by Ron McManus
IT looks just like any garden I superstore. The aisles are packed with gardening tools and plant-growing products. Families, pensioners and men in overalls wander the aisles filling their trolleys with items and there are plenty of experts on hand to give garden tips or commiserate on the pests that blight a new crop.
But at the weGrow garden centre, they are in the weed business - "weed" as in grass, pot, ganja or indeed, wacky baccy.
For this is a marijuana megastore, where every product for sale is designed for one thing, growing marijuana plants, and it's all legal.
The weGrow center takes advantage of California's liberal view of marijuana, where possession or use of the drug isn't against the law, as long as you have a prescription saying you take the drug for mediacl reasons.
Doctors generally agree that marijuana can be a potent painkiller, especially with conditions such as arthritis, and it is one of the few drugs that helps to relieve the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
But most doctors don't believe the drug should be legalised for medicinal use.
In California, they hold a different view and, as a result, legally-cultivated marijuana plants are California's biggest cash crop, worth $14 billion a year.
The state has dispensaries for your marijuana prescription and, if you're a "pot patient", you can grow your own.
That's where weGrow come in.
In the Oakland area, someone with a doctor's marijuana prescription can grow up to 12 plants at home.
The marijuana megastore sells everything from seeds to he "bong" that you use to smoke the drug, and as a turnover of over $1 million a year.
And so it should be and that even more so. It should be as legal as alcohol. For the truth of the matter in many ways, you need to read Tara Chapman's article on this amazing plant on her website - www.endtimecog.net