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Marijuana mogul offers free grow-op equipment to beef producers

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It has been said that a friend with weed is a friend indeed and Marc Emery,
a man who always has a considerable stash of
mind-melting marijuana close at hand, wants to make friends with Alberta
cattle ranchers.

The president of the Marijuana Party and publisher of Cannabis Culture
magazine is donning a white ten-gallon hat, riding over the
mountains from his Vancouver base and offering to help save the bacon of
Alberta beef producers devastated by the mad-cow crisis.
Emery is offering to give a free marijuana grow-op starter kit to anyone
who has cattle on their property and is looking to get into
a new racket.

The man who has made himself a legal million - or maybe ten - in the
marijuana industry, says he is willing to supply soil,
fertilizer, plant food, a 1,000-watt bulb, seeds and a grow manual to
financially beleaguered cowpokes absolutely free of charge.

"I'll even come out there and install it all," says Emery,
matter-of-factly. The total retail value of such a package is $500 to
$600, but Emery says the basic kit can net someone with a green thumb close
to $15,000 per year. "These people are in trouble and I'
m just trying to be a good neighbour," he says.

It's an understatement to say Canada's cattle industry is in trouble and
there is plenty stacked against it: the U.S. has a
multi-billion dollar import-export trade deficit and they desperately want
to start balancing that equation. Their dollar is
falling, meaning they're paying more to import goods. They can no longer
export their beef products and they're singing "Blame
Canada" for that sorry state of affairs. Since they can no longer export
beef, they will have to consume all the beef they produce
at a time when the fast food industry, which buys a large percentage of the
beef consumed in the U.S., is under attack from public
health advocates and Americans are, slowly, starting to be more health
conscious. Fast-food companies are also facing the spectre of
super-sized tobacco industry-style lawsuits by litigation barracudas. And
perhaps worst of all, it's an election year and you have a
better chance of finding a virgin in a whorehouse than you do of finding a
candidate for office in a beef-producing state who's
going to campaign on a platform of compassion for Canadian cattle ranchers.

Emery has tried to put himself in the dung-covered boots of Alberta's
trampled-underfoot ranchers.

"If I were a cattleman, I would not want to, quite literally, bet the farm
and my family's future on the very dubious prospect of
the border opening anytime soon," Emery says. "On the other hand, try as
they might, the Yanks have not been able to close the
border to our weed and our neighbours seem to have an insatiable appetite
for the stuff."

The philanthropic self-proclaimed Prince of Pot has also looked into his
smoke-filled crystal ball and does not like what he's
seen."If Uncle Sam decides to close the border to beef, as well as live
cattle, it's very likely that a lot of family farms and
ranches will be gobbled up by Monsanto - or whatever multinational
megacorporation is involved with livestock - and that is
something we can all live without," he says.

Brooks Mayor Don Weisbeck laughed when told of Emery's offer.

"Thanks, but no thanks," Weisbeck said to Emery's "very strange" offer.
"Let's hope we can be just as successful in opening the
border to our product. I don't think he'll find many takers. People here
want a more fulfilling way to make a living."

Emery's offer, however, may not be as bizarre as Weisbeck thinks. B.C. bud
has maintained much of the province since B.C.'s forest
industry was crippled first in 1997 when the Asian "tiger economies" turned
out to be paper tigers and went up in flames as a result
of currency speculation and then by the ongoing softwood lumber dispute
with the U.S.

"(Weisbeck) might want to talk to the mayors of dozens of B.C. towns
dependent on forestry exports that have survived the past six
years because of marijuana money," Emery says.

Source: FFWD (CN AB)
Pubdate: January 15, 2004
Contact info@ffwd.greatwest.ca
Website: http://www.ffwdweekly.com/
Address: 228 - 18 Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta. T2S 0C1
Fax: (403)244-1431
Copyright: 2004 FFWD
Author: Brian Salmi