To Legalize or Not to Legalize
By Robyn Howell
March 12, 2005
(with excepts from Macleans Magazine Nov. 22, 2004)

The government… always needs more money, I have a suggestion, it involves three words: “Legalization, Taxation & Regulation”.

“…various estimates peg this country’s cannabis trade at considerably more than $7 billion in annual sales- twice as much as pig farming and almost three times as much as wheat.” “….projections suggests that the government could easily reap over $2 billion in annual revenues by taking control of the industry.”

With all the tax increases and service decreases, wouldn’t this be beneficial to us all? A great example for anyone living in Ontario is the OHIP Premiums that are now a part of our 2004 taxes. We have Premiums to pay and yet the services are being cut and the waiting times are ridiculous.

“…The government spends close to $500 million a year on fighting the drug trade… two thirds of the country’s 50,000 drug arrest are for cannabis offences.”

If I understand this correctly they are only calculating what they spend, let’s factor in what all those “accused” spend on legal fees for lawyers, taking days off work to attend to numerous court dates. And if two thirds of the drug offences are cannabis offences, that means approximately 16,665 are other drug offences… 33,000 people a year are charged with cannabis offences; a lot of lives being ruined.

For all of the people that will argue the health risks, this quote is for you:
“..After an exhaustive study it concludes that pot is a minimal health risk when used in moderation, and poses fewer social costs than other – legal-devices; such as booze or cigarettes.” – 2002 report of the senate special committee on illegal drugs

I would also like to bring to attention the fact that while legislature is trying to legalize possession of small quantities of pot, they are raising the maximum penalty for selling pot. Call me crazy, but if you can have it, where are you supposed to get it? Supply & Demand, get with it Canada.

There are a multitude of reasons to legalize marijuana. It is proven it is not the “evil gateway drug” the Americans preach about. The main question is who will finally stand up and be taken seriously regarding this matter? Never forget American politics affect this country, Mr. Bush would rather have everyone totting guns because it’s their right to bear arms, than be sitting around with a bunch of people smoking weed. WAR ON DRUGS! – as an additional note, I’d like to say that it is terrible what occurred in Alberta with the RCMP officers, but once again they may not of even been there if the pot plants were legal.

All I can suggest is to write your MP if you feel that there are enough valid reasons to legalize marijuana. They made it through prohibition of alcohol!

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