Everybody is talking /writing) about pot, including pot in Canada, it seems. Nothing new, really: every Canadian (especially every British Columbian) knows it’s a resource and a big economic contributor.
Now a recent Guardian article by Douglas Haddow, Marijuana may cause Canada’s economic comedown, prompted even our local press conglomerate to publish a pretty good piece, Could legal California pot send Canadian profits up in smoke?, that takes a closer look at what’s surely a most interesting ecosystem of resource and distribution.
It’s not news to read that marijuana production is a big piece of British Columbia’s economy. And it’s not inspiring to read that we could kneecap the criminal element with the stroke of a pen (by legalizing marijuana production and distribution, and controlling it, the way we control and tax alcohol and cigarettes). I don’t care for pot myself – haven’t smoked it in decades, mainly because it’s not like wine, which goes with food (and I like my pleasures well-rounded!). That said, wine isn’t entirely harmless either, is it?
But wine is legal, and we have a culture of wine – whatever culture of pot actually exists doesn’t yank my chain, but that, too, speaks to the importance of cultures, which are created and nurtured, never given in a vacuum or created ex nihilo.
Right now, we’re creating a culture of pot that’s not exactly desirable.
I’d like to see a rational approach to “soft” drugs like marijuana especially, which would knock the legs out from under organized crime and gangs. And then, by all means, let’s go after the a-holes that produce and spread crack and meth (which imo is total poisonous garbage).
See, my take is this: Lumping all the qualities – the various drugs – together as a similar quantity is a huge, huge mistake. Instead, differentiate and sort the qualities: there are differences between pot versus crack or meth or IV drugs. When the legal system makes these very different qualities into the same thing, no one wins. I don’t want to get into discussions around legalizing hard drugs and garbage drugs – it seems to me (and this may sound cruel) that they affect such a small percentage of the population as to warrant a different approach that excludes accommodation. Marijuana, on the other hand, is total mainstream – has been since I was a kid, and I’m all grown up. Wasn’t a gateway back then for most of us, and isn’t a gateway now – the dastardly bastard organized crime element, however, is: they’re a vector for evil. They’re a gateway, no doubt about it, but it’s one that’s easy enough to close …through legalization.
My two cents.
The Potted economy by Yule Heibel, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
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