maintaining cannabis prohibition to the federal and provincial governments, and in turn the average Canadian taxpayer. According to the Auditor General of Canada, it is projected that approximately $450 million was spent on drug control, enforcement, and education in the year 2000.
Since ¾ of drug offences are marijuana related, the majority of the $450 million spent across Canada was due to cannabis prohibition laws. This expenditure also does not include funding for marijuana related court hearings, or incarcerations, as over 300 000 people are arrested for simple marijuana possession every year (Cohen et al. 2). Another issue to consider is that the amount of cannabis users continues to rise across Canada, up from 6.5% in 1989, to 12.2% in 2000 (Nabalamba, 1).
This will only increase the amount of funding the federal government is forced to contribute to drug control and enforcement, further charging the taxpayer. A more cost efficient way to regulate marijuana is to set an age limit through provincial regulation, permitting for adult use of a substance less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco. Otherwise, it is left in the hands of organized crime, with the government continuing to spend millions on its prohibition, and not profiting from its continuous increase in use. In this situation, the regulation of marijuana should not only be allowed, but would financially benefit the country.
Even after thousands of years of people using marijuana to treat a variety of medical conditions, many still believe marijuana is a drug without therapeutic value. Patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy, or AIDS related AZT therapy, found smoking marijuana to be an effective way to curb nausea (Health Canada, “Medical Marijuana”). Often it is more effective than available prescribed medications. “44% of oncologists responding to a questionnaire said they had recommended marijuana to their cancer patients; others said they would recommend it if it were legal” (Zimmer et al. 87). Other uses include control for muscle spasms associated with spinal cord injury/disease, and multiple sclerosis and pain/ weight loss