave cataracts. The problem: Cataracts from microwaves often don't develop until a decade or more after radar men and technicians leave their jobs.