Global consumer advocate says legal pot is good for communities
The Consumer Choice Center is confirming what marijuana advocates have been saying for a long time.
It said smart regulation of cannabis will reduce violent crime and boost economic gains. Those are some of the findings in its policy paper on the regulation of cannabis.
“It is clear that legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational consumption has boosted consumer choice and, at the same time, successfully deterred continued crime and black market activity throughout North America,” said Toronto-based Consumer Choice North American Affairs Manager David Clement.
The center said the latest research demonstrates that legalizing cannabis helps reduce overall levels of violent crime, as has been the case in the State of Washington. According to researchers, medical marijuana laws in California were found to have reduced both violent and property crime by 20 per cent.
“We stress the importance of smart regulatory policy in each jurisdiction where it is considered, and pieced together important lessons and recommendations that policy-makers should heed in their next steps to create a legal and safe market for cannabis,” added Clement.
The center’s policy paper examines cannabis policy recommendations for retail regulations, public consumption laws, selling to non-residents, taxation, grower licences, and branding. Among them are opening private retail stores, allowing public consumption in the same places as tobacco, creating cannabis lounges and establishments, investing in educational resources for minors and at-risk consumers, keeping taxation reasonably low, and allowing public advertising and freedom of branding.
The Consumer Choice Center promotes economic freedom and empowers consumers to raise their voice. It said regulators keep regulating more and more areas of consumers’ lives, leading to less consumer choice and usually higher costs.