Ohio Legalization a Model for Canada? Let’s hope not.

Today Ohioans vote on Issue 3, which would allow adults over 21 to grow, possess and consume cannabis, both recreationally and medically.

Ohioans would be able to buy cannabis, edibles, and other goods from retail stores, which the state predicts could number well over 1000. Issue 3 would also allow Ohioans to grow up to four plants and hold up to eight ounces for personal use.

Commercial production, however, would be limited to the 10 authorized corporations who have lobbied for this initiative. At the same time, another question on today’s ballot (Issue 2) is whether to ban monopolies from Ohio’s constitution – the same 10 companies who would be able to legally produce.

If both questions pass then a court will likely decide the outcome.

Representative Tony Burkley summed up the situation nicely.

“We in the legislature did not feel that people should be able to hijack our constitution and develop monopolies,” Burkley said. “No matter what your opinion is on marijuana, to have a monopoly spelled out in the Ohio constitution is just crazy. It’s like saying that the only cars that can be sold in Ohio are General Motors. I mean that’s basically what they’re saying.”

Issue 3 not only limits commercial growth and sales to 10 firms, but requires a $50 license for personal home-growing.

Is this the model for Canada? It sure looks like it.

We already have the large licensed producer cartel the Harper government set-up and that the Trudeau government seems keen on perpetuating.

Meanwhile, for reasons of “public health and safety” or maybe “the children,” home-growing (if it’s allowed at all) will be capped at a small number of plants, yield and – just like Issue 3 in Ohio – could be accompanied by a financial cost.

A license to grow a harmless plant on your own property – even for personal use and not sales – is insulting to the people who claim to be living in a free society.

Considering that Justin Trudeau is a face for the Old Grit Guard – remember when he campaigned on “change” with Jean Chretien and other Liberals we threw out over corruption? Or considering that the Liberal Party in Ottawa reflects the same ideological interventionism of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in Ontario – it makes sense that Justin’s legalization scheme will want to “legalize, regulate, and restrict access” to the maximum degree.

Indeed, if Issue 3 passes but Issue 2 doesn’t, then Ohio could shape the future for legal cannabis on this continent. That is, have the state impose a cannabis cartel of the rich and politically well-connected, while limiting how much the commoners can grow and make sure to extort some money from ’em while we’re at it!

The drug war isn’t over. The state is just merely changing its tune and trying new tactics since cannabis prohibition is now socially unacceptable.

Hence, it’s crucial to connect the issue of government licensing and regulation to the soon-to-be legal regime of cannabis.

The state is only interested in power and wealth, and so are the dishonest entrepreneurs who align themselves with this monopoly of force.

Cannabis is the gateway to liberty and prosperity.

Hopefully Ohioans make the right decision.

Hopefully Canadians don’t allow Justin to destroy and corporatize what many have worked so hard to achieve: a free and fair market in cannabis.