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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Marijuana Growth in British Columbia

Public Policy Sources by Stephen Easton

Stephen Easton argues that the cultivation and production of marijuana in British Columbia highlights the problems inherent in enforcing laws that are generally ignored by broad sectors of the populace. In this paper he suggests that, in the long term, the prohibition of marijuana cannot be sustained using present law enforcement methods and technologies. He likens the current issues around marijuana to developments around alcohol prohibition in the early years of the 20th century.

Easton suggests that in Canada, and in British Columbia especially, marijuana is difficult to control (with the tools that are available to law enforcement) because it is too easily produced and exported. He suggests that the return on investment for marijuana grow operators is so high that for each ‘grow-op’ that is demolished, another takes its place. Another point that Easton makes is that because of the low rate at which offences are settled in which a charge results, marijuana consumption takes place more openly in the province.

Easton then discusses the issue of decriminalizing marijuana. He supports the decriminalization of marijuana, mainly for economic reasons. He suggests the federal government would earn revenues of approximately $7 per cigarette – and, importantly, revenues that would previously have gone to producers and middlemen (many of whom, he suggests, are associated with organized crime). Easton also argues that policing assets used to enforce marijuana-related laws could be deployed elsewhere.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Stephen Easton;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Policing
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Legislation / 2004
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice / Policing / 2004
Policy Articles / Crime & Justice

Keywords / Tags:

marijuana decriminalization; law enforcement; grow operations; marijuana-related charges; taxes on marijuana ;