Marijuana may cause Canada’s economic comedown

A thriving marijuana industry has aided Canada’s economy – but political shifts in the US and at home are now threatening this.

Douglas Haddow, Thursday 5th August 2010

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 new-found swagger is a result of Canada having the dubious distinction of being 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 new and immediate threat of economic crisis that is being willfully 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 into Canada and eventually forcing hundreds of thousands into unemployment.

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