The British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch, the only legal wholesaler of cannabis in the province, announced Wednesday that it had begun contract negotiations with 31 licensed producers.

The branch’s general manager and CEO, Blain Lawson, went as far as to announce “LDB’s commitment to working towards eliminating the illicit market.”

Who is this black market?

The 5% of cannabis producers connected to gangs and criminal organizations?

Or the 95% of us who are peaceful and looking for legitimacy?

One cannot apply to become a “micro-grower” without the federal government, who have been a little slow to act.

But provinces are busy making deals with medical-only LPs for recreational sales.

So, in effect, the first and largest of the LPs had the most to gain from Justin’s legalization.

Maybe if a certain activist hadn’t been in prison for nearly 5 years, he would have calculated the political climate better than he did in 2015. He wouldn’t have told people to vote for the Liberal Party.

I wrote about what would happen before Justin was Prime Minister.

It is the nonviolent “criminals” who are only deemed criminal because cannabis is in the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Licensing and restricting its sale to keep it out of the hands of these people doesn’t make any sense….  the federal government will undoubtedly allow the LPs to open their sales to a recreational market, while at the same time making it easier for them to do business. And since there is much red tape to cut from Harper’s MMPR, there will be significant opportunities to influence the bureaucracy and “capture” the process. The LPs are in every position to become the cannabis cartel of Canada and that’s all Justin Trudeau means when he says “legalization”.

What surprises me is how bad we’re losing.

I’m still holding out hope that subsequent raids on BC Bud post-legalization will leave Canadians scratching their heads wondering what the hell happened.

But that’s a hell of a thing to hope for.

It’s a steep price to keep paying. It puts things in perspective. Legalization is prohibition 2.0. Any cannabis activist telling you otherwise is a goddamn idiot.

And no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both socialism and cannabis.

So we’re back at square one: prohibition.

Except now with more police funding, government-corporate weed, liquor control boards, online sales monopoly, road testing, and “health and safety” propaganda about one of the world’s most medicinal plants.

I miss the days of Harper. With budgets that didn’t balance themselves, anti-cannabis propaganda people laughed at, and sporadic police forces disobeying federal laws by placing them lower on the priority scale.

It was a world ripe for civil disobedience. It was an organic legalization. NDP’s Mulcair at least would have balanced the budget and decriminalized. But his party threw him to the wayside when he didn’t win the popularity contest.

Trudeau didn’t decriminalize because he said it wouldn’t “keep profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.”

But isn’t that the point of legalization? To bring the thousands of current participants aboveground, regulate and tax them, keep them employed? They are the experts, after all.

No, the Liberals would rather have these growers and legal experts outsource their knowledge and skills to one of the large LPs.

It was an open secret.

The Liberal government had no intentions of legalizing BC Bud.