We have more troubling details about the new cannabis regime in Canada. Here is what we know:
Have 4 plants in your home you are a law abider.
Have 5 plants in you home and you are a criminal that faces up to 14 years in a cage.
Have a plant that is 100 cm tall you are a law abider.
Have a plant that is 101 cm tall and you are a criminal that faces up to 14 years in a cage.
Have 30 gm of cannabis in your pocket and you are a law abider.
Have 31 gm of cannabis in you pocket and you are a criminal that faces up to 5 years in a cage.
Sell a 17 year old a bottle of whiskey and you get a fine and temporary suspension of your business license.
Sell a 17 year old a joint and you are a felon that faces up to 14 years in a cage.
Along with all the arbitrary and harsh lines in the sand being drawn there are strict new penalties for driving with THC in your system. Apparently there hasn’t been anybody driving around with THC in their blood stream up until now. Its as if law makers don’t know that 44% of Canadians have illegally smoked cannabis. Do they think that people haven’t already been driving around high? Is driving high suddenly going to become a problem because government is giving us permission to get high? If driving high is such a problem why haven’t they done anything about it until now?
Exactly what problem are they solving with this group of policies?
Are these policies going to put a dent in dangerous organized crime?
No. Federal licensing means that all the small to medium sized growers and dispensaries will be driven out of business. This means people will have the choice of buying from a government approved mega-corp or a black market dealer. Its not clear why anybody would buy from corporations that have limited competition and have to pass the high cost of licensing and regulatory hoop jumping on to consumers. Why wouldn’t people just get a better quality product for a cheaper price from their neighbourhood dealer? We know that as enforcement and punishment goes up the people that operate most effectively on the black market are those that are prone to be more violent.
The plain packaging requirements will also make it far easier for black market dealers to counterfeit licensed brands.
Are these policies going to stop the government war on peaceful people?
No. With the bevy of arbitrary rules and prohibitions on peaceful activity there are many new ways to ruin the lives and take away the freedom of peaceful people that haven’t previously existed. Police departments are already asking for more resources to enforce all these regulations.
Is this going to improve public safety?
No. I recently wrote at length about how the prohibitive restrictions that come with federal licensing will fuel a black market, incentivize risk taking, and keep public safety officials away from people interested in safely growing cannabis.
It is hard to picture this as more than a cash grab. They can collect licensing fees, taxes, grow and build bureaucracies, give crony friends a license to print money and shake down motorists at the side of the road with hefty fines.
The Trudeau government is demonstrating how NOT to legalize cannabis. In my next article I’ll talk about policy that will actually stop harming peaceful people, put a big dent in organized crime, improve public safety, super charge the economy, drive innovation and benefit consumers.