Does Saskatoon Actually Need the Police?

With the recent raid on Mark Hauk’s peaceful compassion club, the obviousness of this broken legal system is once again at the forefront of the cannabis debate.

How can we get police to scale back the drug war and instead pursue actual crimes with actual victims?

Traditionally, the answer has been to elect members of Parliament that can vote and lobby in the House of Commons for the interests of their constituents.

You can also try supporting democratic reform, but I’ll argue that a more “fair” representation of politicians still doesn’t solve this disconnect between law enforcement and the people.

Why did the Saskatoon Police spend time, money and resources (all courtesy of the taxpayer) on a six-week investigation that resulted in raiding a medical establishment that had committed no violence, nor violated anyone’s person or property?

Everything that went on in that compassion club was consensual.

Mark Hauk was arrested and spent a night in jail for a plant. But, if you arrest someone and stick them in a cage for producing, consuming or selling a plant – then you are the criminal.

In this case, despite following the criminal code, the police are a violent gang, creating victims.

But, if criminality is defined by the state, then how can anything the state does be considered criminal?

First, it’s important to realize that societies don’t evolve with a government police force already in place.

Once people have reduced interpersonal violence enough to allow them to live together, trade and prosper, policing entities naturally arise to provide law enforcement services.

But the law comes first, and the police will be the first to admit that they don’t create the law, they merely enforce it.

In the same way, the Saskatoon Police aren’t the only entities upholding laws. I’m willing to bet there are Brink’s vans transporting currency and other valuable assets for private customers like banks and businesses.

I bet the University of Saskatchewan has their own private security, as do the shopping malls. Speaking of malls, I wonder if there are any “spy stores” that specialize in home security equipment?

I bet there are lawyers in Saskatoon that arbitrate outside the courts because taxpayer-funded monopoly courts are incredibly slow and bureaucratic.

Likewise, government-monopoly police services are increasingly showing their ineptitude at reflecting the values of their respected communities.

The raid on the Saskatchewan Compassion Club is the latest and perhaps best example.

Prior to the raid, Mark Hauk and others benefited from having the city governed by law enforcement, but did anyone contract this service to the local police force?

Most legitimate businesses require physical contracts to be signed for them to be legally binding. No one expects a phone company to come knocking on your door demanding payment unless you’ve previously signed a contract with them and neglected to uphold your end of the bargain.

Some may argue that because of the special nature of police services, only a government monopoly can provide peace and order. But does that hold up to scrutiny in the real world?

When police funds are supplied by a politically-controlled monopoly, the results are services driven by political, rather than consumer, considerations.

Police resources tend to gravitate toward politically-favoured goals, like raiding nonviolent cannabis dispensaries, instead of their most productive uses, like preventing and solving violent crimes.

Instead of suppressing violence, the police are often creating violence (like raiding compassion clubs) because of the nature of their monopoly.

Political concerns take precedence over what’s actually demanded by citizens precisely because government police are not dependent on voluntary payments.

They are also not subject to competitors, and thus are less responsive to consumer demands and more susceptible to corruption.

The persistence of organized and violent crime may be presented as an argument against ending the government’s monopoly on police services, but how does that follow? Emphasizing the failure of the government system as proof that we need the government system isn’t rational.

It’s basically the same argument that says “the failures of the government-sanctioned home-growing cannabis regulations is proof that we need the government-sanctioned licensed producers to provide reasonable access to patients.”

In the real world, who or what protects yourself and your property? For Mark Hauk and many others on October 29, it was not the government-monopoly police force.

Surprising, isn’t it?

Requiring all members of society to pay this one group, who have all the guns, and trusting this group to allocate resources and determine priorities however they see fit (subject only to the rules of senior bureaucrats and politicians), results in nothing but an undermining of the law.