Government Dispensaries as the Only Dispensaries

Government plans to create cannabis dispensaries through provincially operated liquor stores don’t make sense.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said the best place to sell cannabis is in the government’s monopoly of liquor stores, and the president of Ontario‘s public sector union, Warren Thomas, said the same thing about Ontario‘s monopoly, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Of course, I’d also argue that the best place to sell cannabis is in my monopoly dispensary, which I haven’t opened yet, but once I do I will run all my competition out of town with guns, which I have a right to use on innocent people because of some vaguely defined “social contract.”

Because that’s how we do business in Canada.

Selinger and Thomas must think cannabis is as dangerous as alcohol, hence the “need” for government control of its sales and distribution.

But assuming, incorrectly, that cannabis is as dangerous as alcohol, how does it follow that government must control it through their own dispensaries?

If it’s so dangerous, why leave these decisions to a handful of bureaucrats whose actions aren’t checked by consumer sovereignty? There is no power like the power of a mass of people who cease paying for something they don’t want.

Government is the only institution that isn’t subject to this profit-and-loss mechanism, it is a monopoly of violence and thus its powers should only be used as a measure of last resort.

With cannabis control boards, the burden of proof is on Selinger and Thomas.

Fortunately for the cannabis community in Canada, these two buffoons don’t have evidence on their side.

Alcohol and cannabis couldn’t be more different.

Employees of Manitoba’s Liquor Mart or Ontario‘s LCBO will have to be trained to know the difference between THC and CBD, or the difference between indoor and outdoor, hydro and dirt.

These are skills that people already have, it’s just up to the government to stop treating them as criminals. But if Trudeau drops the responsibility to provinces and Manitoba and Ontario take a hard-line approach, then the underground growers and sellers will continue to be criminalized.

Meanwhile, taxpayer money will be wasted to train public sector employees for things the private-sector is already doing and can do much more efficiently than their state counterparts.

You’d think two-and-a-half decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, people would learn the economic consequences of state-owned industries, but alas, for some reason, the lesson has been lost.

Bureaucrats in Ottawa apparently know what’s in the best interest of over 35 million people spread out over 9 million square kilometers.

Bureaucrats in each provincial capital know what’s best for their constituents despite not having any private sector competition and the fact that consumers can’t stop paying for their “services.”

Could it be that Selinger and Thomas care less about safety and efficiency and more about increasing the government’s revenue and therefore their personal incomes?

At least with private enterprise, we know it’s all about profit, and with voluntary exchange and competitors, the only way to profit is to provide consumers with what they want.

Governments always make the argument that their usurpation of power is in the community’s best interest, but here is a case where this is clearly not true.

Cannabis is benign and medical and should not be in the same category as alcohol, let alone sold in the same store.