Ask Ed: Questions and Answers – The Tomato Model

Question: I am curious to know: will [legalization efforts in California]open the door for major corporations to take over the industry? Can you please educate me?

Christopher, California

Ed’s Rosenthal: Yes! And you are not going to be able to get any pot except if you are fingerprinted and have your photo taken! I know that is the answer you are expecting to hear…

However, I think that we are going to experience the “Tomato Model” with the legalization of marijuana.

More tomatoes are grown in America by home gardeners than are produced commercially. Yet there is a robust commercial market for tomatoes and tomato products of all types: canned, vine-ripened, organic, sauces, soups, ketchup, etc. At the same time, small-scale specialty cultivators do well swelling their produce at Farmers’ Markets, and home gardeners with extra tomatoes share the bounty with neighbors as gifts, in trade, or through informal sales. Marijuana could be handled in the same way. Commercial growers can thrive side-by-side with home and specialty cultivators.

An appropriate question, as there are only 309 days left until it is legal here!



  1. Anonymous on

    I have a condition called sciatica, and I find that cannabis really helps with the pain. Its hard to say what other influences cannabis has on the system to help with pain. When you isolate things down to a single mechanism you may be missing something from the bigger picture.

    All in all more research needs to be done to determine the efficacy of cannabis and pain/illness.

  2. MTbulldog on

    yes, “formally articulate”… ed rosenthal, suit and tie guy… good thing the face of legalization in this country IS hippies. if anyone looked to the brilliant “silent majority” chiming in online, weed be skunk. i mean, we’d be sunk… huffing too much pot…

  3. Anonymous on

    I don’t know if Ed actually reads the comments posted here but I think he should be aware of the recently established fact that Cannabis can make pain worse instead of better. See article here

    Cannabis is still good for other things, I just wouldn’t recommend it for pain unless it has been proven to work on the particular source of the pain. Maybe it works on some kinds of pain and not others.

  4. Anonymous on

    Tokin Terry does his best to sound like Dennis Miller while over compensating for his man-crush on Marc Enery. Every post is the same old shit…and every post he rags on Marc while trying to sound derisive and condescending. Just come out of the closet Terry, the other officers will understand…

  5. Brian Kerr on

    “and brain damaged from gross intemperate use of dope”

    What kind of dope are you talking about ?

    If you are talking about Cannabis you are wrong. (as you probably know) Using Cannabis is actually not toxic to to our bodies and is actually neuro protective, (it protects brain cells) That means *no brain dammage from smoking weed*.

  6. Tokin' Terry on

    In recent months, we have noticed that the formally articulate Ed Rosenthal has slid ( skidded ) into long term intellectual impairment- his writings now are all dull clown like suggestions, none of which will ever work.. I am refering to mailing joints to the President also pretending he had special permission from the Oakland Aliens to grow a warehouse full of pot – now this– pot legalization model based on the TOMATO–and millions of hippies on social assistance you think still hang off your every word will fire up their toasters and lay some buds on a cheese sandwich.. and then march against Nixon immediately after lunch.. and a three hour nap..

    gone is any semblance of practical- or feasible.
    or even understandable there Comdrad Rosenthal
    sorry to break the news to you Eddie,
    but your best days were in the last millenia..

    between you and Marc Emery huffing so much pot
    and talking crap – while fleecing the stoner hoards of all their cash, no wonder you both ended up in such serious trouble — and brain damaged from gross intemperate use of dope. You have served your people well as a bad example of what NOT to do- you can retire now. maybe come out in public when the next farty old pot soaked faded pop culture superstar from the 80s dies..

    It’s one thing to be a resistance fighter
    in the war on drugs,
    its quite another to be on the losing side

    see you on facebook till they cancel _your account!

  7. Dan-o on

    I would be willing to let large scale businesses supply the herb. Let’s see it on a store shelf next to the aspirin too. Very likely still grow my own tho, I really enjoy the growing process! No fingerprint or photo for me!

  8. Buzz Killjoy on

    Just a couple of hundred years ago, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
    Recently they discovered Lycopene and it’s health benefits.
    We could only hope that the tomato model will be followed.

  9. Dirty Harry on

    I really like how you described the Tomato Model. I grow my own vegetable garden out doors every year. Imagine if Monsanto sent people to my garden. “Your growing corn. Were the seeds bought from us? Did we license you to grow our product? No? Your corn grow is then illegal as it competes with our business…”
    And then you see other vegetable producers coming out of the wood work with the same questions.