Legalizing Pot in parts of the US and Canada


As Mayors from across British Columbia give overwhelming approval to the push to decriminalize the province's most - inhalable - crop, some American states are thinking higher with ballot initiatives in the November elections to Legalize and Tax the marijuana industry. Is this more than a pipe dream? We hear what's behind the plan and what it might mean for Canada.

Legalizing Pot in Canada - Stop the Violence B.C. Group

We were talking earlier about the Northern Gateway Pipeline and what it might do to the economy of British Columbia. B.C. is a lot more than trout and timber and tourism. It's also about Pinklady, Seaweed -- the stuff the rest of the country knows as B.C. bud.

A senate report on Illegal Drugs estimated the marijuana industry was worth 6 billion dollars a year to B.C. and that was almost ten years ago. And while it may be a mellow weed, a lot of violent crime can be traced back to the trade in cannabis.

So it was a controversial issue for the B.C. mayors to consider -- but in the end, they decided to support a resolution to decriminalize marijuana.

Doctor Evan Wood spoke in favour of the resolution. He is one of the founders of the group: Stop the Violence B.C. He's also a director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at St Paul's Hospital and a professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Legalizing Pot in the U.S. - Panel

So, as we were discussing, people in three states, Colorado, Washington and Oregon will vote in November on initiatives to legalize marijuana. And this isn't just for medical use -- - this is whether it should be legal to light up a great big spliff -- for fun.

In Colorado, the initiative is known as the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, or Amendment 64. It's not clear how the U.S. government would respond to states that legalize marijuana but it's certain to be much more intense than a disapproving glare.

Mason Tvert is the co-director of Yes On 64 in Colorado. He was in Denver. And Kevin Sabet served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He was in Boston.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Pacinthe Mattar.

Other segments from today's show:

Northern Gateway Pipeline: B.C. Mayors Panel

Checking-In: Listener Response

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