My position on the legalization of cannabis has evolved over the years to the point where I think legalization would generate tax revenue and economic opportunities while reducing drug enforcement costs.
Like many people, I feel should be a controlled substance like alcohol. It is high time we created a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores,
cultivation facilities, and testing facilities. Regulation would be created for regulating security, labeling,
and health and safety requirements. Government could establish a wholesale
excise tax and a special sales tax on retail sales to
consumers. The sale and procession of marijuana would be limited to those who could legally purchase alcohol.
Support for this concept is gowning, as the public realizes the hypocrisy of prohibiting the sale of marijuana while selling alcohol remains legal. Canada outlawed cannabis in 1923, giving it the same status as opium and other narcotics. Non-medical users of pot are,by law, criminals. Does that make any sense anymore?
The LeDain Royal Commission reports of the early 1970's concluded that the criminalization of cannabis had no scientific basis, but its use by adolescents should be discouraged. , “Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy”: by the Canadian Senate stated that “Early drug legislation was largely based on a moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate.”
The coalition of drug
policy experts, affiliated with the Centre for Applied Research in
Mental Health and Addiction at Simon Fraser University concludes that “Prohibition
abdicated responsibility for regulating drug markets to organized crime
and abandons public health measures like age restrictions and dosing
Scientific, based in decades of data and research shows that Marijuana is not the evil doer that it is made out to be. It is less toxic than tobacco or alcohol. It is not physically addictive (however there are studies that show psychological addictions). Decades of study from the experiences of the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy and Spain show that there is no correlation between using pot and moving on to harder drugs.
Would laws allowing
for the sale and regulation of marijuana cause a collapse of the social
order? Would public safety and health be at risk?
Look at the success of
the anti-smoking campaigns and the decline in smoking amongst teenage
Criminal gangs and their ilk do not care about the age of consumers. They do not care about your health or safety? They do not care about contaminants or additives!
I think not.
Like alcohol and smoking, research shows that pot can have a negative impact on adolescent at a formative time in their mental, social and physical development. So lets limit and regulate its use. Apply the same rules and expectations for the consumption of alcohol, which is less safe and widely abused.
Than there is the cost of this war on drugs - particularly marijuana. It is applied unevenly and unfairly. It is also very ineffective and expensive.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has shown that 94% of the cost to society of marijuana use the result of the prohibition. What waste of police resources.
End the hypocrisy, establish the ground rules and lets move on.