Pubdate: Fri, 29 May 2009
Source: Surrey Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Surrey Leader
Author: Kirk Tousaw


Kurt Langmann (The Leader, May 20) has some good ideas about the need 
for enhanced community involvement and mentoring of young people. But 
he's wrong that legalizing marijuana in Canada won't take the profit 
out of the marijuana industry in B.C.

And he's wrong to suggest that the U.S. is highly unlikely to 
legalize marijuana. In fact, I suspect that marijuana will be 
legalized in various U.S. states before we have the courage to do it 
here. It is already legal to possess marijuana (and grow it) in your 
home in Alaska. Legalization is being debated in California and 
Massachusetts at the state government level and enjoys majority 
public support in both states. Legalization barely missed becoming 
law in Nevada in the last two election cycles.

More to the point, there is a tremendous amount of money being made 
in the domestic Canadian industry. Canadians consume upwards of 10 
million grams of marijuana each month. At street prices that 
represents about $100,000,000 in sales per month - no small potatoes. 
Legalization here would drive the price down so far that it may be 
difficult for criminals to compete with the legal market.

It is probably also worth remembering that Canada is a minor supplier 
of marijuana to the U.S. Most of its marijuana is produced 
domestically (good Californian cannabis is as good as so-called "B.C. 
bud") and the bulk of its imported marijuana comes from Mexico. And, 
by the way, it isn't only B.C. Bud that sells for higher prices in 
the U.S. - all quality marijuana is more expensive there.

Mr. Langmann, though, is right that legalization is no panacea. 
Failing to legalize, however, is a guarantee that the status quo will 
remain or worsen.

Kirk Tousaw

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom