Marijuana and the Canadian economy
Hugh MacIntyre: Marijuana and the Canadian economy
Hugh MacIntyre August 6, 2010 – 9:32 am
Steve Jenkinson/Calgary Herald
Rob Blair has a chronic illness and is one of fewer than 5,000 people in Canada to hold a Medical Marijuana Access Card.
Douglas Haddow has published an interesting article at the Guardian. He points out that the marijuana trade has been an under-the-table staple of the Canadian economy for years. The value of the crop is that, much like alcohol, it is pretty much recession-proof. Mr. Haddow suggests that this may at least be part of the secret of Canada’s not-as-bad-as-the-rest economy.
There is something about this article that rings true. It has been an open secret for a while that marijuana is one of Canada’s top exports. It is most certainly the most important crop in British Columbia. It is impossible to calculate the wealth that has been generated by marijuana sales, but it is likely in the billions.
Mr. Haddow goes on to point out two threats to Canada’s position as a world leader in marijuana production. The threat that is outside of our control is the possibility of a liberalization of the marijuana laws in California. This will create more vibrant competition for Canada’s crop, but Canada has long competed with Californian products and so I am not terribly worried.
The bigger threat comes from within Canada. The anti-marijuana crusade of the Conservative government can’t possibly destroy the whole industry. When in history has any government been able to completely control the demands and supplies of the market place? But the government can certainly do a lot of harm to the wealth generation of the marijuana industry.
At a time that the country is limping out of recession and governments on all levels are in deficit, a booming industry like the marijuana trade should not be discouraged by the government.