We shouldn’t look to Canada for guidance. They botched it so bad the government lost money selling weed. Also, the government never legalized the legacy grower community (colloquially known as BC Bud). And no cannabis records have been expunged despite almost half a decade after legalization.
What about the United States? They’re no good, either. Federally, it’s still illegal. And even if you find yourself in a State with a more open cannabis market, they have a massive problem with cannabis banking.
Maybe Germany? They’re going to attempt legalization. But it looks like more of the same “public health” approach that ruined Canada’s experience.
Or none of these countries have got it right. Maybe it’s time to get serious about cannabis legalization. Tax reform, banking services, and freer markets will go a long way.
But there are five additional steps governments around the world could take.
Although drastic, these five steps to legalizing cannabis will bring freedom and fairness to the herb. No more corporate profiteering and harming consumers with products and services they don’t want.
Five Steps to Legalizing Cannabis –
1. No Licensing
When implementing the five steps to legalizing cannabis, “no licensing” should come out on top. Governments should have no business licensing growers, growing facilities, dispensaries, bud tenders, and other cannabis industry personnel.
The immediate result is the supply of cannabis would increase, prices would fall, and a greater variety of cannabis goods and services would appear on the market.
To the naysayers – competing voluntary accreditation agencies take the place of compulsory government licensing. That is if the cannabis industry believes that accreditation would help its reputation and that consumers care about reputation and are willing to pay for it.
Suppose your country had this kind of free market in cannabis. And suppose you have three local options: dispensary A with a private accreditation from a reputable source, dispensary B with a private accreditation from a non-reputable source, and dispensary C with no accreditation whatsoever.
Because you’re no longer duped into believing government bureaucrats have “standardized” cannabis goods and services, you’re more willing to make discriminating choices.
2. Eliminate Regulations & Restrictions
When implementing the five steps to legalizing cannabis, eliminating government regulations and restrictions is paramount for success. In Canada, this means Health Canada butts out. In America, the FDA and other busybody organizations needn’t concern themselves with cannabis.
All these political bureaucracies do is increase costs and destroy innovation and discovery.
We should expect the results in the cannabis industry. Costs and prices would fall, and a wider variety of better products would reach the market sooner.
A private system of regulations ensures that consumers act following their own risk assessment. Rather than the risk assessment imposed on them by “public health” and other busybody bureaucrats.
The cannabis industry would use competition (providing better product descriptions and guarantees) to attract customers and safeguard against product liability suits.
3. Make Insurance Great Again
Like with cannabis, governments over regulate insurance companies. Yet, this doesn’t need to be the case. Here, the five steps to legalizing cannabis involve reforming other industries.
Take the real health risks of cannabis. If you have asthma or a lung issue, you should not smoke. Likewise, if you suffer from anxiety, you may want to think twice about eating that 100+ mg THC edible.
Some of our actions are in our control and therefore are uninsurable. But insurance companies, either through government compulsion or profit-motive, want to cover uninsurable risks. This pools genuine risks alongside uninsurable risks, and this skews prices.
One of the many problems with American health care is how the health insurance system works. It’s not a “free market.” If Americans used auto insurance the way they use health insurance, nobody would ever pay for gas. They’d just bill the insurance company.
Freeing the weed requires a massive deregulation of the insurance industry. We need to restore freedom of contract. Insurers must be free to offer contracts to anyone, to include or exclude any risk, and to discriminate among any group or individual.
Uninsurable risks shouldn’t get coverage. Without government involvement, a free market in insurance would see prices reflect genuine insurance risks. Reform would help restore individual responsibility. And this helps the cannabis industry.
4. No Subsidies
When implementing the five steps to legalizing cannabis, perhaps the most controversial is the elimination of subsidies. But subsidies only create more of whatever you’re subsidizing.
Now, most Canadians, I presume, would rather see military veterans get their medical cannabis. We can always take the funds from the pensions of our good-for-nothing politicians.
But ultimately, we’ll want to eliminate subsidies altogether.
5. Addiction is a Social Construct
These five steps to legalizing cannabis sound great if you’re a cannabis consumer, grower, dispensary owner, extraction crew, or some other cannabis-related industry player.
But what about the common folk? Aren’t drugs bad, mmmkay, and that’s why the government regulates them?
Public health would have you believe traditional treatment approaches, such as 12-step programs and rehabilitation centres, are necessary because individuals grow powerless over their drug habits.
(Interestingly, if you replace “drug” with “food,” you instantly go from helping the addicted to fat-shaming and contributing to “diet culture,” which “intersects” with racism and white supremacy).
So the social downsides to addiction are why we don’t liberalize the drug economy. But where is this overwhelming evidence that addiction is a disease that must be managed by “experts?”
Why not empower individuals with the necessary knowledge and tools to make positive life changes?
Maybe addiction is not a disease. Perhaps it’s a choice individuals make to engage in certain behaviours. People who struggle with bad habits can change their behaviour and overcome dependency through self-discovery and personal growth.
Realizing this truth is a crucial step in legalizing cannabis. For the conversation about cannabis’ alleged “harms” becomes nonsensical once you throw out the “brain-disease” theory of habit formation.
Five Steps to Legalizing Cannabis – According to the State
But we can’t have that. Disempowering individuals and disrupting customary traditions are what modern, Western governments are all about. The five steps to legalizing cannabis, according to them, must reiterate the belief that without government intervention, our entire civilization falls apart.
Cannabis legalization must reiterate the belief that addiction is a fundamental biological process that, once again, only government intervention can resolve.
And then, the final step in legalizing cannabis, according to democratic governments, is taxation. Because the only way to “resolve” the issues created by the drug war is to continue the drug war under a different name and with different tactics.