Politicians and Cops in the Cannabis Business

Former prime minister John Turner is a board member with Muileboom Organics Inc., a licensed producer approved for individual sales, but pending-approval from Health Canada for broader commercial transactions.

Why invest in cannabis?

Turner says, “The Canadian government’s behind it. I think Canadian people understand the merits of it. Besides the odd neighbourhood problem, which I understand, it makes a lot of sense.”

The house across the street complains about smell. The security lighting is “lit up like a Christmas tree,” says a local resident.

Like the smell of a brewery, the sound of construction, or the sight of graffiti and broken windows, these externalities are, as Turner alluded to, a “neighbourhood problem.”

So if property must be in the commons and controlled by bureaucrats, why not local bureaucrats?

Or better yet, new private companies where all the shareholders are local residents who have paid taxes into government infrastructure for years.

Either way, if the tax-payment structure went the other way around, from resident’s pockets to municipalities first, and then onto the provinces and Ottawa, a sort-of “trickle up” taxation method, then the neighbourhood problem might actually get fixed.

As well, former politicians likely wouldn’t be as rich and investing in LPs with their lucrative pensions courtesy of the taxpayer.

Ex-Ontario premier Ernie Eves is invested in Timeless Herbal Care — a Jamaican medical cannabis company.

Jamaica, of course, is under the same pressure as Canada: politically-connected corporate cartels are moving in to cash in. But they continue to promote the criminalization of peaceful growers and consumers outside of the state’s regulatory apparatus.

Establishments worldwide have got it in their minds that lack of state regulation equals lack of legitimacy.

As if merchants haven’t had hundreds of years of self-regulated contract and commercial law, where the state, that divine right of the monarch, was an arbitrator only of last resort.

Democracy assumes there’s always crisis in commerce, acting as the arbitrator of first resort. Democratic states seek preventive measures before harm can even be demonstrated.

Did former premier Ernie Eves ever smoke weed? No, he tactically admits, only, “40 years ago when the Argos were brutal” and maybe today for the Leafs.

But Eves doesn’t smoke on the job, it’s just a bunch of men in suits.

“Everybody presumes that medical marijuana means sitting around smoking pot and that really isn’t what it’s all about,” Eves says.

I believe him.

Eves isn’t the only ex-premier involved with cannabis, former-BC premier Mike Harcourt is chairman of a pending LP. 

True Leaf is selling pet food and awaiting on Health Canada approval. If they get the bureaucratic nod, those stocks have value. In the meantime, they’ll be trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

The 71-year-old ex-premier said he used cannabis in the 1960s but not since. “I don’t really use medicines.”

True Leaf hopes to raise $3 million in private and public financing to hire 10-full time employees. And that’s only if Health Canada says yes.

While it’s nice to see former politicians set up to fail in the regulatory apparatus they helped create, some of them have been successful.

While not a politician, Chuck Rifici is the current CFO of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was the CFO while setting up and preceding over Tweed Marijuana Inc., the first LP to go public.

Rifici is aware of this criticism, but insists there is no conspiracy. After all, the MMPR was brought in by Harper.

Rifici insists he was merely “fortunate to be one of the early people to get to the market with this… probably a member of the worst party.”

Of course, assuming no continuity of government, that’s a valid point. But it’s a false assumption. Rifici, in addition to his own ingenuity, happened to be in the right place at the right time, and only time will tell if he’s making correct decisions.

Now that the Liberals are in charge, Tweed has teamed up with Broken Coast, Bedrocan, Mettrum, OrganiGram and many other LPs to lobby the federal government.

According to the CMCIA/Cannabis Canada, something must be done to stop “the rapid spread of illegal marijuana stores.”

And so we get municipal regulation in BC, police raids in the rest of the country, and in different parts of BC, and a former Toronto police chief in charge of what to do.

Bill Blair, the man who used to sell drugs undercover, and is now the legalization czar, says, “I have come to believe it is possible … for marijuana to be produced in a way that maximizes safety for Canadians,” calling the Harper-era rules, procedures and regulations followed by the LPs “exhaustive and exacting.”

“Get rid of the goons,” says Kim Derry, security advisor to THC Meds Ontario Inc., and an ex-colleague of the Toronto police chief.

George Smitherman, a former Ontario deputy premier, also works with THC Meds and wants to “zap up the black market.” Or at least that’s what he told cannabis lawyer-activist Kirk Tousaw on CBC.

Why exactly are former-cops and politicians making money off cannabis while the ruling Liberal Party talks about strict controls and regulations? The kind that would benefit these newcomers on the scene?

A peaceful BC Bud market exists, one that has been self-regulating decades beyond Health Canada’s various “medical marijuana” programs.

What does it mean to live in a free society? If cannabis policy hasn’t changed since Harper, what good was your vote?

Perhaps having a democratic state regulate all commercial transactions isn’t a good idea.