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ModlrMike said:That could have happened with decriminalization. This is about taxation period. If it was truly about harm reduction, and reducing the social burden, then that's what the conversation would be about. It's not - the government has almost excursively focused on tax.
The problem is actually worse than that. Instead of harm reduction, we do things like needle exchanges which essentially incentiveise the things we claim to want to reduce.
We look the other way and ignore what is actually harmful or deleterious to people's welfare. Stepping over addicts sleeping on the streets of Victoria while passing literally a dozen "Medicinal Marijuana" outlets (with badly painted hand made signs) on my way to visit my daughter in 2016 certainly drove the point home (I also remember seeing East Vancouver back in the late 80's, and my home town of London seems to have more and more visible addicts of all kinds roaming the streets as well).
Of course, as my wife points out, we have eliminated the ability to take these sorts of people off the streets and institutionalize them regardless of their problems or underlying issues (I believe a large number also suffer from mental health issues, which street drugs are hardly helping).