Dana Larsen has been arrested in Calgary for giving away cannabis seeds. There are several crimes that have been committed here, but I don’t consider distributing seeds of a harmless, non-toxic plant to be one of them.

The biggest crime here is the taxpayer money spent on this arrest.

Calgary has issues with gangs, break-and-enters, murders, vehicle thefts and a high suicide rate.

Arresting someone for giving away what amounts to the “hemp hearts” sold at your local grocery store is a violation of an individual’s basic right.

That is, the precept that undermines the Western legal tradition, where human rights are inherent in our being, not something decreed by the state apparatus and passed through the legislature.

Calgary’s monopoly police force should be ashamed of themselves. It’s not enough to hide behind the mantra of “just following orders” or the “law is the law.”

It was once the law to round up Japanese citizens and put them in internment camps.

It was once the law to round up aboriginal children and indoctrinate them into residential schools.

It was once the law to round up homosexuals and stick them in cages just for displaying their sexual preferences.

The police mantra that, “we don’t make the laws, we just enforce them,” pins the blame solely on politicians instead of directing it where it also belongs.

Police prioritize the law and the Vancouver Police have shown that it is possible to focus on crimes other than cannabis prohibition.

Calgary police didn’t need to raid the Days Inn hotel Wednesday night. The owners of the hotel were obviously fine with Larsen’s rally, everything going on there was based on consensual relations.

Except the relationship with police. Across the country and for the last 150 years, Canadian police services have been monopolized by the democratic state.

Although the idea might have started with good intentions, the reality in this day and age is that the police operate on the Soviet-economic model.

Calgary taxpayers can’t cease paying for bad law enforcement.

Economic calculation in the market directs entrepreneurs to satisfy consumer demands through consensual, voluntary exchange.

Only governmental agencies and their cronies are exempt from this process.

But society doesn’t spring up with a government police force already in place.

Once people have reduced interpersonal violence enough to allow them to live together and trade and prosper, policing entities naturally arise to provide law enforcement services.

I’m willing to bet there are Brink’s vans transporting currency and other valuable assets for private customers like banks and businesses.

I bet the University of Calgary has their own private security, as do shopping malls and gated communities.

I bet there are companies that specialize in home security systems.

I bet there are lawyers in Calgary that arbitrate outside the courts because taxpayer-funded monopoly courts are incredibly slow and bureaucratic. Likewise, government-monopoly police services are increasingly showing their ineptitude at reflecting the values of their respected communities.

Dana Larsen’s arrest is the latest example.

Legitimate businesses require physical contracts to be signed for them to be legally binding.

No one expects a phone company to come knocking on your door demanding payment unless you’ve previously signed a contract with them and neglected to uphold your end of the bargain.

Some may argue that because of the special nature of police services, only a government monopoly can provide peace and order.

But does that hold up to scrutiny in the real world?

When police funds are supplied by a politically-controlled monopoly, the results are services driven by political, rather than consumer, concerns.


Note: an earlier version of this post said that Larsen was selling the cannabis seeds. This was incorrect. He was distributing them for free. 

  • Ned

    So you want police to start deciding which laws to enforce. This is such an ill thought out idea it is laughable.I’ve seen this in India where the constabulary believe rape is always the fault of the woman.
    Then you claim laissez faire market capitalism would fix the problem. To be that stupid you must be from Alberta and have absolutely no knowledge of history. Go back to the Magna Carta and start reading.

    • http://www.calebmcmillan.com Caleb

      Uh.. No, you must have misunderstood. Police deciding which laws to enforce is exactly the problem, e.g., giving away cannabis seeds instead of theft or murder.

      Can you also please explain why a territorial monopoly of ultimate decision making (with the power to unilaterally decide what you and I must pay) is superior to free and fair markets?

      I’ve read the Magna Carta, as well as an excellent book called Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition by Harold J. Berman. I highly recommend it.

      As well as this excellent podcast episode by Tom Woods where, due to the failure of “public” policing in Detroit, entrepreneurs have taken matters into their own hands,


  • Mark B Davison

    Great article very well written have to keep my eye out for other articles written by this gentleman!

  • Moi_encore

    The FACT that ALL this is taking place under an EXISTING form of written law in Canada is shameful.

    Cannabis is NOT a narcotic, therefore should be removed IMMEDIATELY from it’s existing illicit ‘schedule’ deeming it a narcotic.

    The FACT that in 1923, someone actually hand-wrote a last hour ‘addition’ to a(n) (then) omnibus bill listing ‘Cannabis Indica’ as a prohibited substance.. That took all of within 12 hours to ‘PASS’ (unannounced & unknowingly to the Canadian public at the time).

    How in HELL did this piece of law actually survive so successfully ALL THESE YEARS SINCE? This should be no surprise, when one follows the money.. thus bringing home the connection right up to the sources of those endorsing, incubating & quietly supporting Cannabis prohibition… Corporate-influenced politicians handing down their mandates to the law enforcement agencies..

    Indeed… once again SCREAMING the urgency to REMOVE ALL CORPORATE INFLUENCES & SAY in any country’s decisions regarding NATURAL RESOURCES & LIFE STANDARDS, let alone all legal framework. What a disaster these greedy short-sighted FOOLS have created over the past century.. & this sad status quo is simply & wholly unacceptable & must cease & desist immediately.

    The chain of ‘command’ here truly focuses on the SOURCE of these bygone era FAILS..

    Dana seems to be preempting the inevitable.. that this historical ditch weed will again return to… the ditch…. where it has always & will always belong.. safe, sound, and serving both all living creatures on the planet as well the planet itself.

    Enough of this corporately dictated DEATH SENTENCE of ‘DISEASE as the NORM’ & the seemingly endless yet totally negligent raping & pillaging of this planet’s non-renewable natural resources.

    Both of which SPIKED when Cannabis prohibition took effect so many fateful years ago.

    Time to squash this travesty NOW… and have this plant growing in every backyard, every ditch, every farmer’s field abound exponentially..

    And it will NOT be this short-sighted greedy cash grab by trying to suck pipe dreams of $$$$$ by taxing this FREE plant as if it were a vice with SIN TAX tacked on…. NO SURRIE..

    The short/medium/long term BENEFITS of FREEING CANNABIS outright overnight (btw, as it MUST) will be an OVERALL bolstering of our INDIVIDUAL HEALTH, removing the sickly & derived dependencies on so-called ‘medical’ rackets (pharma synthetics et al) of CASH, suffering, illness & death, the bolstering of so MANY NEW markets & public services related to personal gardens, local derivative production outlets, and the ENDLESS applications of which Cannabis will be R&D’d to use toward.. & Canada IS at the unique position on a global level to TAKE THE LEAD in this & DEMONSTRATE to the rest of this world HOW TO REINTEGRATE CANNABIS BACK into our daily lives, industry & environment responsibly & succinctly. GO!

    As for Dana, these same LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS (well at least all the MALES) have prostates.. and by the time ALL MALES reach the ripe age of 80 years old, 100% of us WILL HAVE CANCER in our prostates.. (something the SAME negligent ‘colleges’ have known for years but are NOT WILLING to tell the public by directives not to do so), and the FACT that Cannabis IS cancer’s public enemy #1 AND CAN EASILY help PREVENT this scenario by taking a small daily dosage of safely-made home-derived Cannabis Oil (for mere pennies an ounce), I find the actions of not only these sorry-assed (and publicly humiliated) cops but also the entire chain of command above to be treasonous, actually, let alone a BLATANT & DIRECT ASSAULT ON ALL CANADIAN’s BASIC CHARTER PROTECTIONS, quite frankly & nothing but… with INTENT to further mislead the same Canadian Public of which it falsely CLAIMS to be protecting!

    Uhm….. What a shear poop-fling sad day for this otherwise awesome country.. really.

    Makes me want to throw seeds EVERYWHERE I could possibly throw ’em.. & I would encourage anyone else to do likewise. Damn enough of this sickly greedy UNCANADIAN BS getting away with what they can before walking the plank..

    Chop the plank off to quicken things along already!

    Onward We ALL Grow! ^_^

    And as a NON-PARTISAN issue, politics do NOT belong in this arena as this is a primal human right, btw. Nough said. Good on you Mr. Larson I smell the growing season in the air!

  • legal weed

    All respect to Dana and the articles author.. However, Dana asked to be arrested because someone else got arrested. Im curious what that individual did.