BC jumps for joy – Washington state might legalize Marijuana // Morning read-up: July 29, 2012

29 Jul

Ready to puff?

Marijuana is going to be legal before you know it. Three states are voting this November on whether to straight-up legalize the green. Two of those initiatives – in Washington and Colorado – have a good chance of succeeding.

Rolling Stone’s Julian Brookes thinks there are multiple, intertwining reasons for this direction:

About half of America will be fine with that. Support for legalization is (no other way to put it) higher than ever, and rising. That’s partly demographics – the young are more into pot than their elders, who aren’t sticking around. But it’s something else, too: The status quo, people are starting to notice, is a total disaster.

The prohibition on marijuana – a relatively benign drug when used responsibly by adults, and a teddy bear compared to alcohol and tobacco – has done an impressive job of racking up racially-biased arrests; throwing people in jail; burning up police time and money; propping up a $30 billion illegal market; and enriching psychotic Mexican drug lords.

What remains to be seen is how having legalized weed just south of the line will have an effect on British Columbia.

 

**How has technology grown over the past century? The Atlantic Cities has pulled together a nifty pair of infographics, both showing rates of penetration into American homes by significant technologies over the past century.

An interesting observation by Alexis Madrigal:

They purport to show how fast technology moves, I see it the opposite way. If you were born in 1870, say, you heard about electricity as a kid, but were unlikely to get it until you were in your 50s! If you were born in 1960, you heard about computers as a kid, but statistically speaking, probably didn’t have one until you were in your mid-30s.

***Romney’s Ohio/Florida strategy looks to be in trouble. Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight.com says it’s all about jobs (the ones that pay you, not Steve):

Although state economic statistics have only modest predictive power as compared with the national numbers, Mr. Obama may be benefiting from the fact that Ohio’s unemployment rate has fallen substantially — to 7.3 percent from a peak of 10.6 percent. Had the national unemployment rate declined by a similar margin, Mr. Obama would likely be a clear favorite in the election right now.

Much of the gain in Ohio has been from auto industry jobs, a relative bright spot in the economy, and a potential problem for Mr. Romney since he opposed the federal bailout of the major auto makers.

The story for the past year has been that Obama walks away with the election if the economy does well; if not, then it will be  close battle. Though most numbers still favour Obama, it’s looking more and more likely it will be a battle.

****Christy Clark is pretty clearly trying to put a price on Environmental degradation, no? It’s like she’s asking for the most expensive insurance policy ever.

If you look at her guest opinion piece in this weekend’s Globe, it’s hard to say that she’s really doing any of this in the name of environmental protection.

I understand that for Alberta, the balance of risks and benefits are much different. Based on the Wright Mansell report Enbridge submitted to the environmental review process, of the $81-billion in incremental income the project is expected to generate over a 30-year period, nearly 40 per cent – $32-billion – will go to Alberta. Whereas British Columbia, despite shouldering 100 per cent of the marine oil-spill risk and a majority of the land oil-spill risk, will receives a much smaller benefit, roughly 8 per cent of the incremental income. The calculation for me as Premier is that there is too much unquantified risk with too little known benefit.

In effect, she’s saying that if we were to have more jobs, the risk to the environment is tolerable. What’s an oil spill, as long as everyone has jobs?

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