Friday, August 6, 2010

Canadians Being the Largest Lender of Sub-Prime Mortgages in the World May Not be Our Biggest Problem

I keep reminding people, and everyone needs to keep reminding people, that Stevie and Jimbo did not handle our economy very prudently and they have us in a lot of deep doo doo.

They bailed out our banks to the tune of 125 billion dollars by buying up, on our behalf, all high risk mortgages.

High-risk mortgages that Jimbo and Stevie allowed into this country in the first place.

But the UK Guardian has published a story about our underground economy, that could also be in big trouble.

It has to do with the marijuana industry, which will dry up if California legalizes it and we don't.
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.

Ironically, support for legalisation is stronger in Canada than it is in California. Canada's most prominent rightwing thinktanks have long supported legalisation, as do the majority of Canadians. But since the Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, formed a minority government in 2006, drug reform has been wiped off the agenda and the gears have grinded into reverse. In a bizarre twist that defies all rational thought, the Conservatives have decided they want to go in the opposite direction of the Canadian voter and emulate outdated Republican drug war policies that have already proved catastrophic in the US.

The Conservatives have proposed legislation that would introduce mandatory minimum prison sentences for marijuana producers. If passed, the
legislation would result in spending billions in order to put more people in prison – the exact scenario that lead California into severe debt and towards legalisation. Even more stupefying, police in Montreal recently
raided a "compassion centre" that legally distributes medicinal cannabis, and Conservative politicians have started calling for medicinal centres to be shut down across the country.

Of course all you'll ever get from Harper is "marijuana is bad, now where did I put my beer?", even though Stockwell Day (yeah, I know) admits that he once smoked it "and inhaled".

Something to think about.

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