Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party were never going to legalize cannabis. That was a rumor started by bad media coverage and activism that viewed voting as an effective means for change.
Right from the get-go — Liberal legalization was about removing incidental possession from the criminal code, creating a statist regulatory framework, and issuing harsher rules and stricter sentences for those who fall outside of this framework.
Of course, that’s a milder form of prohibition, not legalization.
Legalization is removing cannabis from the criminal code, or, ideally, scraping the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act altogether since it’s not the government’s job to dictate what you can put in your own body.
Legalization is pardoning all cannabis criminals and handing the responsibility to the provinces, who hopefully then hand the responsibility to municipalities, who hopefully then dissolve into privately-held homesteaded shares, but I digress.
If we don’t need the federal government involved with cannabis legalization, what should the provinces do?
Questions posed by Postmedia already have their answer. Like a Sherlock Holmes story, they see but they don’t observe.
What potency limits will be set? Is 99 per cent THC too strong?
The answer shouldn’t concern Canadians who don’t smoke cannabis. They have nothing to gain nor lose from cannabis that is weak or strong.
Contracts, property laws and common-sensical mutual arbitration allow individuals to live together peacefully. This includes cannabis users, hence legalization.
Potency limits are set by demand, more specifically, a market clearing-price. There are things the government can do to intervene, but like the situation now, it will be futile.
Some strains are low THC and others are high. Everyone values labeling, it’s in the best interests of producers and consumers to know how strong or weak the product may be.
THC limits empower bureaucracy to dictate market preferences where none exist. It will be costly, and will ultimately fail.
Who will be allowed to grow other than the licensed producers?
Anyone can grow tobacco in their home. No need to jump through bureaucratic hoops and apply for something called the ACMPR.
Remove the “MP”, and there’s your legalization. Government policy. A central plan.
Trudeau never campaigned on legalization. He used the word like how the Liberals use the term “free trade” to mean managed corporate-trade deals like CETA or NAFTA.
Who will be allowed to sell cannabis?
Anybody should be able to sell it. In statist Canada, the best we can hope for are auctioned-off “access points” the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has recommended.
In this scenario, the provincial government decides how and where consumers will access cannabis and then auctions off these new licenses to producers, vendors, and other parties.
Perhaps a better model would be recognizing homesteading rights by pardoning cannabis records.
When BC Bud can “come out” of the gray market and engage openly and peacefully with the BC economy, as they’ve been doing underground for decades, then we’ve successfully solved the prospect of cannabis legalization without empowering one group over another.
And wasn’t that hegemony the root problem of cannabis prohibition?