EDITORIAL: Pondering pot problem

Marijuana is expensive. Not only to those who indulge in the occasional, or regular, toke, but also in law enforcement ...

Marijuana is expensive.

Not only to those who indulge in the occasional, or regular, toke. But also in law enforcement and social costs.

Growing, distributing and possessing pot are all illegal in Canada. Much of the growing and distribution are controlled by organized crime. Police, court and municipal authorities spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year enforcing Canada’s pot laws.

For the most part, it’s a cat-and-mouse chase that just ends up moving the problem around rather than eradicating it outright. Even a former B.C. attorney general, Geoff Plant, says the prohibition of marijuana has been a “disastrous failure of public policy.”

Last month, the Union of B.C. Municipalities passed a resolution calling for marijuana to be decriminalized. They’d rather the weed be regulated and taxed, much like alcohol.

That’s good news and bad news for the province’s 585,000 regular pot users. They’d no longer be considered criminals, but they’d pay the price with taxes that have a way of always increasing.

But decriminalizing marijuana likely won’t save enforcement costs. That’s because most of the money in marijuana made by the drug trade comes from producing it for export. As long as pot is still illegal the United States, there will be organized groups looking to cash in. And there will still be pressure on authorities to shut those groups down.

The drug trade and its accompanying violence won’t go away with a resolution or the stroke of a pen through existing legislation.

– Black Press

Just Posted

Abbotsford Children’s Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast

Production on Dec. 14 and 15 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium

Songs, Strings and Steps presents An Irish Christmas

Concerts at Gateway Church in Abbotsford on Dec. 14 and 15

Best Friends: How pets can improve the lives of Abbotsford’s homeless

Responsibility over a cat or dog makes Gary Hull take fewer risks and take better care of himself

Stars returning for Hansen Alumni All-Star Game

Basketball talent from the past battling current Hurricanes on Dec. 18

Somebody to love: Comforts and challenges as a couple on the streets

Life as a homeless couple forces ultimatums; it also brings the security of having each other’s back

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

MAP: Christmas light displays in the Lower Mainland

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read