Letter: Pandora’s plastic baggie

Letter: Pandora’s plastic baggie

I am bothered by the fact that no one has touched on how legalization will affect the “black market.”

Having read and heard recent remarks by politicians vying for election/re-election coming up in the next month or so I cannot help but be the “devil’s advocate” and question and wonder why none of these politicians has touched on the realistic complications and hurdles come Oct. 17. when marijuana (pot) becomes legal for sale to recreational users of this “drug.”

This is a drug, still under examination, much different than a alcoholic drink which has known affects on one’s body, some more than others, as we well know.

I am bothered by the fact that no one including police has touched on how this legalization will affect the “black market” or illegal sales and distribution of this drug.

We are aware that the legal sale of this drug will be controlled/monitored by government officials who for the most part must abide by standards of control and sale already set by the various governments across Canada. Take note that community standards vary across Canada.

Having dealt with previous illegal grows, sales and distribution of marijuana as a police officer I am somewhat underwhelmed by the fact that our political leaders, as well as police leaders, have not publicly discussed the reality of what is certain to occur, contrary to what the general public may be aware.

Let me put this scenario to everyone who may have official input on what is about to happen regarding the sale of this drug.

Firstly, because the government has set policy for legal vendors for the sale of this drug pertaining to who and where it will be sold apparently with concern for availability to those underaged let me suggest that the same ingenuity used by underaged alcohol drinkers will come into place. There will always be a person of age who will volunteer to make a purchase on their behalf as we well know.

Most importantly is the major fact that in reality, the legalization of marijuana has basically opened the door to the “black market” who will if anything have their sales soar which will result in even more illegal grows and distribution. Not often you can make big bucks without having to pay income taxes!

Think about this, anyone wanting to purchase pot will have two choices when shopping for marijuana. The first choice will be to be a good citizen/taxpayer and buy directly from government approved source bearing in mind the additional costs incurred by taxation.

The second choice will be to purchase from an illegal vendor who will be conveniently located in proximity to the government vendor.

I do know that the “illegal vendor” will offer a substantially lower price for a similar “baggie of pot” of similar or higher potency than legal pot especially in view of the fact that the sale is tax-free, which is inviting to say the least.

Our illegal growers and distributors of marijuana must be sitting back counting the days when this “blockbuster” of a law comes along pretty much taking the heat off them, as who is to know whether the pot has been purchased legally or not. Economics and common sense will dictate that illegal sale of marihuana will far outnumber legal sales and the huge profits governments are relying on to rake in more coffers for them will simply fall short.

In time our governments will have to revise their policies/controls more or less after the fact, having failed to consult with the expertise available who would have guided them with due diligence. Once again we good citizens seem to rely on the planning and judgement of government and history has shown that can be our demise.

It is more than apparent that the government has not consulted with experts in the field including police who surely would guide them accordingly as to the huge problems yet to come.

Matter of fact, our police are still in wonderment as to what “testing device” will be officially utilized by police for detection of driver’s suspected to be under influence of marijuana.

Our courts will surely argue the physical symptoms of glassy, dilated, red eyes accompanied by slow and deliberate physical movements etc.

I wonder if the fact that the suspected impaired driver was munching on a bag of potato chips at the time will have any bearing as a form of evidence?

Until our governments and police have a more definitive manner of control and detection we are leaving ourselves open to more carnage on our highways and huge profits for those who deal with marijuana illegally. We have failed to recognize the reality of what has occurred in states and cities in the U.S. who have gone this route, especially economically having failed miserably, not to mention problematic policing of “legal marijuana.”

There is no need to attempt re-inventing the ball here and let me suggest that governments have not completed their homework in this regard.

Len Eddy