LETTER: Keep pot revenue local

From reader Rod Retzlaff

When I arrived in the Kootenays in the 1970s, there was a baseball team called the Kootenay Green Socks — a team I might say, that was enthusiastically supported by much of the community.

The Dec. 19 Nelson Star affords an entire editorial to the Chamber of Commerce urging local people to shop locally to stimulate the economy. Now, I agree that shopping locally does support the local distributors, known as businessmen, who belong to the Chamber of Commerce, but isn’t it also important to support local farmers, known as growers, who don’t? It seems to me that buying foreign-made products locally only supports half the economy.

Recently, I read the RCMP made a bust in Salmo which netted them 350 pounds of marijuana, bagged and ready for distribution. These growers no doubt worked very hard producing this crop and readying it for sale, but they didn’t have a license to do so. Farmers in the Kootenays have always had a hard time making a living.

Wouldn’t it make sense to allow them to include this new crop in their repertoire rather than reserving all the profits for the wealthy who can afford the government’s ridiculous entry fees and negotiate the hoops clearly intended to exclude the small producers? The Queen’s cowboys, of course, chastised the criminals for robbing Canadian taxpayers of the revenue that such licensing and taxing would have produced.

I wonder how much of our tax revenue they spent making and processing this bust.

It is likely that most of the revenue gained by the sale of that 350 pounds would have been invested directly into the local economy, rather than being sent to Ottawa to be spent on increasing the military budget, and pushing through the Trans Mountain pipeline.

I don’t pay much attention to baseball anymore, but if I did, I’d support the Kootenay Green Socks.

Rod Retzlaff


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