Does Calgary Need the Police?

Calgary police chief Roger Chaffin said the federal government’s promise to legalize and regulate cannabis will pose challenges for police, and we can’t have that.

With more than 500 Calgary police officers earning six-figures, and the police chief on an annual $250,000 salary, the last thing they need is more work to justify higher pay.

As I’ve stated in other pieces, without contracts and voluntary exchange, there is simply no way to objectively tell whether Calgary police are worth what taxpayers are forced to fork over.

But certainly, Calgary needs some kind of policing services, especially if some celebrity-politician in Ottawa is keen on changing “the fabric and nature of the community,” through legal cannabis.

Are Chaffin’s fears unfounded? Absolutely. But is he wrong? Not necessarily.

He’s wrong to say, “I’m not sure society needs another drug,” because cannabis is already easily available in Calgary (although, having lived in Southern Alberta, I can tell you it’s a lot easier to find cocaine than cannabis, not that I’m against consenting adults snorting blow on their own time and on their own property, I’m just sayin’).

But Chaffin is correct, or at least somewhat correct, to declare that legal cannabis is not in the community’s best interest.

Again, without voluntary exchange and contracts, Chaffin has no objective way to tell whether the Calgary police are allocating funds in a way that is most highly valued by consumers. But he can “grope in the dark” and give the appearance of efficiency.

And thus, his declaration of what is and isn’t in Calgary’s best interest isn’t completely objective, but it’s closer to the truth than what Justin Trudeau might determine Calgary’s best interest to be.

Alberta is conservative territory, some communities may reject legal cannabis while drinking themselves to death.

That’s fine, that’s their prerogative because it’s their community.

Forcing legal cannabis on people who don’t want it would be like forcing British Columbia residents to use an energy source they may disapprove of and would “change the fabric and nature of the community.”

Not that I want to defend the Calgary police chief. He was completely off base to be concerned about people driving under the influence.

For starters, Colorado has debunked any claims that legalizing cannabis will result in more motor vehicle accidents.

Second, driving while stoned is nothing like driving while drunk, and even with the latter, a couple drinks before getting behind the wheel isn’t going to cause death and mayhem. But it will justify larger police budgets and road-side checks.

Third, if driving under the influence is such a large concern, then Alberta should move to privatize all its roads and highways. For private owners are liable for what happens on their property. With “public ownership” we have bureaucratic managers but no one is truly accountable.

If a private road owner allowed people to drink and drive, then he would be responsible when a drunk driver hits and kills an innocent person.

Odds are, driving drunk would remain unlawful, with driving-while-stoned never entering the radar since it is not a major concern.

Simply put, Calgary needs a monopoly police force and Trudeau’s mandatory legalization scheme like BC needs more fossil fuel burning.

Let the people of Calgary decide whether they want cannabis dispensaries and whether police officers taking home six-figures of taxpayer money is worth the trouble.