Legalize Pot, It’s The Better Way

May 31, 2013

There’s a bet­ter way to fund tran­sit: Drug ped­dling. No, I don’t mean sell­ing copies of the ( alleged ) Rob Ford video. Nor do I sug­gest using magic mush­rooms or LSD to trans­port Toron­to­ni­ans with­out them leav­ing their La-Z-Boy. And I would refrain from sell­ing what­ever the Metrolinx brass are smok­ing? No way.  Bad trip, man, as they used to say long ago in my youth.  Bad, bad trip.  Hor­ri­ble visions of HST, HOV lanes, gas tax hikes, park­ing levies, devel­op­ment fees and red mon­sters with three heads, yel­low eyes and pointy teeth. But we do need to get off the couch and build tran­sit. Now, inhale deeply and think of this: Cana­dian Busi­ness mag­a­zine esti­mates Canucks spend at least $3 bil­lion a year on cannabis alone.  That’s a third of what we spend on our national sub­stance, which flows like Nia­gara, beer. A study by two B.C.  uni­ver­si­ties found legal pot would churn out $2.5 bil­lion in licence fees and taxes over five years in that province alone. The GTA has way more peo­ple, but there’s a rea­son B.C.  is called Lotus­land, so let’s call it a wash and say our rev­enue streams would be sim­i­lar. You could lay a lot of tran­sit track for $2.5 bil­lion. Even more if the gov­ern­ment actu­ally gets involved in sales, à la LCBO, which had a profit of $1.7 bil­lion last year. Fac­tor in export mar­kets plus sav­ings on enforce­ment and pros­e­cu­tion and I bet we’re close to the $2 bil­lion a year Metrolinx says it needs. We could buy sub­way cars of solid gold if we also legal­ize so-called party drugs, such as cocaine and ecstasy, though those are trick­ier, for health rea­sons. Reg­u­lar read­ers know I’ve preached legal­iz­ing pot for years. The lib­er­tar­ian in me is baf­fled that we learned noth­ing from pro­hi­bi­tion of nearly a cen­tury ago.  A vic­tim­less crime ought to be no crime at all, but if you make it one, guess who shows up: Crim­i­nals. On Bob Mar­ley Day in Feb­ru­ary, I urged Mayor Ford to declare: “WHEREAS…the cul­ti­va­tion, sale and con­sump­tion of mar­i­juana do no harm and only make our cit­i­zens gig­gle and also increase sales of snacks at neigh­bour­hood stores. “NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Coun­cil, do hereby declare Toronto an open tokin’ city.  It’s legal, folks.  Smoke it if you got it.” I was dumb­founded when Rob took a pass.  Lit­tle did I know. ( And I has­ten to add, I have not seen any crack video, though I won’t be shocked if it’s on Net­flix next month.  ) Until now, I pegged our new-found legal pot money for debt reduc­tion or gen­eral tax cuts, as would any good lib­er­tar­ian. But except for Mike Har­ris and Attila the Hun, name one politi­cian who actu­ally low­ered your over­all taxes. So bet­ter we direct our new dope rev­enue to some­thing spe­cific, like tran­sit.  We could change Metrolinx’s name for the project from the Big Move to the Big Doob. While Metrolinx insists its levies – $477 per house­hold, and if you believe it’s that low I’ve got a gas-plant to sell you – would end once the Big Move is done ( ha-ha-ha, that’s a good one, Metrolinx! ) the Big Doob would give and give for­ever. Times are chang­ing.  Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton state have legal­ized mar­i­juana.  Cana­di­ans think we ought to do the same – for exam­ple, 73% of us old fogey baby boomers in a Forum Research poll last year.  The Harper government’s tougher pot laws are out of step. Sooner or later, legal dope will be a big part of our econ­omy, just like booze, gam­bling and Sen­ate book­keep­ing. We need to strike while the bong is hot.  S— or get off the pot, so to speak. In this era of polar­ized pol­i­tics, it’s high time mass tran­sit was rolled into… .a joint ven­ture. Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON) Copy­right: 2013 Canoe Lim­ited Part­ner­ship Con­tact: torsun.​editor@​sunmedia.​ca Web­site: http://​toron​to​sun​.com/ Details: http://​www​.map​inc​.org/​m​e​d​i​a​/​457 Author: Mike Strobel

480903ae03plant.jpg 150x112 Legalize Pot, It’s The Better Way

See the orig­i­nal post here:
Legal­ize Pot, It’s The Bet­ter Way

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