The Devil in the Cannabis Legalization Details

So the Liberals say Canada Day 2018 will be the first day Canadians can legally smoke cannabis. Great.

In the meantime, what is to be done about Canada’s current farmers, producers, vendors and consumers of “illegal” craft cannabis? Are they going to be continually victimized and bullied by the police?

Will they continue to be raided, fined and possibly facing prison sentences for something that will supposedly be legal on July 1st, 2018?

This authentic grassroots dispensary-model, complete with craft BC Bud supplying the goods, should not be regulated by Ottawa.

Will these people be prohibited from participating in the new legal regime at all? That’d be a major miscalculation.

But if the Liberals were smart enough not to raise capital gains taxes in the last budget, perhaps they’ll realize the bone-headedness of prohibiting Canadians with past cannabis criminal records from farming the industrial and medicinal plant.

Let’s say everyone can participate, provided there are no past violent charges (but how do you define violent? Is getting caught with cannabis and a firearm a violent act? I don’t think so). What if the emergent, now legal, craft BC industry is taxed and regulated out of business?

Or at least severely downsized, where the marginal producers and vendors are strangled out of entrepreneurship.

If Canadians are getting four plants per household, does the government really expect to govern the in-and-outs and specifics of free farmers’ markets?

That level of scrutiny and enforcement would require more from the police and, oh, right, that’s exactly what Bill Blair said would happen.

Oh Caleb, you Debbie Downer. It’s time to celebrate, not nit-pick!

But the devil is always in the details.

Do you really think the police are going to be fine with free farmers’ markets operating across the country?

They didn’t even want Canadians home-growing.

Do you really think Canada Day 2018 is really going to be a day to celebrate free market small-l liberalization?

No, cannabis will be treated like alcohol and tobacco. Police will have more powers for roadside tests.

Advertising and marketing will be severely restricted.

More employers might start demanding drug tests from their employees. Returning to the warehouse after lunch? Better consent to a cotton swab lest you lose your job.

In Ontario, so long as Kathleen Wynne not only walks a free woman but has executive power, an LCBO subsidiary will likely absorb legal cannabis sales in collusion with the big and well-connected federal LPs.

The Liberals say Canada Day 2018 may very well be the first day Canadians can legally smoke cannabis.

But what’s legal isn’t always lawful and when it comes to jurisprudence, there is no such thing as normatively neutral interpretations.

Cannabis laws shouldn’t be enforced or obeyed before or after July 1, 2018.

In spite of whatever legislation the Liberals craft, the market will win out. It always does, for, “the market” is the concerted actions of billions of people worldwide.

To imagine a small group of people with guns and badges could ever coerce it into submission was a fatal conceit from the beginning.

Socialist regimes of the 20th century were proof of market superiority, and the interventionist Western governments of the 21st century will put the nail into the socialist coffin.

Cannabis will help with that.