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Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by Superjoint, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. By Richard Bingham
    Source: Globe and Mail

    In September, the Canadian Senate's Special Committee on Illegal Drugs released an astonishingly open-minded policy paper backing the belief that criminalization of cannabis is about as sensible as Prohibition was for booze.
    Smoking pot is basically legal already-sort of. In August, 2000, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that banning marijuana for medicinal purposes violated the Charter of Rights.

    This made the law unenforceable as written, so the 2.5 million or so Canadians who use cannabis were given one less reason to be paranoid.

    But what if marijuana were as legit as, say, hard alcohol and similarly taxed and controlled? It may be a long way off, but here are the potential savings. Canada spends about $1 billion a year on drug enforcement; 77% of reported drug-related offences are related to cannibis. Decriminalization could represent annual savings of $1.76 billion on policing, legal aid, court administration and prosecution costs.

    Approximately 800 tonnes of cannabis circulates in Canada each year, 50% of it homegrown. A conservative estimate of $225 an ounce makes the retail value around $6 billion. GST alone on this is $420 million. But if cannabis were taxed like cigarettes-at around 70%-the take would be around $4 billion, roughly what the provinces and the feds collect in tobacco taxes annually.

    Besides that, there could be a government-run retail monopoly, similar to the wildly successful Liquor Control Board of Ontario. In 2001, the LCBO returned $850 million in shareholder dividends to the province, above and beyond tax revenues. A well-run Cannabis Control Board could bring in anywhere from $50 million to $100 million a year annually.

    Then there are the spinoffs: a spike in tourism, comparable to the effect of wineries in Niagara and the Okanagan, and a bonanza for advertising and marketing firms. We could also expect some pretty funny ad campaigns-plus, of course, some significant benefits for the snack-food industry.

    Note: Imagine how much Canada could save - or earn - if marijuana were fully legalized.

    Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Author: Richard Bingham
    Published: Friday, October 25, 2002 – Print Edition, Page 21
    Copyright: 2002 The Globe and Mail Company
    Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
    Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/
  2. booyah, damn straight man.
    Too bad I don't live in Canada.
    hmm, interesting figure that one... methinks someone has an alterior motive ;)

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