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Pot gives Canada a boost
But trouble is afoot...


If you've been paying attention to some of the more peculiar side-effects of the global recession,
you may have noticed that Canadians have been behaving uncharacteristically uppity of late.
This is a result of Canada having the "least-bad-rich-world-economy" – an honour that would
be rather unimpressive if the rest of the G8 wasn't so persistently gloom-stricken.

While most wealthy economies are still stagnant, in decline or disrepair, the Canadian economy
has outpaced allcomers and will avoid the possibility of a double-dip recession that continues to
haunt the US. But beyond the chorus of self-congratulatory backslapping coming from Ottawa,
there has emerged a threat of economic crisis that is being ignored by Canadian politicians.

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
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.

Due to its contraband nature, it's difficult to determine exactly how much marijuana contributes to
the Canadian economy, but economists have estimated about $20bn per year, making it Canada's
single largest agricultural product. The bulk of production is based in British Columbia, where it
employs a labour force of 250,000, roughly one in 14 adults. Although strict financial controls are
often credited as the source of Canada's economic resilience, it's worth pointing out that marijuana
production often insulates communities from larger economic phenomenon.

So, the "threat" is that American money would stay in America?
Common sense drugs laws?  Are you kidding me?

Oh, is God gonna be pisssed when he hears about this.

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