Despite the Task Farce recommendation that home-growing be allowed, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) are calling on Ottawa to “hold off on home grow.”
Of course, this isn’t about public health and safety, it’s about funding.
Prior to the 1930s, cannabis was used widely as a medicine and as a fun recreational enrichment from the inescapable reality of human suffering.
Alcohol was the great social evil, but since prohibition was an utter failure and in the process of being repealed, police departments across the continent needed a new boogeyman to sustain their levels of funding.
All throughout alcohol prohibition, police hired more men and diverted resources toward eradicating a market they had no hopes of getting rid of. Rather than learning some lessons from prohibition and firing useless officers, they set their sights on cannabis.
Some 85 years later and here we are. Hold off on the home grow, say Canadian police chiefs. As the drug war loses all credibility, police still need an excuse to retain their grossly inflated budgets.
So we have a discussion paper and a former-cop legalization czar that says, “We’re going to have to work very closely with the police leadership in this country and their perspectives are important to the discussion.”
There is no discussion. Canadians can brew their own beer, distill their own wine, and grow their own toxic plants like Castor Bean and Deadly Nightshade.
Admit it CACP, this is about the money.
The reason they want a “highly regulated and controlled system” is so they can still bust the “black market” entrepreneurs who fall outside the regulations. Heaven forbid they do any actual police work.
The CACP gives three reasons for their anti-cultivation stance in their discussion paper.
The first is a debunked notion that legalizing personal production means a “diversion to black markets.” The Allard trial put these fears to the test and found them lacking.
Not to mention, if personal cultivation is legal, then diversion to black markets is an issue with black markets, not cannabis. You wouldn’t say we should curtail the production of bicycles and prevent people from building their own because of an epidemic of bicycle thefts?
(Speaking of which, why not divert drug-war police officers to investigating bike thefts since they seem to consider it “not our problem.”)
Reason number two the CACP takes an anti-cultivation stance is because it would be “contrary to other measures to minimize child/youth exposure and access to cannabis products.”
No argument there — a child is more likely to be exposed to cannabis when their parent is growing it. This is the price we pay to live in a free society.
However, there’s nothing toxic about cannabis. As well, no one is talking about giving cannabis to children (unless for medical purposes). Perhaps we should ban all alcohol products from the home and delegate consumption to bars and pubs where children can’t get in. Also revoke the liquor licences of family restaurants.
Of course, the police chiefs would never go for this. Which indicates that this anti-cultivation stance is based on emotion and a bias against cannabis. No facts, no logic, not even a well-thought-out argument.
The third reason CACP wants home-growing banned: impaired driving.
Notwithstanding that the homebrew alcohol argument is essentially the same here, the real issue is not whether there is a recognized technology to quantify cannabis impairment, but whether cannabis impairs at all.
A regular toker is no more of a threat to other drivers than a sober 80-year-old that has cataracts but somehow remains licensed. Or a reckless 16-year-old that by any standard of decency should not be on the road but qualifies anyway.
The state is a blunt instrument for complex social problems. Police are the hammer, and to them, every problem looks like a nail.
Hopefully the CACP’s recommendations are ignored but, if not, then ever the more reason to become a medical patient and further dilute the messy recreational/medical debate.
For, when recreational users are barred from home-growing but medical patients are given a constitutional right, all the government has done is create perverse incentives for recreational users to hide behind the medical pretense.