Editorial: Keeping pot out of the hands of teens

Legal pot should give government more control, but then there's the taxes which could turn some to the black market

One of the biggest reasons for legalizing marijuana is to get it away from teenagers.

But will that happen?

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Some argue that making recreational pot legal will normalize its use and make it more accessible for young people. Others say there will be more control over it once it's in the government's hands.

With legal weed, parents and agencies supporting youth will have to up their game in talking to young people about potential risks to mental health because teens will always want to experiment.

There is a concern, too, that black market pot won't go away because of high taxes and teens will turn to it instead of waiting until they're 19 to buy legally. B.C. will apply a 15% markup to pot on its shelves, plus 5% federal GST, 7% provincial sales tax and a new 2.3% regulatory recovery fee from Health Canada.

Will all those taxes ratchet up the price and keep criminal drug gangs in business? That is a concern, and one that needs to be addressed.

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