Opinion

Legalizing marijuana just makes sense

Marijuana cigarettes should be available for purchase at every corner store, gas station, grocery store and pharmacy in the province.

Following the returns from the US election last week, I had a bit of a keen eye on Initiative 502 in Washington State which would legalize the sale of marijuana.

When it passed, my first thought was, “finally, somebody got it right”.

The Initiative allows adults to carry one ounce of useable marijuana and 16-ounces of marijuana-infused product; outlines regulations for marijuana growth and sales; creates a 25 per cent tax on the sale of marijuana; and charges a $250 initial fee with a $1,000 annual renewal fee.

Of that 25 per cent tax, 55 per cent is set aside for health care, 25 per cent is set aside for drug abuse treatment and medication, one per cent goes to marijuana-related research at the University of Washington and the remaining 19 per cent goes into general revenue.

At a time when hospitals are crying out for more money for equipment and staffing; when school boards are crying out for more money for education; and when cities are crying out for more money for infrastructure, this to me seems like the best possible solution.

Right now the government is spending millions of dollars and countless resources on a war on drugs that was lost at least a decade ago, if not sooner.

Pot prohibition has failed – ask one teen to bring you a beer and another to bring you a joint and I guarantee the kid will be back with the weed before the other even gets started.

Instead of dishing out all this money in a failed attempt to bring these people to justice, why not make money off of something people are going to do anyway?

At least this way not only are the people of B.C. benefitting, but the safety of the people doing it and the quality of the product can be guaranteed.

I don’t smoke marijuana or take drugs, I never have and likely never will, but I know people who have bought marijuana laced with meth and cocaine in an attempt to get people hooked on the harder, more costly drugs.

How is that safe?

And if alcohol — the cause of countless vehicle accidents and bar fights – and cigarettes — the cause of countless cancer-related illnesses and deaths — are legal and contributing to our economy then it makes absolutely zero sense to keep marijuana outlawed.

It’s time for society and government to wake up.

The status quo has failed and money is being put into a losing effort at the expense of our health and our children. Legalizing marijuana only makes sense.

I don’t get how people can’t see that.

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