Report Weeds Out Legalization 

Report Weeds Out Legalization 
Posted by CN Staff on June 14, 2004 at 11:00:55 PT
Source: Quesnel Cariboo Observer 
The controversy about making marijuana a legal drug has heated up as the Fraser Institute sent out a release supporting legalization Wednesday, only to deny the advocacy hours later."Marijuana should be decriminalized, treated like any legal product, and the revenue taxed," the release stated. "Using conservative assumptions about Canadian consumption, this could translate into potential revenues for the government of over $2 billion."
The release was based on a study written by the institute's senior fellow, Stephen Easton, an economics professor at Simon Fraser University.But Easton said the press release was wrong."The text does not call for anything specific," he said. "The issue of legalization is discussed in the paper, but there's no advocacy in the paper."The professor estimates that there are about 17,500 marijuana grow-ops in B.C. and that B.C.'s annual marijuana crop could yield $7 billion if valued at street prices and sold by the cigarette. More than 23 per cent of Canadians admitted to having experimented with the drug, according to his findings.One of Easton's options for dealing with this is to legalize it and invest the money now spent on law enforcement in other projects.The study comes after a year of heated debate on the drug's status in Canada.In 2003, the federal government introduced a bill that would remove criminal penalties for people possessing up to 15 grams of marijuana, replacing the punishments with fines.But since Paul Martin became Prime Minister, the bill has died on the order paper. Now MP candidates in the Cariboo-Prince George riding are once again shoving the issue into the political limelight."We feel that Canadians have already spoken about this bad law (against marijuana)," said the Green party's Doug Gook at Quesnel Secondary School last week. "Bad laws stay on the books until enough people defy them.""I've named the possibilities: Toque, toke, tourism," added Gook.Bev Collins of the Canadian Action party agreed that pot should be legalized in order for the government to cash in on the $7-billion market.NDP candidate Rick Smith agrees with legalization, but says the drug should be regulated, with part of the revenue allocated to substance abuse education.Only Dick Harris of the Conservative party argued that pot should remain illegal, and said he won't consider supporting decriminalization until there are laws to address driving while under the influence.Staff Sgt. Keith Hildebrand of the Quesnel RCMP agrees that legalization would increase the risk of other drug-related crimes."It's a dangerous drug," said Hildebrand. "I would certainly not be in favour (of legalization.)"Source: Quesnel Cariboo Observer (CN BC)Published: Sunday, June 13, 2004Copyright: 2004 Quesnel Cariboo ObserverContact: newsroom quesnelobserver.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Pot Laws: Only Two Possible Choices Lucrative Business of Pot Sees Pot of Gold in Illegal B.C. Crop Institute Says Gov't Should Cash in On Pot 
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on June 14, 2004 at 13:06:06 PT
"It's a dangerous drug," said Staff Sgt. Keith Hildebrand... "I would certainly not be in favour (of legalization.)"He further thought to himself, I might lose my job...?"One, of economics professor Stephen Easton's options for dealing with this is to legalize it and invest the money now spent on law enforcement in other projects."Ooops, now the cops are angry at me, thought Easton, guess I didn't realize how much money was already being made by the government in keeping cannabis illegal.
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