Legalization Shouldn’t Cost Taxpayers

Task farce leader Anne McLellan said legalization will cost taxpayers. “In fact, there are going to be up-front costs that governments at all levels are going to have to absorb,” she told the state-broadcaster.

Canadians should not “expect big revenues in the early years.”

The central plan from Ottawa won’t be perfect. “There will be surprises,” she said. “This regime will have to be tweaked.”

This is exactly the message I’ve been trying to get across for over a year now. Big government legalization is still big government.

McLellan wants to initiate propaganda campaigns and hire new bureaucrats. Up-front costs that taxpayers at all levels “are going to have to absorb.”

Have to, is the key phrase here. For, according to Anne McLellan, you have a duty to place yourself under the conscious authority of the Liberal party and conform your behaviour to the directive of certain human beings.

This is quite a demand for a harmless plant like cannabis.

Understandably, we need rules in the legal cannabis market. Unreflectively, we ignore the Anglo-American system of customary and common law. All the rules that regulate commercial behaviour are already in place.

Tort and criminal law provide security, while contract, property, and commercial law facilitate cooperation and exchange.

Perceived conflicts with legal cannabis can and should be resolved by that part of the law arising from actual conflicts, that part of the law that reduces interpersonal disputes.

Our Western legal tradition demonstrates a law consistent with social peace. All Trudeau’s legalization has argued is that obeying the law means obeying the rules set out by legislative agencies.

Clearly, the federal government has forgotten who has the upper hand. For, legalization wasn’t on the docket until a sizeable minority demanded it. People grew and consumed cannabis in spite of what the legislative law said.

All the federal government needs to do, and arguably can do, is remove cannabis from the criminal code and pardon cannabis charges.

Civil society will take care of the rest.

But this isn’t what Anne McLellan wants. She wants Canadians to accept the faulty premise that we need a federal legalization plan, that, of course, won’t be perfect, but “people should expect that.”

McLellan says, “This regime will have to be tweaked… People should expect that. Government should expect that. Civil society should expect that and quite honestly the media should not describe those tweaks as failures.”

But they are failures. And McLellan should not dictate press coverage to a free media.

Legalization should not burden the taxpayer. It doesn’t have to.

There are more peaceful alternatives that don’t require a meddling bureaucracy backed by guns and badges.

Legalization doesn’t require an unreflective obedience to political authority.