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California will vote on a proposition to legalize marijuana in November. Proponents are touting it as a new source of government revenues, hoping to garner support from citizens who've resisted raising taxes to such an extent that their state is now bankrupt. They also cite escalating violence in Mexico as a reason to remove marijuana from the list of prohibited drugs.
Canada should consider a similar move. We've already legitimized marijuana for medical purposes. However, licenced quantities are so minimal as to make a cat laugh. Legitimate users therefore track other suppliers … as do the police. A Toronto raid last week shut down a popular (regrettably unlicenced) retailer, for example. Thousands of apparently authorized buyers are now looking for an alternative supplier.
Where will they go? If they turn to sellers linked to criminal gangs, will their increased demand set off fierce competition amongst suppliers all too happy to enforce "franchise areas" through violent means? If so, a vicious circle ensues – more police, more prisons, more costs all round. A much more rational response would be to legalize marijuana, removing costs on the one hand and opening up a whole new revenue base on the other. Unlikely to happen here, I agree, given the current state of politics in Canada. But if California goes that way, others are sure to follow.
Posted On Apr 08 05:20PM
Maitressedelouest writes about the worrisome trends of habitual pot smoking, but the same can be said about excessive alcohol consumption. How much social grief has been caused by alcohol but it's still a legal, regulated drug? Why is it different with marijuana? In my previous comment I distinctly mentioned that there will always be the minority who abuses pot, but why should the minority control the majority. I agree about his analysis that pot leaves you really stupid (and lethargic) over a long period of time and that more studies need to be undertaken. (or has it been studied to death?) However, it is time we put the kibosh on the criminal element who kill people and make millions of dollars, all because it is an illegal drug. If there is a better way than legalizing and regulating it, I haven't heard about it.
Posted On Apr 08 02:23PM
Haha, California was the first to substantially reduce vehicle emissions, and now may be the first to substantially increase 'organic' emissions! Maybe they are on to something over there...
Into all things politics, policy and parliamentary.
Posted On Apr 08 02:14PM
I think the idea of legalizing marijuana is an issue whose time has come. But at the same time, I'm not one of those who thinks pot is innocuous or just a recreational (or medicinal) drug. I've had friends become addicted to it for years.
I've also seen friends who've used it for years become stupid (that is, pot makes you stupid).
I have also witnessed, living in Quebec, the worrisome trend of young school kids (early highschool) who smoke pot regularly on the streets without problem -- even during the school day -- (it might as well be legal there) and everyone acting as if this is ok. It's not ok: marijuana affects some people very strongly.
We need studies, we need sensible dialogue. Regulation and taxation could maybe help this along. Sweeping it all under the carpet is not the way. It has clearly never really worked.
Posted On Apr 07 04:31PM
As long as marijuana is illegal, it will be controlled by local, organized crime and international cartels. Canada has reached a point where HONEST dialogue must take place to get this situation into the open. I have no idea what the obsession and misinformation is all about, when it comes to marijuana. There will always be a minority of people who will abuse the use of any narcotic, but why should this dictate the will of the majority? It makes more sense to regulate its use rather than constantly reading about the violence and mayhem attributed to criminal elements. It would seem that the era of alcohol prohibition hasn't taught us a thing.
Posted On Apr 06 09:23PM
Oh come on. California has no choice, it is destitute. And considering the Big One is on its way this summer and FEMA will be useless, taxing ganga is the only way to go. I'm sure we will see this in many places as the 'recession' deepens. They better hurry up though, because the big one is due soon.
Canada is too stupid to realize prohibited drugs like marijuana is nothing to be alarmed about. Remember the stoopid 'marijuana is a gateway drug' b.s.? Yeah, for folks who live in poverty, I guess it could be. Why isn't Poverty the real reason, after all, it is for Governors of States like California? The Spin will start now, marijuana is not a Gateway Drug, it is a 'soft' drug and has medicinal purposes. Gah, the reasoning is blatant. Of course those in poverty will get no help, their just victims of our capitalist democracy, which is a joke.