• David Momotiuk posted an update 1 year, 11 months ago

    #cannabis should be legalized without taxation. The personal regulation of moderation, responsibility and respect is more than enough for any negative aspects to be balanced properly.

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    • The commercial operations should certainly be taxed.
      Also commercial operations should be subject to third party regulation wherby they have to apply to be able to grow it. This would be done to ensure that a black market doesn’t continue to grow, even though it is “legal”

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      • What if a Supply Management system were imposed on producers?

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        • The management of supply would be based upon demand alone.

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        • I think this will be the wrong approach. It is not like the product would have a short shelf life, like milk and eggs. How do we keep the quota price from inflating if the system ever changes?

          With the US possibly changing their system we could end up with similar problems like we have with supply management.

          I would think that Health Canada should be responsible for ensuring safe products (approved suppliers) and all transactions greater than personal use (under one once) should be reported live (or in a reasonable time) to the RCMP.

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          • Over regulation solves nothing and creates criminals, expense and corruption. Should we tax people who eat improperly more, people who do not exercise sufficiently more, where do we draw the line, cannabis is just another plant, and like ordinary food can be used sensibly or abused, we do not need more laws, we need more freedom, but maybe with rules like if you become alcoholic and are sick you have to pay for your own abuses, equally with obese persons, drug addicts, people who ski in out of bounds areas and need rescue should pay for the rescue etc. Ie we should be allowed to make mistakes but be ready to pay for the mistakes ourselves.

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    • Two questions:

      1) Do you agree that it should be regulated? i.e. production, distribution and sale should be controlled? If so and there is no taxation the cost of an ounce of marijuana is likely to fall to the $10 an ounce range. Is that a good thing?

      2) If the people using marijuana as a recreational substance are willing to currently pay (about) $220 an ounce and it can be produced and distributed for $10 an ounce why would the governments involved not take advantage of an opportunity to a) limit abuse by keeping the price high and b) reap substantial revenue that could go towards health care, education, deficit reduction, etc.? If you look at countries where the government has kept taxes on alcohol low or non-existent, they almost always have high rates of alcohol abuse.

      While I think the idea of “personal … moderation and responsibility” are nice ideas, the act of applying “sin taxes” to tobacco and alcohol have undeniably helped those that do not have the necessary self-control to keep consumption down, lowering health costs and damage to society.

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      • Abuse and self-control, i believe, has less to do with the product than with the person or the circumstance.

        Health care, education, recreation, and budget short falls already have revenue streams so they shouldn’t require yet another one.

        Production and distribution costs obviously vary, therefore i would recomend that the price should reflect 100% of those actual dollars, with some additional dollars being given based on worth and availabilty.

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        • I’m not sure you understood my point … if marijuana is not taxed the cost will drop to about $10 an ounce – that is the realistic estimate of the cost of farming and distributing marijuana.

          Do you think marijuana should be available at $10 an ounce?

          Our governments, at all levels, are operating in deficit. Why would we not take advantage of a new revenue stream to lower those deficits?

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          • I am in favour of the price reflecting the actual costs, not consequences or estimates, of production and distribution.

            $10 ?? no. $20 ?? yes.

            And to answer ur last question (hopefully : )) from my perspective, governments do not need more revenue or more work, they need integrity and reason.

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          • Martin you hit the nail on the head my friend,the revenues from Marijuana would really impact the deficits we now face federally & provincial.

            Smokes,booze etc: are taxed,even our gas is hit,Marijuana would be big revenue earner.

            I personally do not use Marijuana but I sure can smell a cash cow!

            Liberal Party of Canada must run in 2015 on the platform of decriminalizing & making marijuana a legal option on the free markets.

            Anyone who wants Marijuana too stay cheap has too be an advid user LMAO !!!

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    • Are you suggesting that we use the Eastern European model of alcohol?

      I was shocked when a bottle of Vodka was half the price of the same size bottle of coke.

      At the end of the day there is only one taxpayer. If alcohol taxes were dropped it would have to be collected by another means.

      My question is, if the tax revenue was transferred from alcohol to a sales tax. Will you view it as a new tax?

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      • No and no.

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        • OK David, forgive me if I am slow to understand your point.

          Are you suggesting that we use the Eastern European model of alcohol?
          => No

          If the tax revenue was transferred from alcohol to a sales tax. Will you view it as a new tax?
          => No

          New Question

          Will you view it as a new “tax” if profits collected by a illegitimate parallel government (organized crime) were transferred to the public purse though production and sales licensing agreements?

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          • Yes.

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            • I must admit I am a little confused.

              Can you explain how we can move forward without following the Eastern European model of alcohol pricing?

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              • Which is what, John?

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                • No or very little taxation on alcohol. The prices could get so low that it could create health issues.

                  I do not want the general public to become less productive but I would like to see a reasonable approach that does not make criminals out of a large portion of the public if the laws were fully enforced.

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                  • If that logic holds true, would you say that Northern America’s artificially high alcohol prices were a contributing factor to the 2008 recession and is why people here are so very healthy and rarely abuse alcohol? Obviously not, however, whatever. I still think people learn and mature with or without government taxes telling them subliminally yet encouraging them to purchase because proceeds go to good causes run by unaccountable people.

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                    • I would argue if alcohol prices were greatly reduced we would have had a deeper recession.

                      Retailers have proven that if they slash prices, they sell more product.

                      I do not think it is a conscious decision on the part of the consumers. It is not only a question of maturity but also the effect of normal free market forces.

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                      • The question here has 2 main points, should we allow abuse of a substance if enough tax is collected, lotteries included. And 2, should one preference of enjoyment be used to tax more and thus make my hobby pay at a higher tax rate then someone who likes gardening, is the way I spend my after income tax dollar to be used unfairly or should we all pay proportionately?

                        For me it is where to draw the line, increased tax on cigarettes makes sense to reduce the number of smokers, but it also hurts the poorer more then the richer, and at some point causes criminal activity. But then why should the average person have to pay for the health problems of abusers. But are the taxes collected say on cigs and alcohol directed solely to our medical system or does it go to general revenue.

                        Where the tax collected is to be spent, in full, would help me decide if taxation is the right way to go.

                        Mostly let the free and open supply decide the price, at least on the things that do not offer serious health problems that the general public has to pay for.

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                        • I think one line to draw is at what price does the black market have the advantage.

                          Secondly “sin” taxes do disproportional effect the poor. Income tax and other tax rebates, I feel is the better place to balance the burden, not the prices at the retail level.

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    • Jeez, calm down John! It’s just a discussion of possible routes to take if we legalize. Do we regulate? Do we tax? If so, how much?

      If you actually bother to read my comment you will see (I’m sure) that nowhere have I proposed a price or a tax level.

      All I am saying is that people now are willing and able to pay far more than the actual cost of production and distribution.

      I see two reasons to put “some” tax on it:

      1) Why not? Our governments need the money and people are willing to pay it.

      2) I am concerned about $10 an ounce high-grade marijuana. A proven method of controlling the consumption of “potentially harmful” substances is to keep the price at a level that makes it harder to over-consume and harder for young people to acquire.

      You yourself above say …$10 bucks to the supplier and $10 bucks … to the government … ”

      Ok! If that is what the country agrees to, I’ll certainly go along. I’ve been smoking long enough that my consumption isn’t going to go because the cost drops. But I do worry about others and I do worry about our young people. Teenagers are not know for making great decisions when it comes to overindulgence.

      Personally, I think there is a happy medium. I’d like to see the cost a little higher than $20 an ounce maybe $100? … but we’re a long way from making those decisions right now anyway.

      It’s just a discussion John, relax!

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      • I would like to see the price very close to currant prices

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      • This comment is aimed particularly at Martin and John Shavluk, not for reasons of favouritism, but because I have carefully followed this issue and have a pretty good understanding of where they stand and respect their various opinions.

        I am in agreement with a small “sin tax” for lack of a better word.

        I am wondering if we have considered perhaps that the market price of marijuana may actually be determined, and in fluctuate tot he lower end of the spectrum, as soon as big business gets involved. Looking at all of the benefits of the plant as a whole, from the seeds as a food additive to its similarity to linseed and hemp as a cotton alternative, and a source of paper, and use in bio-plastics. This could be an ever growing industry with large scale farming.

        If it is discovered that the plant is more valuable on the open market as a source of paper or bio fuel or whatever, then the price for recreational use would rise.

        If large scale farming allows the product to be produced cheaply, then the price would fall.

        It seems to be a fascinating plant with many varied uses, and I was wondering if someone with more experience to that end would comment for me in a knowledgeable way.

        Thanks for reading,

        Lloyd

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        • Hi Lloyd, You’re mixing apples and oranges a bit here (or a better comparison might be “sweet” corn and “silo” corn).

          The plant Cannabis sativa has over 2000 varieties. Some are good for some things, some for others. The basic difference between “hemp” and “pot” is the level of TCH (Tetrahydrocannabinol ) which is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana. Ninety percent of cannabis strains have very low levels of THC.

          Hemp is already legal to produce in Canada (since 1998) and is a growing industry. It could and should be much larger, but 60 years of prohibition has made it difficult for the farmers and processors of the product to get going on a large scale. It is still restrictively expensive to buy hemp seeds in Canada as they cannot be grown here and must be imported. Then there are the licensing hassles and a limited number of processors ready to take the product.

          Recreational pot is a different thing and I think the farmers of industrial usage cannabis will not be the same group farming cannabis for recreational or medical use – maybe they will – I’m not a farmer.

          Then, recreational cannabis may be farmed differently and separately from medicinal cannabis. These two areas – and the study of the pharmacological constituents of cannabis – is still in its early days due to the difficulties from its illegality. Medical marijuana does not necessarily need to contain high levels of THC, and the effects of THC may not be desired by medicinal users.

          Recreational users will want to be able to buy specific “brands” – flavour, potency, harshness, aroma etc. will all become important to the “connoisseur” when choice is provided through a regulated distribution system.

          So, the cost of recreational cannabis, medical cannabis, industrial cannabis … will likely all be different and then within those groups will be different for each type. Recreational could follow the lead of Scotches – red, black and blue label, blends and single strain, medical marijuana could be developed to address specific illnesses, symptomatology and reliefs – much more work needs to be done, and industrial cannabis for seeds, oil, paper, rope, cloth etc. may be best suited to individual strains.

          Whatever it is grown for, it can and will be targeted towards that use. My guess is that industrial will be the cheapest followed by recreational and then medicinal, simply based on the care and research needed to produce each type.

          But, whichever type and for whatever use, the cost of production should be very low. It is a weed after all.

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      • The way I see it times are changing,Marijuana will be legalized.I think Martin the ole time politicians,ole time thinking will be a thing of past tense.

        I think it’s time for those who cannot get up too speed with LPC modern campaigning should think of new venues in which too explore.

        Canada is in-need of new cash flow incentives & I see legalizing Marijuana as a perfect way in doing so.

        I totally agree with you Martin,some politicians just do NOT get it ! LOL

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    • Although I know it will not happen, the government will see this as an opportunity to get more taxation, I think cannabis should be treated like any other vegetable, farmers will be taxed on the profits of their operations and individuals can grow it in their back yard like any other vegetable. It may be time for some leisure substances to be legal for us to produce without taxation, like home made wine.

      We do not need another marketing board, and so it should not need a licence to grow. Marketing boards favour some and punish all the rest of us.

      If done this way, then the black market would have no chance as it will be sold in our grocery stores, or corner stores, they would not waste their time for low profit.

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      • “some leisure substances to be legal for us to produce without taxation, like home made wine”

        I could support this model for personal use but not for sale. I think that this is in line with currant alcohol laws.

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        • I guess you know that it is illegal to sell home produced eggs, cheese, and making a personal use law negates much of the benefit reducing the cost of chasing so called criminals.

          Then again I have not heard of anyone going to jail for selling eggs, and where I live as many eggs are sold by illegal producers as through the marketing board.
          If I can grow potatoes, which can be turned into vodka, and sell them and why not cannibis! Because it may produce a high! What is the relevance of that. A poor family may crave the potatoes more, are they then criminals.

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          • I am not suggesting consumers are criminals. This must change.

            I also never heard of an armed and violent struggle to control markets for eggs and cheese and potatoes in Canada. The marketing is vastly different to compare directly.

            Potatoes can be turned to vodka. Nothing wrong with that and you cannot sell the vodka. You can compare vodka to cannabis but comparing potatoes to cannabis is a stretch. It would be more fair to compare cannabis seeds to potatoes.

            If open sales were allowed for Vodka, it will lead to higher consumption and undesired health issues or as in the currant case of cannabis, a market controlled through violence.

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            • I do believe that it is illegal to produce hard liquor in Canada, but I could be wrong. And to me the only difference between potatoes and cannabis is with cannabis one could potentially drive while high and with potatoes not so much, although the derivatives from each is the problem not the plant itself. And I do not believe you can regulate health issues solely on law and taxation, in fact those approaches seemed to have failed except to control the poor, who can not afford the black market or government retail pricing. We just have , maybe, fewer poor alcoholics, although some produce their own wine, vodka, and marijuana.

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              • I will openly admit that a tax on retail level does disportionately effect the lower income earners. I believe that tax rebates and other poverty reduction policies are a better way to address this issue.

                Potatoes is a food staple, cannabis is not. These two plants have less in common than they do in common.

                Having said that, I cannot imagine a workable tax system that does not allow a person to buy something for their own personal use then “manufacture” some other product from it for their own personal use.

                Let me propose this idea as no tax on personal “manufacturing” of cannabis. For better clarity let me refer to this as the homemade wine model.

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                • It all comes down to, is cannabis a sin, does it cause health problems the rest of us have to pay for, and if so then it should be taxed to cover those costs, if not then it should not be taxed, my prefernces of hobbies should not be taxed more.

                  That said, all sin taxes should only be directed to the problmes they cause, and not be used as an excuse to tax certain individuals more then others for general revenue.

                  Someone looked at it as a cash tax cow, but it should only be taxed in the way any other crop is taxed, with the exception I mentioned here, it causes health related problems that are a burden on soceity.

                  Should we always be looking for a way to make our neighbour pay a bigger burden of tax so that we can pay less?

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                  • The way I look at this tax issue:

                    Organized crime is an illegitimate paralleled government. The hierarchy collects money to enforce compliance and rewards its leaders. They do not put anything into health care for the end user. They already have tested the market and established a price.

                    I see no need for an added federal tax. GST, Income tax and any monies saved from the war on drugs is plenty for the federal government.

                    Anyone that gets into this business should also pay these taxes that everyone else does.

                    Having said that, the federal government should not restrict any provinces how they collect sin taxes. Since health care and education is their responsibly they should be able to raise funds without new restrictions by the federal government.

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    • It will have to be subject to regulation. Perhaps Liberals should recommend the creation of a Canadian Weed Board?

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    • There are plenty of difficult questions related to the legalization of marijuana.

      If it is decriminalized – which is what Liberals originally proposed nearly ten years ago – then it basically allows people to have small amounts. It would still be against the law – growers and dealers could be charged criminally – but people in possession would get the equivalent of a traffic ticket – a “summary” offense.

      That being said, if it is decriminalized or legalized, there is no justification for not taxing it.

      Right now, when you do your taxes, you have to pay on your income, whether you made it by legal or illegal means.

      If people expect pot to be legalized, then it is treated as any other commodity and is subject to regulation, including by Health Canada.

      If it were legalized, growers and dealers would pay income and/or corporate taxes & GST, and it would likely be subject to the same kind of “sin taxes” as cigarettes and alcohol.

      I would actually expect large ag companies to get involved fairly quickly, except the fact that it is illegal elsewhere means they would avoid it.

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    • John, I really don’t want to get in argument with you but I do want to point out a few things in your last comment …

      As the discussion of taxes is in its early stages, I think it is too early to talk about “if it is ‘swamped’ by sin taxes” – all those of that support taxation are saying is that untaxed, it will be too cheap and that the government (Canadians taxpayers) may as well reap some benefit when the money is already there for the taking. Certainly the producers and distributers shouldn’t get all the potential profit?

      People DO care who gets the money. First of all, most responsible citizens would rather not support crime. Second, if I have the opportunity of going to a legal distributor to buy my pot as opposed to continuing to support a criminal and taking the chance of being arrested myself because I am engaging in illegal activity … I, and most smokers I know, will go to the legal supplier, even it was a bit more expensive. And third, I know exactly the quality of the product I am buying unlike when I have to buy from criminals who do not care about “customer feedback”.

      Perhaps in Delta, the majority of marijuana is produced by individual “entrepreneurs” growing a couple of hundred plants. However, I doubt that very much when you look at the scale of the trade. Here in Ontario, in the prairies, and out East, it is certainly produced by groups of organized criminals. Most of the product grown is grown indoors, hydroponically in dedicated sites. The investment necessary and again, the scale of the operations, indicates that it is being done more on an “organized” basis than by individuals growing a few plants.

      Finally, I don’t think we are “screwing” anything up as you put it. Some of us are asking questions, as is our right, and wondering what the best approach to legalization is. You have your ideas and I have mine. You have been thinking about this for years, some of us are only just realizing that this a serious possibility. We want to have our input into the solution. Most likely the end result is going to be a hybrid of a lot of different ideas.

      Thanks for listening.

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    • Don’t be so quick to attack people, John. I think, if you read Mark’s comment carefully (please correct me if I’m wrong Mark) that he supports legalization, regulation and taxation.

      He happened to use the word “decriminalization”. You and I understand the “assumed” and very “subtle” difference between these words, but not everyone does.

      If something that is currently “illegal” (a crime) is made “legal” (not a crime) then it has been “decriminalized” – yes?

      The question is whether the production and distribution are also “decriminalized” – yes?

      If possession, production and distribution are all “decriminalized” then that is “legalization” – yes?

      You have a tenancy to jump all over people … lighten up a bit, educate people, don’t fault everyone who is not thinking and talking exactly like you … and I think we’ll we’ll make better progress.

      Just my opinion.

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    • I agree John, decriminalization is just a word – so why attack someone for using it? Especially without explaining the difference between decriminalization and legalization? And now you’re are making up your own meaning …”individual is fined and the cannabis is taken away” – that is how some decriminalization works but certainly not all. This is just your own personal definition John, so don’t blame the Liberal Party, and you are wrong, we did not “invent the word – it has been around for ages.

      I am completely aware of the different types of cannabis, John. Thank you for pointing it out though. I didn’t feel that it was relevant to what I was saying and I’m not sure how it helps your argument except to point out that I omitted some information not critical to the point I was making. But that’s “your style” John attack, attack, attack.

      Other than that I think you are saying exactly what I was about hemp vs. pot.

      Yes, at least in Toronto, the street gangs use profits from marijuana sales to buy guns to defend their territory – that’s a fact John. They also use the easy money of marijuana to finance the more expensive drug purchases. Again, this is fact. Just because you have one or two anecdotal stories about firemen growing pot doesn’t change those facts.

      Yes, the current system is a mess and there is corruption – that’s why we’re trying to change it, so no argument from me.

      I disagree with your proposal of “just removing it from the drug schedule” sorry, but I am entitled to my opinion. I think that the current LPC policy resolution is good and I have heard no good arguments to change my mind. It should be regulated and taxed. There should be education and harm reduction.

      Now, if you could present sensible, calm arguments against the resolution as it stands, instead of (as you say) “keep screaming” at people, maybe I could have my opinion changed.

      But no, that is not “your style” … instead you prefer to call me an “idiot”. Why John? You know I am not an idiot. I am just expressing my ideas. The only thing that makes me an “idiot” is that I (once again) thought I might be able to have a rational discussion on a few points with you. I was obviously wrong.

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    • What is the point of all these comments John? Everyone here is in complete agreement that we need to change the current laws because they are unfair and lead to corruption.

      Who are you arguing with and about what?

      This thread started out as a discussion on whether or not legalized marijuana should be taxed.

      None of these comments about firemen have any relevance to this discussion.

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    • Whatever John. All you have accomplished here is to commandeer yet another thread on cannabis and make it your own personal bully pulpit. We were have a perfectly reasonable discussion about taxation after legalization … and then along comes John with his rants and raves and insults.

      You might notice John that whenever you do this, the thread dies. No one wants to be attacked by you – especially when we all basically agree on the principles of the issue – all we’re discussing here is the details.

      You can’t even tell who is on your side anymore.

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    • Hi John,
      I must agree with Martin on this one. The original discussion was all about the specific nitty-gritty details about decriminalization (I know you don’t like the word but you’ll have to deal with this because the truth is not all Canadian voters are as familiar with the difference as you are) AND regulation (sin tax, revenue generation, different models, etc) AND legalization.
      Your most recent posts, even if they are about cannabis, are off topic because they no longer speak of the implementation of the policy. It seems that everyone knows there are injustices – that’s why they agree that the status quo must change.
      The question is how to do so. This is a legitimate question and just like any other policy issue, merits a serious discussion. It is also the reason we are seeing a difference in perspectives and opinions which makes for a great discussion. But again, we all have the same goal.
      On a final note, I’ll point to the fact that this thread had 55 total comments (56 with mine now). Of these 13 are your comments which = almost 25% of the discussion. I also encourage you to refrain from posting 5 comments in a row. That does create the impression, whether true or not, that the discussion has been “taken over” by someone. And yes, that can make it intimidating for others to chime in. We want to avoid this.
      It is best for this community and for online discussions to keep comments as brief as possible, on topic and factual, and to the point. We’re all aware of the issue. So let’s focus on the possible solutions.

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