Pubdate: Sat, 07 Oct 2006
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Times Colonist
Author: Fred Mallach
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Re: "It's official: B.C. smokes the most pot," Oct. 5.

As I was flying home on Thursday I thought about how large and 
diverse our country is. However, what struck me the most was the 
sight of the Rockies. After traveling for four hours I realized it 
was a perfect metaphor for the line between B.C. and the rest of 
Canada regarding the use of marijuana. Call it the Rocky Mountain high!

The Harper government's "tough on crime" position is something 
Canadians should pay attention to. Even though 51 per cent of 
Canadians and 58 per cent of British Columbians support 
decriminalization our federal government is moving in the other direction.

We don't have enough jails in this country if all of the changes to 
the Criminal Code are made.

I believe the tipping point has already been reached with more young 
people choosing to use marijuana instead of tobacco. The Health 
Officers Council of B.C. discussion paper (fall, 2005) acknowledges 
that substance use is a component of our society. As well, the two 
most widely used substances, alcohol and tobacco cause more 
fatalities than all of the illegal substances combined.

What is amazing to me is that if the value of the cannabis industry 
is estimated to be $3 billion to $7 billion a year in B.C. it must be 
at least $20 billion dollars a year in Canada.

How can a Conservative government miss an opportunity to tax that 
amount of money?

But I suppose all of this is wishful thinking and nothing more than a 
pipe dream. No wonder the rest of Canada thinks we live in La La Land.

Fred Mallach,

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman