Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
Source: The Outlook (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 The Outlook
Authors: Andrew Bankley, Chris Buors, Bruce Symington and John Schulien
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
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I'd like to commend Andrew McCredie for boldly putting forth his "Big 
Bud Theory" (A Closer Look, June 28 issue).

While I disagree with certain aspects of it, I found Mc-Credie's 
theory to be an insightful attempt at considering potential 
socio-economic impacts resulting from a federal move to decriminalize 
marijuana in Canada.

While I agree with the premise that "...there will be an explosion in 
the number of home-based grow-ops throughout the country," once 
decriminalization has been achieved, I must disagree with his 
conclusion that, as a result, "...the entire socio-economic fabric of 
Canada will implode as more and more of us choose to grow the stinky 
crop over tending our fledgling careers of choice."

I think the exact opposite is true - Canada's social and economic 
fabric will actually flourish in the wake of full decriminalization. 
Canadian society will benefit from shedding its misguided, and 
costly, war against Cannabis and the citizens that use it. In time, I 
think our society will come to embrace the wisdom gained from 
adopting a more open and tolerant approach toward cannabis and its 
thousands of uses.

Public funds once mis-spent on policing, prosecution, and prisons can 
be effectively redirected to fund many worthwhile social objectives 
(i.e. health care and education).

Economically, Canada will be extremely well poised to become a global 
leader in the cultivation of Cannabis for a broad range of industrial 
uses. The impact to secondary, or spin-off, industries throughout the 
fabric of Canadian society promises to strengthen the national 
economy. Domestic producers of food, medicine, clothing, paper, rope, 
construction materials, and bio-mass energy, can all expect to profit 
from the decriminalization of Cannabis.

On the whole, I find "The Big Bud Theory" to be well intentioned, but 
in need of some serious 'weeding,' if it hopes to grow alongside 
national opinion that favours the decriminalization of Cannabis, and 

Andrew Bankley
North Vancouver

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The fly in the ointment of Andrew McCredie's Big Bud Theory is that 
after cannabis is decriminalized, the typical $300,000 grow-op annual 
harvest would be worth about $3,000. Hardly enough to make a living. 
It is the black market that ensures high profits.

So if Mr. McCredie plans on taking his chances to get rich he had 
best do it before decriminalization comes about. That is, if he can 
stand the heat from police and take the risk he won't get robbed. 
That is, if he is comfortable with the thought that "local 
entrepreneurs" will drop by to tell him he has been drafted into the 
monopoly they enforce - or else!

In my view, those willing to take the risk to help me enjoy my vices 
deserve every penny they earn.

Chris Buors
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your big bud theory. When I realized 
that it was satirical in nature, I had a laugh.

Of course, the scenario as laid out is not going to happen. When bud 
becomes legal, the cost will drop as more people grow their own. Some 
people will grow their own, as some people now brew their own beer 
and wine. The government allows this, and there is a flourishing home 
brewing market, but many just buy from the store rather than go to 
the trouble of brewing their own.

The same will happen with bud, and there will be a lot of tax dollars 
collected by the provinces. Perhaps that is why the federal 
government is so interested in continuing this wasteful and stupid 
war on drugs. They see legal pot as a net loss, as the reduced police 
forces, prison guards, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, etc. pay less 
federal income tax, and the provinces collect the taxes (as they do 
currently with the drug alcohol), leading to a loss of income and 
less power to the feds.

Bruce Symington
Medicine Hat, Alberta

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I was certainly amused by Andrew McCredie's "Big Bud Theory."

Before Mr. McCredie seeks mortgage approval for his "modest five 
bedroom place with a great view, huge deck, an indoor pool and a big, 
big, big basement.", he should add a couple of considerations to his 

First, if growing marijuana were legal, why on earth would anyone 
spend money on lights, water pumps, and electricity bills, take the 
risk of stealing electricity, or even lose the use of their basement 
for that matter, when they could simply plant seeds in their 
backyard, and use their lawn sprinkler?

Second, in order for a commodity like pot to command a high price, 
the demand for that commodity must outstrip the supply. Basic 

John Schulien
Chicago, Illinois
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