Editorial: Marijuana legalization will spark the economy

Legalizing pot isn’t that big a change. It’s already a part of our economy.

Being illegal — for now — makes it hard to pin down just how big the market for marijuana is, but one estimate suggests it’s at least as large as hard liquor sales, about $5 billion annually.

The report, from financial services firm Deloitte, estimates the market for legalized recreational marijuana could give Canada’s economy a $22.6 billion annual boost when you include growers, equipment suppliers and the like.

With that much of an economic boost at stake, it’s a little hard to understand the fear-mongering coming from many levels of society as the date for the promised legalization approaches.

Especially since marijuana is already a big, if underground, part of our daily lives anyway. In a recent column, Dan Albas, Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP listed off a number of these fear factors, adding that “at this point, there are no answers to any of these concerns.”

That’s not really the case. For example, in the case of youth lighting up, well, they already do, just as they also manage to get their hands on alcohol and cigarettes, also no-nos for the underage crowd. Legalizing marijuana and taking it out of the hands of street dealers isn’t going to make it easier for youth to get pot; it’s likely going to have the opposite effect.

Higher policing costs? Why would that happen if cops need to spend less of their time hunting down illegal grow-ops? Getting stoned at work? About as likely as bringing a case of beer to work; if your employees aren’t already doing it, chances are that won’t change in 2018.

Legalizing pot doesn’t mean it’s suddenly going to be a free-for-all of people lighting up every chance they get and marijuana available everywhere you turn. Like alcohol, it is going to be regulated.

What legalization does do is bring an existing economy into the light of day. It will generate tax income for governments and – presumably – take the profits out of the hands of criminals.–Black Press

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the North Island-Powell River riding

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we… Continue reading

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

Comox Valley chamber celebrating its centennial in style

Collaboration key to one hundred years of business advocacy

Courtenay’s Public Works inspector cycling the sidewalks in search of trip hazards

Courtenay is on a roll with sidewalk inspections, using two wheels and… Continue reading

Ammonia leak triggers evacuation of the Comox Valley Sports Centre

The centre was evacuated for just over an hour Thursday evening while crews contained the leak

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Vandals target North Island-Powell River NDP candidate’s office in Comox with swastikas, graffiti

Rachel Blaney’s Comox office has been vandalized with swastikas and tagging overnight Friday.

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read