That's Life - January 3, 2018

Happy New Year to each and everyone. I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful Christmas season. I know our family did.

2018 will be a year of change and challenges. The minimum wage, in Alberta, will be raised from $13.60 per hour to $15.00 per hour, as of October 1, 2018. Now, those supporting this increase, will only talk about the tremendous improvement in the quality of life that minimum wage earners will enoy.

They simply do not want to talk about businesses cutting jobs and/or raising prices to keep their bottom line in the black. I wonder what it does to the worker’s income tax? They don’t want to talk about that either.

Then there is the Carbon Tax, another gusher of a cash cow. I would have to say that by the time the next Provincial Election comes around in 2019, the NDP government should have banked enough Carbon cash to buy off every municipality in this great province. It is a very real possibility that Albertans can be bought. “Good heavens,” you say, “Could that actually happen?” You bet your bottom dollar it could, and, in my opinion, most likely will.

And, don’t forget, whatever you do, about that new tax revenue to be generated through the legalization of marijuana. There, I said it. Yes folks, that river of green is going to flow to Edmonton like $100 oil, or better. The Provincial NDP will enjoy a full 10 months of grass tax, before the 2019 election. I know, that’s a lot to inhale. But Alberta Finance MInister Joe Ceci is all smiles, and he should be. To top that up, the Province of Alberta has ruled that the sale of cannabis (that’s marijuana for those of you who are afraid to admit that you know), is the responsibility of private enterprise. Yup, that means a local entrepreneur will have to gamble his or her life savings to buy or lease a building that complies with zoning bylaws. The proper security will cost a fortune. I mean, this is not your average convenience store. I mean, come on folks, those stolen F-150’s, 250’s and 350’s are going to be backing through front doors like there’s no tomorrow. The only way organized crime and keep their pot sales going is to steal it, cut the counter price, keep their clientele and pay absolutely no tax dollars.

And then there’s the little known fact that the Province of Alberta has retained the right to sell marijuana via the internet. They’re not only directly competing with free enterprise, they are opening a can of worms that will directly impact cannabis products getting into the hands of those under age. The internet is a faceless marketplace where a valid credit card, a mailing address and a check mark in the box reading, “Are you 18 years of age of older?” is about all you need to buy whatever you want, from anywhere in the world.

And before I butt out, I’d like to ask how law enforcement is going to road test Albertans and differentiate between recreational users and those with higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical compound in marijuana, due to prescribed medicinal, daily usage.

And by the way folks, if you benefit from abstainer’s insurance premiums, for not smoking, I would suggest you don’t smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Ask your insurance agent and your banker. It could put you in the poor house with increased premiums on every insurance policy you hold.

It’s going to be so interesting to see how all of this plays out. Prohibition in the United States only lasted from 1920 to 1933 and that caused no end of trouble. Marijuana became illegal in 1923, in Canada, and since that time, the war against “drugs” has landed thousands upon thousands of Canadians in jail. Well over 50 per cent of all drug related arrests were marijuana cases. That equates to millions in the United States.

The legalization of marijuana will be the story to watch in 2018. At least around this joint.

That’s Life.