British Columbia’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Bill 30), and Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31) are two pieces of legislative nonsense modeled after the Liquor Control and Licensing Act and the Liquor Distribution Act.
What was the point of consulting with BC’s underground industry if you ignored all their suggestions?
Cannabis isn’t liquor and it isn’t tobacco. And it shouldn’t be shoehorned into those provincial regulatory models.
If Bill 30 and Bill 31 are the end result of a federal task force and endless provincial consultations — then what took so long and why did it cost so much money?
If the end result is a copycat of liquor laws, a mere replacing of the word “liquor” with “cannabis” in some cases, then why did the BC government pay lip service to BC Bud?
Why give us an inkling of hope that things would be fine?
BC Premier John Horgan will take Justin Trudeau to task on pipelines and proper federal jurisdiction — but he won’t touch BC Bud.
Like any admirer of China’s or Cuba’s statism, Justin is expropriating wealth from a genuine middle-class of cannabis professionals and funneling it into a Bay Street-connected cartel of licensed producers established under the Harper regime.
But do we hear about this from Horgan? Of course not.
Instead, the “Honourable” Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth signed his name on a couple bills that reek like over-vaporized shake.
Legislation that controls and regulates cannabis as if it were alcohol or tobacco will not work for this province.
It may work for Ontario, or some Maritime provinces, maybe some rural BC communities. But even that is doubtful.
And that’s what makes cannabis civil disobedience more than a fight for the freedom to consume, buy and sell.
Detractors often lambast that the annual 4/20 gathering at Sunset Beach is no longer a protest but a farmer’s market.
Don’t they see the connection?
In authoritarian states where markets are severely controlled or even outlawed, farmer’s markets are an act of civil disobedience. The Chinese or Cuban farmer selling his or her produce on the black market is a traitor and criminal to only the Politburo.
To everyone else, mutual exchange is a net benefit. Philosopher Robert Nozick calls it capitalist acts between consenting adults. Others simply refer to it as “liberty.”
This is ultimately what cannabis prohibition is denying Canadians. And this is what we have to continue to fight for – a free and fair market.
Bill 30 and Bill 31 are not remedies. Having the BC Liquor Distribution Branch as the sole, wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis will not work. Full stop.