Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jul 2017
Source: North Shore News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 North Shore News


The clock is ticking for the provinces to sort out legal regimes for
the production and sale of recreational pot. It's all very hazy but
still an improvement over the ills that have sprung from keeping pot
illegal: feeding huge profits for gangsters and the attendant violence
that's gone with that.

Still, there's a lot to be worked out in a year: Who will grow it? Who
will sell it? How will marijuana be standardized, regulated and taxed
without driving consumers back to the black market?

How do we allow reasonable access to a quality product for adults who
wish to use it while mitigating potential harm?

Fortunately, other governments - including our neighbours in
Washington State - have walked this road before us. We can and should
take the lessons of other jurisdictions about what works and what doesn't.

Until then, local pot shops exist in murky territory. They are openly
conducting an illegal business but in a climate where we know that law
will change in the face of widespread public acceptance.

Of course, we've been here before with another substance. Alcohol
continued to be sold during various prohibitions and many became
wealthy from that illegal trade. Some jurisdictions refused to enforce
prohibition laws, while "patients" got prescriptions for "medicinal
use" of booze. Some speakeasies opened as pharmacies. Sound familiar?

Societally, we gain overall from legalizing pot, but that doesn't mean
there aren't serious issues to consider as we do that. How our
governments choose to lead the way beyond the days of Reefer Madness
in a practical sense will be key to the success or failure of this
significant social change.
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MAP posted-by: Matt