POOL Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a media conference during the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The final day of the G-8 summit of wealthy nations is ending with discussions on globe-trotting corporate tax dodgers, a lunch with leaders from Africa, and suspense over whether Russia and Western leaders can avoid diplomatic fireworks over their deadlock on Syria’s civil war. (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, Pool)s civil war. (AP Photo/Ben Stansall, P

Stephen Harper vs Bill Blair

At least with Stephen Harper, the drug war was obvious.

Nobody but a fringe group of social conservatives really believed that cannabis was “infinitely worse than tobacco.”

Harper’s war unified activists, it reminded us that there was a difference between state and society, that governments will, and often do, work for their own self-interest — voters be damned.

Although, it was this kind of leadership that eventually got him ousted.

But at least Harper’s prohibition was obvious. Even the City of Vancouver favoured autonomy from the federal government and, despite Harper’s threats of siccing the RCMP on Van’s dispensaries, the local RCMP dispatch said they wouldn’t have invaded Vancouver Police Department territory.

With Harper in charge, the country’s cannabis consumers looked to activists, particularly in BC, for leadership and guidance.

All Justin Trudeau did was hijack this momentum and put prohibitionist Bill Blair in charge.

But, selling corporate cannabis in a state-owned liquor store is not legalization.

The Liberal plan involves using tax revenue generated from corporate weed to crack down on peaceful farmers, dispensaries, extract makers and other third-party producers, that is, the already established cannabis industry.

The Liberal government, like the Conservatives before them, are launching propaganda campaigns against the plant and its consumers. They are rehashing reefer madness and throwing teens under the bus.

They are adhering to the failed advice of “addiction experts” that still cling to the false diagnosis that drugs are a problem and that it’s somehow possible to live in a “drug-free” world.

It’s not drugs that are a problem, but people’s relationship to them. Even a destructive relationship with cannabis is nowhere as severe as alcoholism, or opioid abuse.

But, that kind of thinking doesn’t help the rehab cottage industry. It just reinforces the belief that the drug war is a worthy fight, it’s just the means that are wrong.

The Trudeau-Blair plan for cannabis legalization is a continuation of the war on drugs, except now with a more sustainable funding model.

Tax corporate cannabis and use the proceeds to attack Canada’s peaceful cannabis community.

Although Harper’s drug war was a major pain in the ass, at least we had the public, facts, reason and evidence on our side.

Harper had no interest in decriminalizing the plant, but the courts were more-or-less consistent in counteracting his oppression.

But, with Blair in charge, what former US President Ronald Reagan told farmers in 1988 is as relevant as ever:

“The ten most dangerous words in the English language are ‘Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”