Wednesday, October 13, 2010

B.C. Hydro stats support legal, regulated maraijuana

The Baltimore Sun has noticed B.C. Hydro's estimated that $100 million worth of electricity is being stolen each year for grow ops. Reporter Jay Hancock helpfully reminds readers that British Columbia "is to pot what Texas is to oil" in a post here.
The Times Colonist also noticed. An editorial today looks at the numbers and concludes, based on B.C. Hydro data, that $100 million of stolen electricity would power about 17,000 grow ops. Add in outdoor grows and indoor operations using generators or legal power and on any given day there are some 20,000 to 25,000, the editorial concludes.
Isn't it time to legalize and regulate marijuana, the editorial asks.


Anonymous said...

The answer to that question is that the time by now is long overdue to legalize and regulate pot. Even supposing the editorial Paul mentioned has exagerrated the numbers by one or two hundred percent, the inherent message would be: that one whole hell of a lot of weed is being consumed, and right here at home. No reasonable thinking person could conclude that all of that harvest is being smoked exclusively in the pipes of criminals, vagrants, and/or any other kind of "n'er do wells" you care to blame. No, it is being toked by thousands and thousands of productive and responsible tax-paying British Columbians, and the revenue stream that would be generated by legalizing it would be enormous. Add to that revenue stream the reduction of costs associated with policing, processing, and institutionaling those who choose to use a relatively innocuous recreational drug, and who knows what services we could have restored for the benefit of everyone.

Raymond Graham

Anonymous said...

Paul, Paul, Paul, sometimes when you state the obvious you seem to miss seeing the larger picture. Legalizing marijuana will not make the theft of electricity magically go away. The "thieves" have been doing it for so long, why would they want to PAY for a cost then they can just steal it.

Maybe you think that if these small businesses were legalized, BC Hydro would try to back charge them for all the years that they stole the electricity.

Dave Killion said...

I don't think anonymous appreciates how expensive stolen electricity is for the thief. Hydroponic equipment and artificial lighting are very costly, and are only used in order to conceal the grow-ops' location. Furthermore, renting a home for a grow-op costs money and reduces the scale of the operation. Were it not for the artificially high price of marijuana, such operations would be unaffordable. If that were not the case, folks could make lots of money by stealing electricity for tomato grow-ops.

Once marijuana is re-legalized, it can be grown in large fields using modern farming techniques that will produce bumper crops at such low prices that no hydroponic operation will be able to compete, even with 'free' electricity.

Kim said...

Greenhouses could also be utilised to increase productivity hugely. If the process were legalised, the organised criminals would quickly be put out of business. Why deal with criminals un-necessarily?

DPL said...

Hydro is trying to convince us we all need "smart meters" for the tune of one billion bucks. The electricity gets taken from the line prior to the meter.

North Van's Grumps said...

"In an article by the Toronto Sun in July last year, Ontario Hydro One customers argued their newly installed Smart Meters, which introduced Time of Use Billing rather than interval-billing which bill every one or two month cycles, actually increased their monthly bills by up to 40%."

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the hype about how legalizing marijuana will magically make all the violence and mayhem associated with its illegality go away overnight. Repealing Prohibition didn't make the Mob go away.

Dope will still be a product in demand, and people (currently, people involved in organized crime) will compete to supply that demand, and be aggressive in, well, let's call it "securing market share" (though someone living in Abbotsford might have a different name for it). If the government does not step in to be the biggest and baddest dealer on the block there will be little or no change from the way things are now, and I don't see the kind of popular sentiment among voters that would allow that (Raymond, you can talk all you like about how innocuous pot is (and I think it's far from harmless psychologically) but the fact remains that a small minority of people use it.)

Since last year Mexico has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.), putting the legal stamp on what has for some time been a civic fait accompli. Yet the violence within Mexico itself, far from all of it tied up with supplying the USA with drugs, gets worse every week.

All of this, of course, dodges the most relevant question - why there is in the first place such an apparently insatiable demand in the USA and Canada for substances that screw people up.


Kim said...

Brian, look to Portugal, where they have have great success with decriminalisation. People aren't afraid of seeking treatment, the money saved in the legal system funds addiction and mental illness treatments. Drug use has dropped there in the younger agegroups. Imagine if our courts had time to try real crimes, like the corrupt sale of BC Rail.