On October 17th, 2018, on the one year anniversary of the death of Tragically Hip front man Gord Downey, the Federal Liberal Government – under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – has legalized recreational marijuana in Canada.
People were concerned
Some people didn’t really care
…and people like me were REALLY, REALLY happy and excited!
Why am I so excited?
You see I have never touched the stuff, and likely never will. I have no interest. I don’t pass judgment on others (much), and if someone wanted to smoke up pre-legalization, I would only ask that they 1) Don’t do it in front of children, and 2) Don’t do it where I have to smell it.
After growing up with parents smoking cigarettes in the house, I have developed a very strong dislike of the smell of cigarettes (and other strong odors such as, weed, strong smelling colognes and some perfumes).
But what makes me really happy is that now that marijuana is legal in Canada, it is being taxed which means everyone who buys it is contributing to the Canadian economy. Yes, a lot of that tax money will be earmarked for weed-related education and health care, but certainly, the more that buy and consume safely, the more money the government will have and then hopefully that means the less taxes that we’ll have to pay.
What have I been smoking?
Think about it…
On the first day of legalization, reports indicated that here in Ontario where the only legal way to purchase pot is through the Ontario Cannabis website, the average purchase was $50 per transaction which means 13% HST was added to the price, or an additional $6.50.
In the first hour that the site was open there were around 1000 orders. The site opened at 12:01am, so from 12:01am to 1am, Ontarians contributed $6500 in tax dollars to the Canadian economy.
Now, lets assume that there were 1000 purchases an hour in Ontario throughout the rest of the day, then the Ontario contribution to the economy on day 1 of legalization was around $156,000.
Extending that projection across the country, and we’re looking at an additional $1,560,000 in tax revenue PER DAY!
If this trend continues throughout the year, the Canadian government can net upwards of $560 million dollars in tax revenue!
Sure the Federal debt is now at 1-trillion dollars and under the Liberals they project a $20-billion deficit for the 2018, so those weed sales had better be on the low end to justify legalization.
So we have to either change governments, or buy a LOT of weed / weed-related products (available in 2019) before we can balance the Federal budget, and from there we could see a significant reduction in the debt in about 1000-years…
Have to start somewhere, eh?