Pubdate: Tue, 20 Dec 2016
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Chris Bush


DRIVING to work the other morning, I passed the grow-op up the street
from my house.

It's about 100 metres from an elementary school and when it vents, it
stinks. In fact, the interior of my car still reeked when I arrived at
the office 15 minutes after driving through that cloud and it really
annoyed me to think the guy who stunk up my car likely has a more
lucrative income than I do and probably most of people reading this.

So now the government wants to finally legalize recreational

After skirting the issue for so long and already legalizing it for
medicinal purposes, it's forgive me, high time. Really I don't think
it should've ever been illegal in the first place, but here we are.

No, I don't use it. At least not long after that day in the late '70s
when a friend of mine and I were behind a pickup truck and waited
several minutes for it to make a right turn before realizing it was
parked. It was the '70s, when Cheech and Chong were still funny, but I
decided getting high really wasn't good for me.

Truthfully, I even have a bit of an issue with the concept of
medicinal marijuana. There are lots of good legitimate medical
applications, such as lessening anxiety, easing pain, alleviating
chemotherapy side effects and a host of other uses. I know of a number
of people who use it for pain and discomfort, including one elderly
woman it's working wonders for. I've heard she's even started being
nice to her husband again. But I think 'medicinal' was just a back
door to legalization - a hoop society shouldn't have had to jump
through, although maybe the process has led to some good research.

Once recreational weed is legalized, retailers and growers will find
plenty more ways to cash in on a potentially lucrative market with tax
dividends to government coffers.

The problem I have with legalization is the government's cumbersome
approach, embodied in a 106-page report with more than 80 regulatory
recommendations for the proposed Cannabis Control Act.

"Our report presents measures to create a viable legal market, which
are essential to meet the government's objective of displacing the
entrenched illicit market that exists in Canada today," former federal
Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, who headed the report, said in
a press release last week.

To dislodge that illicit market, one recommendation suggests you can
grow your own, but only four plants, not more than 30 centimetres
tall. I wonder how my neighbour will take it? And then there's the
recommendation to allow mail-order marijuana sales, but only to people
over 18.

Undoubtedly government will squander its new tax windfall, starting
with the recommendation to conduct yet another study on how marijuana
impacts driving skills - because over 417,000 references pulled up by
Google in 0.63 seconds don't contain enough information - and how
police can enforce driving while high.

When I was a teen, enforcement was simple. If a cop pulled you over,
took a big sniff and asked, "Son, what's wrong with your eyes?" you
were done driving for the night.
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