Tyson’s Thoughts: Legalize it already

The revenue from legal marijuana sales will be used to address public health and addictions issues.

Legalize it already.

I’m talking about marijuana in case anyone is confused by that brash opening statement.

With the federal government looking at doing just that by 2018, I’m going to go on the record and say I personally am all for it because of the economic activity involved in the decision.

Legalization could add as much as five billion dollars a year in tax revenues to the federal and provincial governments.

Trudeau has even gone on record saying the revenue from legal marijuana sales will be used to address public health and addictions issues.

And for those wondering, no, I don’t smoke it. I’m more of a nice cold beer on a sunny afternoon kind of guy.

With that out of the way, let’s first take a little trip down memory lane and get educated on the history of marijuana in Canada, which is a very interesting topic that is shrouded in mystery.

First outlawed in Canada in 1923, 14 years before the US ever made the drug illegal, the history books seemingly don’t have any recorded parliamentary debate regarding why it was even made illegal in the first place.

Bizarre.

There were also no recorded police seizures of marijuana in Canada until 1932.

Even more bizarre.

Which begs the question, why was it made illegal in the first place before it was ever deemed a “social problem”?

So bizarre my brain can’t handle it.

My research hasn’t turned up any answers to this conundrum, but maybe a helpful Gazette reader will send a letter to the editor that explains why it was originally outlawed here.

Anyways, enough history.

I spoke with our North Island-Powell River Member of Parliament Rachel Blaney about the subject recently when she stopped by our office to say hello.

Blaney confirmed she has never smoked marijuana, not even once in her entire life, which I found to be a really admirable decision on her part, especially when you consider things like social interaction at parties and the inevitable peer pressure that comes with it.

Blaney also said the provincial governments/municipalities across Canada will have a lot of work to do before legalization finally happens.

The District of Port Hardy is leading the way here on the North Island in that regard. They held their first marijuana planning committee meeting last Wednesday, and according to Gazette reporter Hanna Petersen who was in attendance, it went really well.

Information was presented, discussion was had, and solid decisions were made.

I applaud the District for being proactive and taking a serious look at this subject. This is an issue every municipality needs to be on top of.

2018 is approaching quick, and decisions need to be made so that change can actually happen.

Check out www.northislandgazette.com every Thursday for more Tyson’s Thoughts.

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