It's an open secret that the Canadian economy has long been propped up by substantial marijuana exports to the U.S. market. As California prepares to vote on legalization, Canada's biggest cash crop faces a threat far less forgiving than law enforcement.
This November, in an effort to increase tax revenue, California will hold a referendum on whether or not to legalise the cultivation and use of marijuana. If passed, the change in law would be devastating to the Canadian economy, halting the flow of billions of dollars from the US into Canada and eventually forcing hundreds of thousands into unemployment.
Over the past 20 years, Canada has developed a substantial and highly profitable marijuana industry that is almost completely dependent on the US market. Between 60 and 90% of the marijuana produced domestically is exported to the US via cross-border smuggling operations. It's exactly like the alcohol prohibition of the 1920s, only far more sophisticated and more profitable. The establishment of a legal industry based in the US would likely cripple these exports overnight. [The Guardian]
Canada's staggering $20 billion marijuana industry owes its prosperity to American consumers, and would shrink to a fraction of its current dimensions without them. There's just no way around it. Legalization in America would literally dismantle one of the largest industries in Canada, and it would do so with ruthless efficiency. They've been sending us their worst commercial pot at inflated prices for decades and we will dispense with it quite unceremoniously at the next opportunity.
This is the first thing that ought to come to mind when we hear opponents of marijuana legalization claiming that it won't help our economy. We've been sending $15 billion a year to Canada, you morons. Forget taxes, let's talk about gross revenue.
by Scott Morgan, August 12, 2010
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If We Legalize Marijuana, We'll Bankrupt Canada's Pot Economy