Friday, October 23, 2015

On Progressive Legislation

While I am sure that the legalization of marijuana will not be a legislative priority of the incoming government, I have little doubt that Justin Trudeau will honour his pledge to enact it. It is something I have given a fair bit of thought to, and although initially I was quite ambivalent about the prospect, I now embrace the argument that, however counter intuitive it may seem, it is far better to legally control cannabis, thereby reducing both the power of the criminal element that currently supplies the recreational market, and the prevalence of its distribution to young people.

As well, the fact is legalization will also mean a new source of tax revenue, something not to be lightly dismissed. Additionally, police forces will no longer be wasting their resources and taxpayers' money on the failed 'war on drugs'. It is something I think they will welcome:
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has been pushing since 2013 for officers to have the ability to ticket people found with 30 grams of marijuana or less.

Mario Hamel, the association's vice-president and the chief of the Gatineau police, said legalizing marijuana could free up officers to address other issues.

Also instructional is the Colorado experience:
... this summer, state officials reported that marijuana tax revenues were up nearly 100 percent, according to ABC7 Denver. Revenue jumped from $25 million in the first five months of 2014 to $44 million in the same period this year.

Colorado began directing some marijuana revenue toward school and research programs in May, including providing grants to public school districts and charter schools, an education official told The Huffington Post. Almost $24 million was allocated to the Building Excellent Schools Today program, said Kevin Huber.
The possible mechanics of distribution, economic benefits and the potential for international growth are discussed in this Power and Politics clip:

As also implied in the above, there will clearly be other benefits to the economy: the additional employment of people to grow and distribute the products, as well as the ancillary industries arising around cannabis:
Leigh Coulter, president and co-owner of GGS Structures, which builds greenhouses for marijuana operations and other agricultural products, anticipates major growth for her small business after last night’s election. “This is an extension and a chance to let the world know Canada will be a leader,” she said. “We will develop the technologies to ensure that this is a crop of great revenue potential.”

Mr. Alves anticipates a number of other small-business sectors benefiting from a more marijuana-friendly Canada as well.

“You just have to look south of the border to see the types of businesses that have sprung up – everything from marijuana-focused marketing and promotions to technology platforms and delivery systems,” he said. “There’s also a real opportunity for some of the businesses that currently exist in an unregulated market to really become a mainstream businesses; they can develop and scale as opposed to remaining in the shadows of a grey market.”
Not to be forgotten either is the upscale market for recreational marijuana:
The newly launched website Tetra offers an array of handmade objects, smoking accoutrements designed to be kept in plain sight – especially when company comes over. Designers and artists including Ben Medanksy, Matthias Kaiser and Leah Ball are creating luxurious pipes out of marble and buffed sandstone, and ashtrays that would make The Dude topple over in awe.
Add to that the increasingly artisanal cast of cannabis strains, and you have a recipe for real growth.

No public policy should be decided solely on the basis of economic parameters; however, I am convinced that the legalization of marijuana will be progressive legislation ultimately welcomed and endorsed by a progressive nation.

As always, I welcome all comments, and I am certainly happy to entertain challenges to the position that I have advanced here.


  1. Oh, we'll miss him soon enough - Fatuous Fantino. He sought to counter Trudeau's pot decriminalization platform by asserting that organized crime would get a huge boost from legalized pot. He didn't explain quite how, much less why that hasn't happened in Washington, Oregon, Colorado or Alaska, but he said he just knew it in his bones.

    C'mon, Lorne. Are you just itching to toke up, reliving the 60s?

    1. Well, Mound, I really think we all deserve to mellow out after almost tern years of oppression, don't you think?

  2. The current prohibition is not only not working it is simply nonsensical. Gateway drug my foot. If it were such a gateway drug then every adult I know would now be a heroin addict. Legalize it and let's move on. I know that I am going to light up a great big doobie just because I can and then go on with my life as before.

    1. Your comments put the right-wing rhetoric in the context it deserves, Kirby:: hysterical nonsense.

  3. Legalize it on April 20, 2016.
    Let's start a petition.

    1. People who celebrate that day would look forward to it with even greater enthusiasm than usual were your suggestion to be implemented, Willy.