HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html On Marijuana, Let The Provinces Keep The Cash
Pubdate: Thu, 05 Oct 2017
Source: Vancouver 24hours (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Vancouver 24 hrs.
Author: Ada Slivinski
Page: 6


The federal government plans to legalize marijuana this summer and
they say they want their fair share of tax revenue.

A dollar tax on anything up to $10 - and a 10% tax on anything above
that amount - to be split 50/50 between the federal and provincial
governments. But wait, Trudeau says, it's not about the money.

"Nobody's mindset on this approach is about bringing in tax revenue on
this. The mindset with which we have approached the legalization and
control of marijuana from the very beginning has been from public
health and safety standpoint," Trudeau said during a press conference
flanked by premiers at the first ministers meeting in Ottawa this
week. What they want to do is, "Remove the black market from accessing
the billions of dollars of profit that they do every year off of this."

So wait, is it or isn't it about the money? As several premiers have
already pointed out, the provinces have the lion's share of work when
it comes to regulating and policing marijuana. The feds have come out
with a 131-page bill - Bill C-45 - that is basically the legal
equivalent of "we don't know, you figure it out," but they want
legalization to happen and they want the tax money that comes with

How legalizing marijuana is going to stop black markets from making
money from drugs in the first place has not been comprehensively
explained by the feds. When it comes to policing costs, provinces have
already warned that legalization will require more police resources
and not less. If Trudeau wants tax money from pot to go towards
policing, health and safety, he should put his money where his mouth
is and let the provinces keep the cash.

If there are problems with health or policing, it's up to the
provinces to pony up the resources. What does Trudeau want to use the
tax money for? Well, likely to help pay the interest on some of that
monstrous mountain of debt he's accumulating. But why should the
provinces suffer to pay the prime minister's credit card bill?

Marijuana legalization is a massive undertaking and each province will
have to figure out how to set a minimum age, limit the possession
amount, regulate how and where to sell the stuff, and dictate how many
plants people will be allowed to grow at home. All those rules once
established have to be enforced.

Meanwhile, Trudeau is pulling the provinces' resources out from under
them and practically salivating at all those "billions" of dollars he
thinks he's going to take away from the black market.

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Ada Slivinski is the Founder and Principal of Jam PR, an agency helping 
small businesses get big exposure. She lives in the Fraser Valley with 
her husband and two young daughters. Email her  or visit her 
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