The future legalized recreational marijuana market could give Canada’s economy a $22.6 billion annual boost. (Pixabay photo)

Editorial: Lighting up 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 and former Penticton city councillor, 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-no’s 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.

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, generating tax income for governments and taking the profits out of the hands of criminals.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Roy & Rosemary bring the sounds of Hollywood to Prince Rupert

The piano and violin duo perform at the Lester Centre with Cody Karey

Second reported cougar sighting near Conrad

Conservation officer said sightings in Prince Rupert not uncommon

Money does grow on trees

Sharon and Malcolm Sampson won the 2018 money tree from Cook’s Jewellers

In Our Opinion: Grinch who stole from KAPS

Prince Rupert had its very own Grinch over the holidays

Pedestrian hit by cab in crosswalk on Second Avenue

A woman was in the crosswalk in Prince Rupert when she was struck by a taxi on Jan. 17

This Week Episode 68

From inside the Northern View office in Prince Rupert we bring you all the news headlines

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read