How can Canada’s Conservatives win over stoners? Or whatever you want to call Canada’s class of cannabis connoisseurs, entrepreneurs, employees, casual consumers, and medical patients.
A lot of these people voted Liberal in 2015. I’m sure many plan to again. And can you blame them? Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre isn’t exactly drug-friendly.
His vision to make Canada the freest country on Earth depends on how you define freedom. It’s a topic we’ve covered before.
Suppose Conservatives want to win over stoners. They should listen to the head of a New Brunswick regional electoral district association.
Her submission calls on the Conservative Party of Canada to adopt a policy that will “abolish the excise tax on medical cannabis, fostering compassionate patient care and promoting its potential as a ‘Made in Canada’ safer alternative to addictive opioids.”
Canadians seeking relief through medical cannabis face undue financial burdens due to the current excise tax. This policy removes such inequities, emphasizing compassionate care. Moreover, amid an opioid crisis, medical cannabis may serve as a safer, homegrown alternative to highly addictive opioids. Simultaneously, it bolsters our local cannabis industry, spurring economic growth. Removing this tax also aligns with principles of fiscal conservatism, eliminating a regressive levy that disproportionately impacts those with chronic health conditions. This policy aligns compassionate care, potential reduction of opioid dependence, and economic growth, demonstrating a balanced approach to health and industry.
Of course, this may not win over everybody. Canada’s medical cannabis patients have long memories. They remember how the Harper government targeted private cannabis gardens.
Harper dragged medical patients through the courts and forced them to defend their private property.
Although Allard v. Queen eventually sided with medical patients, if Harper had won the election in 2015, he probably would have appealed the decision.
So, if Conservatives want to win over Canada’s medical cannabis patients, they must start with an apology. And then, a pledge never to target private gardens again.
The submission from New Brunswick may see the Conservatives win over some medical cannabis patients, probably all the licensed producers, and some stoners along the way.
But what else can they do?
Consider the language of the submission. “Removing this tax also aligns with principles of fiscal conservatism.”
Why not remove all excise taxes? Beyond medical and recreational cannabis. What about alcohol, tobacco, or gambling?
“Excise” taxes are sin taxes. Governments have determined that some of our actions are morally wrong but legally permissible. Ergo, an “excise” tax is charged.
But this idea is incompatible with individual freedom. It’s downright gross. Who decides that cannabis or gambling is immoral?
“Costs to the health care system!” some may cry, especially regarding tobacco and alcohol.
So? Legalize private insurance. If no one is harming you or your property, what business is it of yours? Be an adult. Stop caring how others are living their lives. It’s not your concern.
Especially when we’re talking about a benign herb like cannabis. This is a message Conservatives should be able to rally behind.
Excise taxes are cash grabs. No different from Trudeau’s carbon tax.
A Safe Supply of CBD
Conservatives can win over stoners by reading the literature on CBD, cravings, and opioid use.
Many of Canada’s cannabis connoisseurs are either supportive or sympathetic to B.C.’s drug decriminalization and “safe supply” of pharmaceutical drugs. Right now, Poilievre is not persuading any of them.
But here’s how to flip the narrative.
As we’ve mentionedover and overagain, the “safe supply” of taxpayer-funded drugs benefits the big pharmaceutical companies that are responsible for this mess to begin with.
So why not a compromise? Conservatives can win over stoners by promising a taxpayer-funded supply of CBD cannabis flower.