Photo courtesy the Canadian Press
He’ll spend your money, but will your kids be any safer?
CANNABIS CULTURE – Raiding dispensaries isn’t cheap.
It costs about $30,000 to turn a platoon of police officers into a moving company with guns, and roughly another $30,000 to process those arrested in court. Not counting any long-term detention, post-arrest supervision or rehabilitation costs and ignoring the future burden of non-violent citizens being denied employment, housing and travel, it’s pricey. At least $60,000 per raid.
With about 200 raids since Trudeau took office, that’s a $12,000,000 price tag.
How else could the Prime Minister use that money to “protect young people” and generally be of more use to the public?
How about 200 full time social workers to partner with single unit police patrols? Safer for cops. More effective for communities.
Or maybe 200 full time social workers in schools and community centres specializing in youth addiction and mental health? That might reduce teen suicides a little more effectively than cuffing taxpaying dispensary staff.
What about 200 full time researchers investigating 200 cold cases of murdered and missing indigenous women? Or 100 police staff with a budget to accommodate broad canvassing and research. Whichever Bill Blair would recommend between the two.
Perhaps 200 youth arts programs across the country would be a step in the right direction. Paying $30,000 for an organizer and $30,000 for materials would give a year’s worth of healthy creative outlets and skills to a lot of marginalized young people from coast to coast.
Why not a daycare tax credit or 200 free family-friendly festivals in parks across the country?
Two straight months of live performances from musicians, artists and entertainers could make a great summer activity or break up a dreary winter for 200 communities, plus provide a nice boom to local businesses.
200 free full-time nutritionists or physical trainers might ease a lot of unhealthy stress in the country.
We could give free local travel vouchers to seniors, which would reduce their healthcare costs and increase their quality of life.
Instead, let’s throw a $12,000,000 comedy festival where we all laugh about how long it’s taken the federal government to get cannabis on it’s lips the right way. We’d put Montreal’s comedy festival to shame, knowing there would be no more strip-searches and jail cells for non-violent offenders, no more life-wrecking criminal records. We could laugh long into the night about how so many government prohibitionists tried robbing the infirm and freethinking of a multi-billion dollar industry Canadians protected at gunpoint.
Or we could keep raiding dispensaries.
What a dilemma?
It’s time to decriminalize cannabis immediately, and open a free, fair system of legalization that doesn’t favour prohibitionist cronies over cannabis pioneers and ordinary Canadians.