Cannabis Culture in Canada

Marc Emery went live this morning as cops congregated outside the front door of his Toronto dispensary.

In the eyes of many cannabis connoisseurs, the Toronto police are losing their legitimate authority.

The drug war has militarized police units. In many cases, the police aren’t serving a vital function for society, they are domesticating the population through guns and badges.

The clogged courts recognize these badges while parliaments issue an ever-increasing amount of laws and budgetary expenses.

But there is no such thing as descriptive language in the law. Asking what is right or wrong for human beings is categorically different from asking what is right or wrong in physics or chemistry.

Unlike the “hard” sciences, human action lacks absolute values and constants. “Social science” is not science.

That is not to say there are no synthetic a priori propositions — we can still establish what is real or not.

But interpreting legal rules and procedures doesn’t warrant an absolute truth. The best we can do is perceive actions and rulings as valuable and just, versus arbitrary or unfair.

Should Toronto police raid a Cannabis Culture dispensary because it’s the law? Are “untested” products and little-to-no government regulation really putting ordinary Canadians in harm’s way?

Should you write your local member of parliament or is he or she subordinate to Justin’s inner circle? Are Liberal MPs gagged from speaking out of line?

Are parliaments bound by the constitution and rule of law? Or are prime ministers now exaggerating their position as “for the people, by the people,” leading to a “soft” totalitarian society, where the ruling party are de facto despots?

Voters may be sovereign on election day, but every day in-between is subjugation to state authorities, somewhat corrected by a lengthy and costly legal process, also under state control.

Justin’s Liberals could have legalized on day one. By removing cannabis from the criminal code, delegating power to the provinces and municipalities, and pardoning all cannabis criminals, the federal government could have legalized by restoring power closer to the individual.

Instead, they took the micromanagement route.

In the market, power is distributed horizontally as the “capitalist hierarchy” ultimately rests on the consumer. Management coordinates by focusing on making profit.

Arbitrariness in markets is financially wasteful, revealing itself through profit and loss accounting.

Government bureaus are assigned tasks, the money is already there and available. They provide goods and services that apparently can’t or shouldn’t fetch a price on the market.

Police services fall under the latter category. Assigned tasks and prioritized by superiors, the individual police officer has two options when he or she is asked to raid a cannabis dispensary.

Obey and be rewarded. Disobey and keep your integrity. The drug war has fostered this kind of fear and loathing.

Growing and selling in defiance of the state is pushing back against an ideology that believes government’s proper role in society is to micromanage markets and human behaviour.

Overgrowing the government and opening dispensaries are steps towards undermining this belief.