Legalizing pot would help curb activities of criminal gangs

Legalization marijuana is not the panacea to cure the criminal gangs corroding society, but it would sure put a dent in their wallets.

To the editor:

“That’s just the way life is.”

That’s the message I get from recent letters in the Capital News written by Dave Lawrence and Tom Neave.

They’re saying that things can’t change, so deal with it. Nothing like some constructive criticism, but when their writing provides no options, it’s downright destructive.

Legalization and regulation of marijuana is not the panacea to cure the criminal gangs corroding society, but it would sure put a dent in their wallets.

Also, refusing to make changes is to keep the power in the hands of the criminals.

Mr. Lawrence then goes on by knocking the quality of pot doled out to the medical marijuana program.

For quality, B.C. has a plethora of gifted growers to pick from if the government can’t provide good green.

A product’s quality will improve as competition increases; this is simple economics.

Currently, this competition is non-existent, but once in place will be the determinant of price.

As per availability, it already is available to teenagers (and younger) and can be obtained 24/7.

Legalization won’t change this immediately, but it will provide at least a rudder to steer these unclaimed seas.

Legalization will not cure the problem, but it will at least create a system where currently none exists.

From there, we can work the bugs out. Smuggling will continue as it does with alcohol, cigarettes and imitation Gucci bags, but it will be a trickle compared to the current torrent.

As for Mr. Neave knocking “the great tax influx,” I’d rather have part of that $7 billion going towards taxes than all of it going to the underground economy.

If drug enforcement insists on playing their games, at least use this new tax to fight it rather than dipping into our education and healthcare kitties.

Besides, tax income is only part of the equation. An intelligent law would result in savings in areas like law enforcement and health care, and create extra income from textiles and biofuels.

Neave claims that the Union of B.C Municipalities is taking a step back by trying to legalize pot; so moving forward must equate to harsher laws. Yeah, I’m sure that will help.

As for his naive list of other possible legalizations (child porn/slavery?), he provides the argument to how regulation can work for us—it already limits those illicit acts, although, I can’t say that slavery and rape are currently within our rights as Canadians.

For the record, smoking is not the only way to ingest marijuana. It can be baked into goods or distilled into oil as well.

In essence, legalization will create a new market and can change the economy for the better.

If laws restrict the availability of nicotine and alcohol, it can do the same for pot.

Creating a market will set its own quality demands and competition for affordability.

Darrin Fiddler,

Kelowna

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