Entrepreneurs restrict each other by competing for consumers, consumers restrict entrepreneurs by patronizing different competitors. The only way to profit, absent government privileges, is by exchanging with people on a voluntary basis.
Governments restrict entrepreneurs and consumers by imposing laws.
When people live together in a society, disputes inevitably arise and laws are needed. Because violence is unpredictable and costly, human beings naturally seek out peaceful alternatives like negotiation.
English common-law is case-generated law and evolved from the settlement of actual disputes.
Tort law, property law, contract law, commercial law, and criminal law should be enough to regulate cannabis effectively.
Politicians don’t need to be involved and they certainly shouldn’t be issuing licenses.
In the western legal tradition, laws were procedural and not preemptively created by politicians.
In this way, laws – which restrict human activity – only arose when they were needed.
Laws need to allow people to live together peacefully in society, but also with the freedom to fail, succeed, take risks and act on opportunity.
Common law promotes rules for peace with minimal infringement on civil and economic liberties.
Regulatory laws created by the state and for the means of achieving a theoretical goal (saving the children, reducing black markets, etc.) allow certain individuals in society to exercise political power.
Political power is violence; the state is an apparatus of compulsion and coercion. Its role in society is to facilitate what can’t be done without it.
Not surprisingly, an ever-increasing list of goods and services can no longer be supplied by free trade and contracts, and must therefore be designated to the state, or at the very least, regulated by it.
Justin’s legalization just added cannabis to that list. It will remove prohibitionist restrictions and replace them with regulatory restrictions.
It is not a liberalization of the plant in the classical sense, that is, a hands-off, laissez-faire approach, but merely another form of social control.
Once cannabis is out of the criminal code, we already have the laws in place to exercise, through non-political forces, reasonable care as to not injure others and their property.
Government laws are created by whoever controls the political apparatus. Government laws restrict the freedom of some to advance the interest of others.
Common law produces rules that facilitate peace and cooperation. Government legislation makes possible the exploitative actions of a politically-dominant class.
The former fosters order, the latter causes conflict.
Not only is government unnecessary to create regulations, it is precisely the state’s rules that will undermine the peaceful cooperation in cannabis markets that legalization is supposed to bring about.