News Views: A losing battle

Municipal leaders to vote on a resolution calling for the appropriate level of government to decriminalize marijuana.

Municipal leaders were to vote Wednesday, Sept. 26 on a resolution calling for the appropriate level of government to decriminalize marijuana, as well research the taxation of it.

The resolution was raised by the community of Metchosin at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, and suggests that B.C. is responsible for 40 per cent of all marijuana grown in Canada.

The prohibition on pot is a failed policy that costs the province millions each year for police, court, jail and social services.

It is hoped ending it would at least reduce those costs, redirect the money and put new tax dollars towards more worthy pursuits, such as health and education.

But some believe that is much wishful thinking, since a majority of marijuana produced in Canada is exported to the U.S. and traded for guns and cocaine.

Organized crime would continue to meet that demand.

But what if it was reduced?

Across the line, Washington, Oregon and California are considering legalizing marijuana. They could grow and tax their own.

Ottawa should do the same.

That won’t mean organized crime is going to stop growing marijuana, nor is organized crime going to go away.

Grow-ops have gone from basements and crawl spaces to large-scale barns and portable trailers. Organized crime adapts, violence persists.

And it’s not just marijuana they’re dealing, or else we wouldn’t be seeing so many young men and women dying from MDMA overdoses.

But marijuana use is so widespread – an estimated 585,000 British Columbians use marijuana regularly – that prohibiting it no longer makes sense, not at the time and expense wasted fighting a losing battle.

Better to regulate and tax it, and put the residual  benefits to better use.

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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