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For Greens, going green means growing...greens

 BC Hydro estimates that they lose over $100 million annually to power stolen for grow ops. Hydro says it thinks smart meters can reduce the theft.

“I’m always surprised when the BC Liberal government and a government utility like BC Hydro can’t see the obvious,” said Green Party of BC Leader Jane Sterk. “Not only does prohibition feed violence and put our communities at risk as gangs fight to control the business of producing and selling cannabis, but Hydro says we are taking a hit to our economy of $100 million each year.

“BC Hydro should be chastised for suggesting that one of the reasons to adopt smart meters is to shut down grow ops. It will take years for smart meters to be in place at an estimated cost of $660 million. The purpose of smart meters is to promote conservation and to change how we use power.

“Ending prohibition would allow us to treat cannabis just like we do tobacco and alcohol – control the production and distribution and tax the heck out of the sale. BC would get hundreds of millions in tax revenue and we would save the $100 million per year loss at BC Hydro. That is in addition to hundreds of other ways we could save tax dollars from policing costs to addictions and health care costs to damage to property.

“That’s money that could be put back into the arts or that could be transferred to municipalities so they can deal with their infrastructure or invested in transit so we can get people out of their cars.

“On November 2, Californians are voting on Proposition 19 to control and tax cannabis. If Proposition 19 passes California will treat cannabis just like alcohol. Arguments in favour of Proposition 19 include putting police priorities where they belong and generating billions of dollars in much needed tax revenue.

“This proposition to end prohibition may not pass this time but the economic arguments in favour of controlling and taxing keep getting louder. Ultimately the economic imperative to deal with government debt and deficits to say nothing about the safety of our communities will dictate ending prohibition.

“In the meantime, BC Hydro should be cautious about making illogical claims about what smart meters can achieve. They need to prove to British Columbians that this technology will give them a direct financial benefit if they change how they use electricity and how much they use,” concluded Sterk.

This article is a press release from the Green Party of Canada.