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Malcolm

Sharing the cost of legalized Marijuana

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Malcolm    646

Legal pot won’t stop black market: RCMP

‘Naive’ to think that it will, health panel told

  • Calgary Herald
  • 12 Sep 2017
  • MAURA FORREST
getimage.aspx?regionKey=xFzH%2bHcB5dt3iJe9Zr9POg%3d%3dTHEO STROOMER / GETTY IMAGES The Ontario government has announced plans to sell soon-to-be-legalized marijuana through outlets run by its LCBO alcohol monopoly, at a restricted number of locations. Critics say this will do little to eliminate the black market.

It would be “naive” to think that marijuana legalization will shut down the black market for the drug, an RCMP official stated during the first day of the House of Commons health committee’s study of the federal cannabis bill.

There are a number of issues that will need to be addressed to fight organized crime, including the possibility that the black market could undercut legal marijuana sales, Joanne Crampton, RCMP assistant commissioner of federal policing criminal operations, told the committee Monday morning.

As for the odds of eliminating the black market through legalization — it would be “naive to think that that could happen,” she said in answer to a question from Liberal MP John Oliver.

The Trudeau government tabled its bill to legalize marijuana in April, promising that pot will be legal by July 2018.

The legislation is being scrutinized before the House of Commons resumes on Sept. 18.

Anne McLellan, who led the federal task force on legalizing marijuana, told the committee that pricing will be key to the success of the legal market, but said that Washington state hasn’t seen an increase in marijuana use among young people since legalization.

Kathy Thompson, an assistant deputy minister in the Department of Public Safety, said it will take “some time” and a “robust regime” for legal marijuana to overtake the black market.

She said the government will need to meet the demand for legal pot, and that pricing will be “very important.”

Colorado, where marijuana was legalized in 2014, has been “slowly displacing organized crime year over year,” Thompson claimed.

Representatives from Colorado and Washington state will address the House committee on Tuesday.

Thompson also pointed to the federal government’s announcement of $274 million for pot-related policing and border enforcement on Friday, which she said will “ensure that (the RCMP and CBSA) have an intelligenceled approach to tackling and targeting organized crime.”

In answer to a question from NDP MP Don Davies, Thompson indicated the government will not consider a streamlined process for pardoning those who’ve been recently convicted of pot possession.

Statistics Canada data shows that 17,733 people were charged with possession of marijuana in 2016, equal to 76 per cent of all cannabis-related charges.

Currently, Canadians must wait at least five years after completing their sentence to apply for a pardon, and must pay a $631 fee to the Parole Board of Canada.

During a forum with VICE Canada in April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would “take steps to look at what we can do for those folks who have criminal records for something that would no longer be criminal.”

But on Monday, Thompson said the government has “no plans at this time to introduce an automatic pardon.”

Many of the specifics around pot legalization have been left to the provinces to hammer out.

On Friday, Ontario unveiled its plan for legal marijuana, which would restrict the sale to 150 governmentrun stores opened throughout the province by 2020. Ontario also opted to set the minimum legal age for recreational consumption at 19, while the federal minimum age is 18.

Some questions have been raised about whether the provinces could effectively prohibit legal marijuana use by hiking the minimum age or decreasing the personal possession limit to zero.

But Diane Labelle, general counsel for Health Canada legal services, said it’s unlikely that would fly, because it would run counter to the federal law. “Then a court challenge could look at the situation and see to what extent Parliament’s law has been frustrated,” she said.

Davies also raised concerns about the fact that edible marijuana products aren’t covered by this bill, saying that edibles make up a growing portion of Canada’s marijuana market.

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boestar    600

so if you sell "black Market" pot after the legalization, what do you get charged with?  Tax Evasion?

 

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Malcolm    646

Seems that the additional tax revenue is not that great, at least south of us.

As provinces ponder how to regulate pot, Colorado offers a guide
CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, September 12, 2017 7:59PM EDT

Tax revenues from marijuana sales aren’t enough to justify legalizing the drug, but a “closed loop” system with proper rules can help keep pot out the hands of minors and criminals, according to a Colorado official who oversees cannabis.

Michael Hartman, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, sat down with a committee of MPs in Ottawa on Tuesday to discuss how his state has struck a balance between sales and taxation while enforcing strict regulations.

Colorado became the first state to legalize pot in 2014 and has brought in slightly more than $500 million since then -- a figure Hartman says doesn’t come close to

 

Michael Hartman, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, speaks to CTV's Power Play about how his state has regulated marijuana.

“One of the things that we spoke with the ministers today about was the fact that, candidly, the tax revenues that come in with it aren’t necessarily the justification for doing it,” he told CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday.

The Liberal government plans to have marijuana legalized by July 2018. Last week, Ontario became the first province to outline its sales system, which includes 150 stand-alone stores opened by 2020 and a minimum age of 19.

Colorado has a 15 per cent tax on recreational marijuana, but local jurisdictions can add up to another 5 per cent to help offset costs such as law enforcement. Medicinal marijuana is treated differently, with a 2.9 sales tax tacked on at the state level.

Hartman said his department handles about $12 billion of revenue through four businesses, including marijuana. This year, pot is expected to account for just $200 million -- or 1.6 per cent -- of that figure.

“It’s just a pittance of the $12 billion in revenue that I touch,” Hartman said.

Those funds are earmarked for specific public services, such as Colorado’s highway transportation fund and school improvements. The state also puts money back into law enforcement to ensure that police have enough resources to enforce rules.

Colorado has divided marijuana sales into two markets: home growers, who are allotted a certain number of plants per home, and the regulated sale of recreational and medicinal marijuana through licensed dispensaries.

Hartman refused to weigh in on what he thinks Canada’s system should look like, saying it’s “not his place to comment,” but he did endorse the idea of limiting home growers.

“I did provide some level of kudos to the ministers today in terms of what they’re looking to do to limit the ability to grow it in homes, because that’s the marketplace where we see the most diversion,” he said.

Colorado and Canada share one of the biggest priorities in regulating pot -- keeping it out of the hands of criminals and cracking down on the so-called “black market.” Hartman says his state employs strict rules for anyone looking to sell marijuana.

“Anybody that comes in for a license, whether it’s on the medicinal side or the recreational side, is required to get a complete FBI background check, a complete check of all of the financial history to make sure that they don’t have any ties to illegal crime, that they don’t have ties to cartels overseas or anything along those lines,” he said.

The House Health Committee is meeting this week to study Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, before Parliament is back is session on Monday.

The committee is expected to hear from dozens of witnesses from Monday to Friday on issues such as public safety, policing and the responsibilities of the federal and provincial counterparts.

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DEFCON    684

Why has the public come to expect that governments have an automatic Right to place their filthy corrupted hands in the people's pockets in the first place? If little t ever does decriminalize / legalize the stuff the cost of the new revenue protecting police force will exceed the associated taxes collected, which will force ongoing tax increases, and so it will go.

 

 

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Malcolm    646
49 minutes ago, DEFCON said:

Why has the public come to expect that governments have an automatic Right to place their filthy corrupted hands in the people's pockets in the first place? If little t ever does decriminalize / legalize the stuff the cost of the new revenue protecting police force will exceed the associated taxes collected, which will force ongoing tax increases, and so it will go.

 

 

We gave them the right when we accepted taxation with representation (so to speak) :D

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