Saturday, May 10, 2008

 

Marijuana + $6Billion + B.C.

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Try Googling "marijuana + $6Billion + BC" and you get 961 items if searching Canada or 15,600 items if searching world-wide. So pot production is hardly an unknown or even a modest industry.

In B.C., Marijuana alone
would equal 5% of the total BC budget if we counted it, which we don't. Which is astonishing, because that's $6Billion cash being drained out of the economy every year.

This thriving BC export -- involving the harvest from an
estimated 15,000 grow-ops in B.C. [http://www.cfdp.ca/export.htm] -- is rarely mentioned in terms of understanding the basis of the financial chaos gripping the world.

United States government officials (and sometimes even Canadian officials) have made many claims that Canada is a major supplier of cannabis to the US. However, the available evidence, including reports from the Auditor General of Canada, the RCMP, joint Canada-US task forces, and the United Nations, suggests that Canada in fact is only a minor supplier of cannabis to the United States; the United States supplies a significant portion of its demand for cannabis through its own domestic production; and the United States itself exports cannabis to Canada, sometimes by acting as a transit country for cannabis from other countries. So it's safe to assume that every country faces the same problems. [BC's Organized Crime Agency.]

But it's not marijuana, really; it's the cash. $6Billion in cash every year. The equivalent of 5% of the current provincial economy goes on under the table and unaccounted for.

Canada's 3rd largest railway, BCRail, was sold for $1Billion. Premier Campbell called this particular $1Billion a great boon for the province. Can he also claim that losing six times as much money has no influence on British Columbia?

Where do those $6Billion unaccounted-for dollars go, each year? What do they buy?

This morning's Toronto Star carries an interview with the Canadian who is Attorney-General of Afghanistan. Odd, isn't it, that he can speak freely about corruption there. He blames "the multi-billion-dollar tsunami of international aid" for creating the cash bonanza. Odd omission, too, that there's no mention of Afghanistan supplying 90% of the world's heroin.

Certainly, he's under no illusions about trying to enforce the law. He told The Star: "Not a single authority in [Afghanistan], right up into the president's office, has the clout to oppose a powerful alignment of forces that are a law unto themselves. It is very frustrating," sighs the AG. "In theory, I have the power to arrest anyone in this country if he's involved in corruption But in practice, there are some people who are above the law ... I cannot bring them to justice. I call them The Untouchables. [Afghanistan's Untouchables by Rosie Dimanno. Toronto Star (free online), May 10, 2008]

"They are in the central government, the provincial government, the district centres, police stations, army garrisons, the banks, the aid agencies -- not a sector of Afghan society is without contamination of corruption ... " Even within his own department.

In the past 20 months he has arrested some 300 top-echelon Afghan officials and charged them with corruption. How many are in jail? Not one.

What makes us think that such contamination hasn't happened in British Columbia? Is it the speed with which we in Canada bring suspects to justice? No, one of the Accused (a high-level government employee) after the police raids on the B.C. Legislature who had originally been charged with drugs trafficking, has had those drug charges dropped. Have police charged the other suspect, Jasmohan Singh Bains (not a government employee but allegedly hoping to become one), who was heard on the same wire-taps and who was thought to be Mr Big on the West Coast in 2003? Yes, Bains was charged. Has Bains been put on trial? No.

What makes us think that people sit with folded hands, bags over heads, waiting sweetly year after year to be brought to justice?

And so the
black market exports continue: $6Billion x 4 years = $24Billion and counting.

$24 corrupt Billions could buy votes, or special attention, or legislation
, or interesting employment, or even the keys to the treasure-house in anybody's bailiwick.

At least Afghanistan knows what their problem is. Do we? Or are we just kidding ourselves that we don't have the very same problem in British Columbia?

- BC Mary.

Ref. United Nations Convention Against Corruption.


See also:

Realtors help combat organized crime and terrorism
Vancouver Sun - May 15, 2008
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=c84c1a57-b211-42dd-8910-f08b7ac3335b

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Comments:
You are so right Mary: And, in my humble opionion, the only way we can hope to get back some semblance of democracy is to change the way we elect our REPS. As it is, we elect representatives of the King (read Campbell) thus we endorse corruption as nothing is done in the legislature. All programs, legislation, etc. is done by non-elected persons inhabiting the Premiers office, read Ken Dobell, and any honest types that object are turfed out of caucus. Sad, but fact. Jo5ey
 
Mary, in her book Loss of Faith: How the Air-India Bombers Got Away with Murder, Kim Bolan (Van. Sun) describes how politicians are regularly given envelopes with cash when they attend events. The money goes to buy hotels (the Cecil for example) This is how we have power groups emerging in various places. In the Slocan Valley grow ops are so prevalent that the RCMP admit they do not have the staff to close them down. So who is in charge here? It does make one wonder.
 
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Thanks, Jo5ey.

Anon 6:24, I didn't know that -- and wouldn't even have guessed that modern M.L.A.s would put their hands out to accept cash that way. But I believe Kim Bolan.

Who is in charge, you ask. More and more, I think that the people have to take charge.

I'm working on a story to explain why TV cameras could do an enormous public service in the BCRail courtroom. On looking up things to support this view, I find some beautiful legal expressions.

One in particular damn near brought tears to my eyes, where it says that in lieu of a king, the citizens must be sovereign ... and that they need full information to do that. Citizens as sovereign, eh? I like that.

Meantime, I hope we as a society figure out what to do about grow-ops.

From what I've read, declaring a product illegal is a surefire road to riches -- but -- a whole lot of criminality goes along with that.

According to this theory, you could make fortunes off peanut-butter by getting it declared illegal, with nobody to tax or watch your production or trade tactics.

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Mary, log onto Macleans magazine and find the article "How BC became a world crime superpower" In 1997 when the federal government did away with the Port Police in Vancouver, the Angels moved in. They are very involved in the trucking industry, some automotive repairs shops. car detailing shops, restaurants, and so on. Other groups are equally involved in nefarious deeds. Delaport has 1 cop and no surveillance of containers coming in. In the National Post on April 1 a writer said the ports across Canada are run by Larry, Curly and Moe--so bad is the lack of security. The public has no idea of what is going on. Stolen cars move out of the Port after they've been loaded onto containers. An update with regard to Nelson, the writer should have focused on the Slocan Valley. Now that the dollar is so high, the folks have stopped shipping their goods across the border in helicopters and small planes and dropping their loads in WA state. GPS locators were used. So, now they are shipping to Fort McMurray. Cheers.
 
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ONE port policeman at Deltaport?

I'm on my way to Maclean's to see that article you mention.

Many thanks.

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Just google macleansmagazine.ca
 
"In B.C., Marijuana alone would equal 5% of the total BC budget if we counted it, which we don't. Which is astonishing, because that's $6Billion cash being drained out of the economy every year."

I'm not trying to be difficult or contrary, Mary, but you could have just as easily said "$ Billion cash being DUMPED INTO the economy every year." Don't you think that this "cash" has any effect on the booming economy during a time of record mill closures, divestitures of public assets, off-shoring (or at least "out of provincing") of jobs and disappearance of fish stocks. Does one think this cash has no effect on the unrealistically over-valued real estate market?

Another interesting consideration is to think of the majore rich, elite, power families today, whose wealth and power was created and solidified during the previous now admittedly failed experiment with prohibition (of alcohol) during the early 20th century. Major American and Canadian families profited, and maintained that wealth from supplying the public appetite for booze when booze was artificially over-valued due to its legal status.

Marijuana is a naturally occurring and extremely beneficial herb and of itself IS NOT THE PROBLEM. The problem lies with the totally wrong headed policies created around it which only serve the interests of the criminals at all levels, including in government.

"Meantime, I hope we as a society figure out what to do about grow-ops."

Me, too! Something along the lines of the way Dairy Ops (you know, barn like buildings full of cows) are regulated or even the way far more harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco are regulated today! Personally I think people who want to grow marijuana plants should be regulated about the same as those who choose to grow blueberries or roses!

Just think of all the resources that could be diverted to REAL CRIME like child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence and non-domestic violence and corporate and governmental fraud and theft.
 
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Koot,

Like I said, if you could legislate peanut butter as illegal, you'd be creating a situation where fortunes could be made in the unfettered trading of peanut butter.

I think you haven't read what I wrote, namely, that the unaccounted $6Billion definitely does affect the economy. Does. And that's exactly the point with the real estate market ...

I said it's not about Marijuana, so stop arguing about blueberries and roses.

Have a look at "How BC became a world crime superpower" and tell us what you think.

I doubt like heck that the $6Billion is staying in B.C. to boost the economy, as you suggest.

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While we are discussing the loss or gain of billions of dollars, I would like to link these thoughts in with the corrupt sale of BC Rail and that very "hard-to-find" one billion cheque from CN that BC Mary has reported on here.

Did you know that one billion dollars earns one million dollars in interest alone in about seven days?

Besides all the other things written against this "sale": for example, the people of BC paying the transfer costs for CN ( this is never done in a sale - the buyer always pays this), if there is/was no billion dollars then that very substantial accumulation of interest, now lost to the people and province of BC, must also be taken into account as we make the tally of the real losses, both financial and moral, of this corrupt sale.
 
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