Almost 51 percent of B.C. voters participated in the HST referendum, and 54.73 percent of you voted to oust the HST. Those who were in favour of the divisive tax are bitching mightily about the fact that it’s going to cost B.C. taxpayers $2.5 to 3 billion to reinstate the PST.
“Where will that money come from?” the pro-HST camp cries. “The selfish lefties have won! We’re all dooooooooooooooooooomed!”
But there’s a really easy solution to this problem: legalize marijuana.
All of you in favour of legalization? This is your golden opportunity. You know you’re never going to be able to sway the hearts and minds of your opposition with facts about the positive effects of marijuana or its medicinal benefits. You’re never going to convince conservative-minded people that pot isn’t a gateway drug, no matter how many experts you trot out. If the HST referendum has taught us nothing else, it’s that the strongest arguments always involve cold, hard cash. So make an appeal to British Columbians using language they understand: money.
There is no way to know for certain the value of the marijuana industry in B.C., but various estimates figure it generates between $5 and 8 billion each year. If you legalized pot and taxed it at even a paltry 10 percent, that’s $500 to $800 million in revenue a year, which would easily cover the costs of licensing, distribution, and a healthy offset to the HST handover.
And that’s only taking into consideration the product itself. Marijuana legalization would be an incredible boon to B.C.’s already thriving tourism industry. People already travel here to get high; can you imagine how much that would increase if pot was openly and legally available?
Legalization could be this province’s financial salvation. How about it, Christy Clark?
And if you’ve got an hour and 44 minutes today, I highly (no pun intended) recommend you watch the 2007 documentary The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.
– Article from The Georgia Straight.