Marijuana - either you're for its legalization or not. Wherever you are on the pro or against spectrum, this is what it could look like for our city if marijuana was legalized.
Montreal is known for its party life and epicurean tendencies, but legalizing marijuana brings so much more to the table than fostering that lifestyle. In fact, it has some serious benefits, so why is there such a big divide? For starters, we know that it would definitely increase tourism. It also has therapeutic properties that have been proven helpful for cancer patients and other illnesses.
Dare I mention the tax collection benefits? Let's look at Colorado as an example. They legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and went on to create $76 million in tax revenue in 2014. They've also created thousands of jobs in different industries. Their tourism industry has also increased, because so many people want to experience the legal weed culture. And to top things off, there has been no increase in crime, but rather a neutral indifference.
A big unknown in the legalization debate is how much pharmaceutical lobbyists (or any other industry with vested interest) are pulling the government's strings in favor of its criminalization.
Obviously there are bigger issues that Canadians should also be concerned with besides the legalization of marijuana. For instance, the deterioration of democracy, the perpetual ignorance of aboriginal rights, climate change (Canada is no longer a member of the Kyoto protocol), Bill C-51 (this bill pretty much gave the government the right to arrest activists and protestors) and a struggling economy. But that doesn't mean we can't give a little thought to legalizing our green friend. The fact that there's starving people in the world doesn't exactly stop us from complaining about a bad meal, now does it? But what would I know, I'm just a blogger.