Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Going to Pot

There was a discernible jolt in the wake of election night when the good people of Colorado and Washington voted to decriminalize possession and use of marijuana.

Some folks here on the Left Coast were wondering how that would impact on our number one agricultural crop, B.C. Bud.   Surely if the neighbours can simply grow their own they won't be needing the high priced stuff from the True North.

Yet it turns out that all is not lost.  A new study finds that British Columbians themselves buy half a billion dollars worth of pot annually.   That's 500-million dollars per year in untaxed retail transactions.    That's 500-million dollars, a good chunk of it in the form of uncollected income taxes.   When you pile income taxes atop sales taxes atop other business activity taxes, that's a whole lot of taxes going uncollected.

Bad as the loss of that tax revenue is, regard must also be had to all the nasty things those pot scofflaws do with their untaxed windfall.  Selling Bud is one thing. Using those proceeds to import other consumables from weapons to heroin, cocaine or meth is another thing altogether.

So let's do what the people of Washington and Colorado have just done; let's grow up.

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