night time

“Infiltrating” the Pot Industry

Organized crime is not “infiltrating” the regulated pot industry, it’s the government that’s infiltrating free-and-fair markets.

A draft paper obtained by The Canadian Press revealed that the Liberals are concerned, because, “As the experiences of other jurisdictions and of the regulation of alcohol and tobacco in Canada have shown, regulating a substance does not automatically remove it from illicit markets as evidenced by importation and sales of contraband tobacco.”

Of course, what’s not explained is that the overregulation of alcohol and tobacco are responsible for “illicit markets.”

In Ontario, taxes on cigarettes are so high that people drive out to First Nation reserves for “contraband tobacco” at the risk of being pulled over by police on their way back.

The Ontario Liberal government evidently doesn’t care about the local economy of First Nation reserves, they just want their tax loot.

Additionally, there are no such thing as unregulated markets. Entrepreneurs regulate each other through competition, and consumers keep entrepreneurs in check by patronizing competitors.

If government bureaucracy got out of the way, it’s likely consumers would patronize third-party arbitration services that ensured basic health and safety codes were met.

After all, these services are in demand. All the government does is raise the costs of doing business with no guarantee that consumers will be protected.

As for the cannabis industry — in spite of prohibition, and an attempted corporate takeover initiated by the Harper government, the Canadian cannabis community has provided affordable and quality cannabis.

And they will continue to do so despite the Liberal’s promise of harsher rules for those who fall outside the regulatory framework.

Now, you’d think a democratic government would be excited at the opportunity to legalize an entire industry of nonviolent, peaceful farmers, retailers and value-added producers, thereby collecting more taxes than, say, from 100 jobs at Tilray.

But, as the draft paper reads:

“Given the degree to which organized crime is currently involved in the marijuana market, they could continue to produce marijuana illicitly and may attempt to infiltrate a regulated industry.”

Welcome to the 21st century, where wanting to work with the federal government isn’t cooperative, but an attempt to “infiltrate.”

This isn’t a case where motorcycle gangs are lobbying Ottawa to be included with the legal regime. These people are only in the cannabis business because it’s their niche to break the law and profit from it.

Once cannabis is removed from the criminal code, these people switch to something else.

The other type of “organized crime” are the non-violent, hard-working small business owners in the BC Bud economy.

Because cannabis is in the criminal code, these people, unless protected by medical documents, are technically organized crime, despite their only crime being the growth and selling of a plant that a lot of people like to consume and are willing to pay for.

These people are entrepreneurs, not criminals, and should be treated as such.