From: WebBooks -

Source: Halifax Courier, UK

Pub Date: September 15th 2000

Published letter: Petrol: Answer is in the weed

Author: Alun Buffry




CLEARLY some people are so dissatisfied with the price of fuel they are blocking progress on the roads and at oil terminals. Surely it is time to ask why we pay so much, both financially and environmentally.

For many year we have been at the mercy of suppliers of dangerous and environmentally polluting fuel, coal, gas and oil and nuclear power.

These resources of energy leave the supply in the hands of rich and powerful people who ensure high prices and provide the Government in revenue through taxation. But it is we, the people, who pay through the nose in more ways than one.

Biomass is an excellent source as it can be converted easily into alcohol and used to provide fuel for our vehicles, homes and even jet planes.

A woody plant that can be grown quickly and easily without the necessity of fertilisers or pesticides would be ideal. Even better if the plant produced a commercially viable fruit that had benefits (sic) [for] us in other ways so that the plant material used to make the fuel becomes virtually free.

When burned that fuel would release almost the same amounts of carbon dioxide and water as are absorbed during the growing season - so no dangerous pollutants.

And what if it could be produced on a local level, giving us some independence from the petrochemical and nuclear industries?

There is an ideal plant. It has been calculated that it could be grown in the UK and elsewhere and converted into alcohol to produce vast amounts of fuel. Unfortunately it is illegal, not because it is so dangerous as to be so undesirable but because the Government has deemed it undesirable that

people should get "high".

The plant is cannabis.

So long as cannabis remains illegal the ideal source of fuel is unusable and economically unviable. If it becomes legal then the tops and heads, the parts people should smoke therapeutically, both recreationally and medically, will generate enough income to enable us to have virtually cost-free and pollution-free fuel.

That is the demand that we should now be making. It is based upon scientific facts and sound economics, not political bias or false morality, and it would favour the people, not the Government and industry.

It is not a pipedream (excuse the pun), it is a fact!