Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is on the wrong side of history

After stating there would be “zero tolerance” for unregulated vendors, police raided several new Cannabis Culture locations in Montreal.

Marc Emery was arrested, charged, released and now set to clog up the courts in the new year.

Mayor Denis Coderre said: “What I don’t understand is, legalization of marijuana is going to happen, so why do this kind of stunt?”

Couldn’t that question be asked about the police raid?

With legalization “around the corner” – it’ll be ready for Justin Trudeau’s second term, don’t worry guys, we can trust him this time! – why would the police pull this kind of stunt?

With lineups around the block, it’s clear that people want to buy retail cannabis. It’s not like they’re refraining from consumption until the Liberals legalize “properly and responsibly.”

Continued prohibition is just putting them at risk by forcing them to buy off the street, while – to paraphrase Justin Trudeau – allowing the black market to profit.

Opening storefronts is safe, selling flowers is safe, and, yes, even selling high-potency shatter is safe.

That free individuals are voluntarily buying and selling with each other should be no concern of the state. This isn’t Cuba.

Granted, in any marketplace, there will be conflicts. Perhaps the cannabis you sold me was subpar and I feel cheated. There are already rules in place to protect against fraud.

There is already a legal system equipped to handle conflicts and provide resolutions. The cannabis market cannot be planned from top to bottom.

Doesn’t Montreal have bigger problems than cannabis? Shouldn’t Montreal police focus their energy on the Rizzuto crime family or the West End Gang?

Or does the Montreal Mafia have assets in the police force? Is that the lesson cannabis players should learn if they want to beat the game and influence politics? That we need to be as aggressive and ruthless as the mob?

The success of the cannabis movement has come from peaceful civil disobedience.

Corporate paper tigers like Tweed wouldn’t be profiting without the decades-long hard work of activists.

So forgive the cannabis culture for not waiting around for Justin’s prohibitionary “restriction and regulation” of cannabis.

The Liberals have made it clear that cannabis is not being legalized to please the actual people who consume it.

There is no recognition of pre-existing rights. They are attempting a top-down central planning of a market that already exists.

They’ve openly stated their intentions to supplant this peaceful, underground market, and replace it with their licensed producer regulatory model. All talk of “diverse” and “small producers” is a reaction against the pushback they’ve received.

They’re trying to direct the narrative, but when police raid peaceful vendors and get the support of the politicians, there’s not a soundbite in the world that will restore confidence and trust in the Justin Trudeau brand.

It’s a drug war, and a war on cannabis is a war on people. History will judge the prohibitionists accordingly and they are on the losing side.