Re: "Pot laws aren't in jurisdiction of mayors: Watts," the Now, Sept. 27.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is quoted as saying, "I don't think legalizing pot will have drug dealers filling out tax forms."
Maybe not, but that's not the goal. Cannabis is such a profitable venture because it's illegal - the higher the risk, the more the dealers charge. That's why high-quality cannabis costs more in places like Texas than it does in California.
If cannabis were to be decriminalized/ legalized in B.C., prices would start to drop (much more drastically if it were fully legalized). That's the goal, to lower the profit margin of the drug dealers. Lower the profit margin, and you decrease the incentive to sell said product.
After a certain point, many small-time dealers wouldn't bother wasting their time (for the simple fact they would have to work much harder and sell much more of their product than they do now to compensate). And more importantly, the cartels and gangs wouldn't be pulling in as much money as they currently are from the cannabis trade.
Marijuana is just another commodity; the rules of the market apply to it in very much the same fashion as they apply to shoes, food, clothes, etc.
Realistically though, legalizing pot is the more sensible solution. Legalizing would allow licensed and regulated establishments to sell the product in stores in the same way that alcohol is sold.
No one in their right mind would choose to buy from a shady street peddler in some back alley, if instead they could buy from a safe, government-regulated source like a legal dispensary.
That's a major blow to the pockets of the cartels/gangs, the only thing they could do to compete would be to lower their prices... which would cause the legal dispensaries to lower theirs (Business 101).
Eventually, as mentioned earlier, prices will drop to the point where it's no longer profitable for most dealers to dabble in the cannabis trade.
And the ones that are left won't be making nearly as much money as they are now under prohibition.
Decriminalization/legalization is simply the more sensible route to take. No matter how well-intentioned, a prohibitionist is just a drug dealer's best friend.
Gavin Gill, Surrey