Marijuana Growth in British Columbia

Publication Date: June 2004
Publication Format: Public Policy Sources

Executive Summary: The cultivation and production of marijuana in British Columbia highlights the problems inherent in the enforcement of laws that are generally ignored by broad sectors of the populace. Some 7.5 percent of all Canadians report they use marijuana currently, and over their lifetimes, 23 percent report themselves as having used marijuana at least once.

This paper raises several issues that have the cumulative effect of suggesting that in the long term, the prohibition on marijuana cannot be sustained with the present technology of production and enforcement. To anyone with even a passing acquaintance with modern history, it is apparent that we are reliving the experience of alcohol prohibition of the early years of the last century.

In Canada, and more specifically British Columbia today, as with alcohol nearly a century ago, marijuana is too easily produced and exported to be controlled with the tools available to law enforcement in a free society. The return on investment is sufficiently great so that for each marijuana growing operation demolished, another takes its place.

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ISBN/ISSN 1206-625

Author: Stephen T. Easton, Senior Fellow