Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jun 2002
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Times Colonist
Author: Jim Hackler


I do not condone non-medical drug use, illegal or otherwise, but the 
primary concern of governments seems to be economic growth. Most drug money 
is laundered through "respectable" businesses, which carefully look the 
other way.

The present punitive practices regarding drug use supports organized crime, 
corrupts police forces, destroys more lives than the drug use itself, and 
makes otherwise ethical real estate dealers pretend that they are not 
suspicious when someone with little apparent income pays cash for a house. 
But our drug policies keep judges and police employed and stimulate the 

More rational policies toward drugs might generate tax revenue, reduce the 
duplicity at banks and brokerage firms, and lessen the deceit involved in 
many real estate deals.

The controlled legal distribution of pot would not solve problems 
associated with use, but current money launderers would not have to pretend 
that they see nothing. They could behave morally. Cigarette manufacturers 
and marijuana growers would be on the same footing.

And since we are obsessed with economic indicators, we could openly add 
these numbers to the gross domestic product.

Prostitutes distribute their earnings just as efficiently as opera singers. 
Gordon Campbell must be pleased that marijuana and money laundering is 
filling in the gap left by unemployed loggers, teachers, and government 

Jim Hackler,

University of Victoria. 
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