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Everyday Canadians Get High on Marijuana Profits

A booming business in Canada's British Columbia allows entrepreneurs to rake in $80,000 a year tax-free while keeping their day jobs. So what's the magic product? Marijuana, of course!

Owners of British Columbia's 20,000 illegal cannabis grow-ops, set up in residential homes, collect high profits, but unlike typical organized-crime marijuana growers, BC's middle class wants in too.

Just like Mary-Louise Parker's character in Weeds, the extra cash helps these otherwise normal people maintain a middle-class life style. Cultivators spend the cannabis cash on college tuition, second homes, cars, or a vacation. Not surprisingly these criminals want Canada to legalize marijuana.

Opponents say the drug is dangerous, especially for youth. Either way, it seems the pot is here to stay — the profitable industry is far too expansive for BC authorities to seriously stop it. Perhaps this is the way laws change — the people assert their right, making authorities impotent. If the drug does become legal, BC's neighbor, American law enforcement, will surely stare angrily at the border. But I bet others wouldn't mind a North American Amsterdam!


Join The Conversation
tayrose tayrose 7 years
UnDave: If you can, please prove your statement. "100% of the people who smoke marijuana have the problems because of the long term usage. " I would like at least 2 legitimate sources that prove your 'point'. Pretty sure 100% of the people who smoke cigarettes will develop at least one problem (bad breath, yellow teeth, smelling like smoke, cancer, etc.) Also, who are YOU to define success of a person? Just because someone is a McDonald's manager doesn't mean they aren't successful. Success is completely relative, so don't try and say someone isn't. In my opinion, success is synonymous with happiness, and you cannot tell a person if they are happy or not. Another thing, there have been NO reported deaths from a marijuana overdose. Compare that to the millions of people who have died from alcohol poisoning or lung cancer or other problems from cigarettes.
marijuana marijuana 8 years
I would have to disagree that marijuana kills brain cells. There is no real scientific proof that marijuana kills brain cells. If you asked me compared to alcohol, marijuana is not nearly as bab and to call it a date raped drug is a joke. If anything is a date rape drug its alcohol, to say that marijuana can lead to other drugs is also a joke. I've smoked marijuana, since I was 15 and I don't go around doing other drugs like cocaine or heroin to say that people who smoke marijuana amounts to nothing is a lie. Look at all those people in college, that smoked marijuana why should we destroy a plant that God put on this earth.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
Many areas have started to decriminalize marijuana. The county I work for hands out ordinances for first and second offenses, which only carry a fine. Rarely, I see small jail sentences handed down, simply because it is much more profitable for the county to collect fines that it is to stuff the overcrowded jail. Like Jillness said, its about politics...not justice.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
*PDFA = partnership for a drug-free america...sorry :-(
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
PDFA is actually a non-profit organization that gets donations from many large corporations, which have included tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies. Since 1997, it has (supposedly) discontinued it's fiscal association with tobacco and alcohol companies, but still gets sizable donations from pharmaceutical companies. Guess that is why there are no PSAs from them telling people not to, say, abuse pain killers or sleeping pills??
geebers geebers 9 years
Hey Id like to pop in to defend my highly successul friends that smoked pot everyday for years in college- most of them make WAY more money than I ever will and have families. They are happy and in no way do them seem damaged or less intelligent. I'd be careful before making statements about how 100% of weed-users are damaged and destroyed their lives. Though I do believe somewhat that marijuana is a gateway drug :D Go Canada!
pugglelover pugglelover 9 years
Undave35? your comments are very ignorant! I smoke everyday I have a good paying job not @ McDonald's and I know a lot of smokers who own there own business! You are the kind of people who have no idea and just stereotype and that's how it became illegal in the first place. Oh and not only do I smoke everyday I run/ walk 6-7 miles a day!
bleached bleached 9 years
"And "A Partnership for a Drug Free America" is a cigarette and alcohol company...they lobby to keep pot illegal in order to decrease competition" REALLY?! I guess it makes sense...
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Thanks, bleached. I think there are certainly pros and cons to pot use, but ultimately, for something to be made illegal to use (with jail time as a consequence), it has to be a well documented threat to society as a whole. Some people shop too much, some people eat too much, some people watch too much tv...there are things that people do that are not great for them, but we can't make them all illegal. IMO, I have never seen anything that justifies pot being illegal. Especially when you don't even need to smoke it anymore. They have concentrates in spray form, butter, honey, suckers, baked goods. I know someone who used to have to spend $1000 a day on his cancer pain medication, but now he spends $15 a day on alternatives. I think if we give people the honest pros and cons, it should be their legal right to decide what is best for them. My birth control pills can cause blood clots, but the benefits to me out weight the risk. Pot should be no different. Let us weigh the honest risks. And "A Partnership for a Drug Free America" is a cigarette and alcohol company...they lobby to keep pot illegal in order to decrease competition. Until someone starts lobbying for pot, I don't see things changing. But seeing how the business is growing in California, it might happen with in the next 10 years.
bleached bleached 9 years
Thank you Jill for that informative post. We can always trust you to be the voice of reason ^^
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm sorry. I'm speaking imprecisely because I'm not informed enough to give scientific specifics. My point was basically that marijuana does alter your brain in a way that does not immediately change back when you are no longer high, just like any other drug does. In general, it's not considered a drug that is physically addictive, but it's more complicated than that. That's all.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I highly recommend that everyone check out the series "History of Drugs" on the History channel. It goes through and tells you how different drugs spread across the US. With Marijuana, it had a LOT to do with the end of prohibition on alcohol, and the need to take this new green competitor off the market. It also had to do with pressuring certain racial groups. The drug czar at the time actually wrote in his diary, "How do I possibly justify making this harmless plant illegal?" (I also learned that shortly before opium was made illegal, they also outlawed wearing you hair in a single braid down your back...because it was the preferred hairstyle of Asian immigrants they were trying to intimidate). Pot being illegal is all about politics, and it has nothing to do with justice.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
" I forget the time frame for marijuana, but there is a physical withdrawal" Pot deposits itself in your body fat. If you stop smoking it, slowly, it is released from your body fat. This is why there is no physical withdrawl, because your body is naturally weened off of it. This is also why it takes about 30 days to leave your system for a test. I don't see pot as being any more of an issue than caffeine, or alcohol. Yes, there will be people that abuse it, but you can't make the laws for the masses based on the exceptions. I don't think that a lazy person is a big enough threat to society to justify making it a crime to have or buy. With heroin, crack, meth it is very different because their use creates a much bigger impact on society.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
When did I say it's not addictive? I was quoting in that last comment, and above I was saying I haven't heard it's 25 times more addictive than alcohol.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Torg - I'm confused. On the one hand you say that pot isn't addictive, then you describe how it destroys your pleasure sensors, meaning you have to smoke pot to be happy, and you have to smoke more and more and more. If you quit, the sensors will repair itself, but there will be a withdrawal period. Isn't that pretty much textbook addiction?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I know people who smoke pot, and they are successful individuals with 12 hour a day jobs in the medical field. I also know people who smoke and can barely hold down a part time job.
gigill gigill 9 years
Ummm, getting back to the post - Go Canada!!!! I don't think people should be punished over growing weed or whatever. There are far worse things going on, resources to tackle crime are short and I think wasting the cops time on weed bustups is pointless. In order to make the drug legal though, I think there needs to be a serious public education campaign involved. There's tons of information in Amsterdam about responsible drug use etc. as much as there is about responsible alcohol use in Europe/North America etc. It only seems responsible to spread the same kind of info about marijuana if they are going to legalize it. That's my two cents!
True-Song True-Song 9 years
"Pot is NOT a physically addictive drug, whereas cigarettes (but these are not mood altering) and alcohol are." Well, it's a bit more complicated than that. When you smoke pot, you flood the pleasure receptors in your brain with serotonin. The same thing happens when you drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, do heroin, just to largely varying degrees. (Of course, this is on top of the other reactions your body has.) You actually damage your pleasure receptors, which means over time, your normal, sober state becomes less pleasant. Gradually, you don't get as much from, say, walking outside, reading the paper, petting a dog, whatever. This causes you to want to use the drug more frequently, and means you have to use more of it to get the same effect. Your brain can repair its pleasure receptors if you stop using, but it takes time. Heroin takes something crazy like 40 years. Cigarettes take about a month. I forget the time frame for marijuana, but there is a physical withdrawal. That is my super dumbed down (because it's been a while since I learned about it) explanation of neuroadaptation.
wren1 wren1 9 years
Pot is NOT a physically addictive drug, whereas cigarettes (but these are not mood altering) and alcohol are. I say just legalize it already.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Which doctors? Twenty-five times more addictive? I studied neuroadaptation in school, and while I recall heroin being off the charts, marijuana was down by cigarettes and alcohol.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
"Is there any argument that makes pot worse than alcohol? Not sure if that means we should legalize pot or ban alcohol." If you listen to doctors, pot is about 25 times more addictive than alcohol. Pot also destroys many more brain cells than any legal "drug".
bleached bleached 9 years
I'm only laughing because it's true... I too know couples who have broken up because of it... It is just as bad as drugs and alcohol
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm only half kidding! It's addictive, it distracts from work and kids, etc. I've known of couples to break up over it.
bleached bleached 9 years
"Anything to an extreme will ruin your life, and we don't have laws against, say, World of Warcraft." WoW ruins lives!!! ROTFL
True-Song True-Song 9 years
"I think a distinction needs to be made between someone who casually smokes pot and someone who is a total pothead." I agree. Anything to an extreme will ruin your life, and we don't have laws against, say, World of Warcraft.
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