A Voters Guide to Understanding the Marijuana Lobby In Canada


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Where is the money behind this very slick lobby coming from???……

There is lots of talk going on currently in an attempt to legalize marijuana.  To the uninformed person this may (at first) appear to be a groundswell of public opinion.  And….it is working exactly as planned.

This lobby to fully legalize the ILLEGAL DRUG marijuana is getting its message out broadly and effectively.  The uninformed (or misinformed) voter may easily be inclined to believe that there is far reaching public support.  A bit of research reveals only that (a) this lobby is VERY well financed and (b) is constantly bombarding the public in an attempt to get the drug legalized even for recreational use. In effect, despite the slickness of the techniques employed by the marijuana lobby few people take the time to consider the long term ramifications which will have far reaching effects on society in general, ordinary citizens and their families.

There is an old axiom in investigative reporting that points out that if one follows the trail of the money, one can usually get to the root or heart of a question. The questions at hand are: where is the money coming from that pays for the myriad of extremely professional web sites and how this money is being used. A third question (being WHY) is pretty apparent and is a logical place to begin.

Why the lobby in favor of legalizing this terrible and dangerous drug is a very easy question to answer. If legalized, marijuana would become a very profitable venture for those involved in its distribution.  To a lesser extent those involved in the actual production of marijuana are well positioned to get rich quickly as well. Notwithstanding the fact that the little bit of tax collected would pale when compared to financial burdens likely to be passed along to all tax payers (users and non users).  Marijuana is a multimillion dollar business waiting to happen. Two year old statistics from Europe tell us that among the countries in Europe, marijuana represents 15 to 20 BILLION dollars (US$) in annual revenue.

Turning to “WHERE” the money is coming from that is paying the bills for legal advice and very professional web sites, that answer may be simpler than one thinks.  According to data that can be obtained by visiting the various pro-marijuana web pages, we learn that presently there are about 15,000 individuals in Canada who hold “licenses” permitting them to possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.  The Supreme Court of Canada (in the 1990’s) ruled that depriving those needing the drug for medicinal purposes should not be deprived.  In its ruling, the Supreme Court did not turn its mind to precisely how the drug would find its way into hands of those possessing such licenses.

Thus evolved a fast growing network of community “Compassion Centers”.  Marijuana remains illegal and, in fact Bill C-15 (which became law in July 2009) established harsher and mandatory sentences for those caught with this deadly drug.  Since that law came into effect, two amazing phenomena’s occurred. An ever increasing number of individuals were able to get approval from medical practitioners so as to gain a “License” to possess and use the drug.  Not coincidently, the Compassion Centers revenues spiraled upwards.  And, therein is your answer for the first question being “where is the money coming from?”   The cadres of individuals operating these alleged “Compassion Centers” have quickly become virtual gold mines.  Where once they were operating as “not for profit” businesses, they suddenly were cash rich and thus vulnerable sizable amounts of Income Tax.  Moreover, there was a clear path ahead by which they could exploit their greed.  All businesses are permitted to deduct certain expenses from taxable income.  Such things as cost of legal advice and advertising expenses reduce the tax due to the Government of Canada.

It is foolish for anyone to believe that all the individuals in possession of these “Licenses” have legitimate medical need for the drug.  In Toronto (alone) one medical doctor has issued thousands of such “Licenses” and does so for a fee of couple hundred dollars per customer.  The Licenses issued are lifetime Licenses and do not require annual follow-ups from the doctor who signed off initially. Thus, no thought is given to determining side effects.  The medical profession itself would do well in considering the ethics of such a practice.  For example: marijuana has been proven to have adverse effects on those suffering from schizophrenia.

Similarly, Revenue Canada would do well to audit and determine if all advertising expenses being deducted from taxable income are consistent with the stated purposes of the Compassion Center.  Common sense tells us that Compassion Centers are NOT IN THE BUSINESS of producing advertisements (and web sites) that advocate recreational use of the drug.  

The answer to the question of HOW this money is being used presently also turns out to be obvious.  Some of us who have been skeptical of these alleged “Compassion Centers” for a long period began to notice the increase in the number of actual centers and the professional treatment of their web sites.  Where once those web pages amounted to a simple message about location, hours of business and rules, the sites now overwhelmingly contain content favoring full legalization (including for recreational use).  That, to my mind is not advertising that is (in any way) consistent with the purpose of the Compassion Centers.   Revenue Canada must assure that all expenses used for tax reduction are legitimate.  To continue permitting the Compassion Centers to roll out slick media dealing with political policy amounts to unpaid tax and, therefore is forcing the general public to subsidize a business.

Have no doubt, the individuals and cadres of individuals operating these Compassion Centers are in a great position to get rich quick IF they succeed in persuading the general public that marijuana is harmless fun that should be available for recreational use.

It’s sort of counter-intuitive to say (on one hand) that marijuana has legitimate medicinal purposes and (on the other hand) that it is harmless and simply a fun substance to be enjoyed by anyone seeking a recreation.   

Don’t be fooled folks. This is a business aimed at inflicting insurmountable social harm and a business that has more to do with greed than compassion.

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