“You own your own meat, if you own nothing else, you own the meat that is packing your own bones.”
– comedian Doug Stanhope
If cannabis is in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and the democratic state makes the laws, then the voluntary exchanges and contractual agreements in BC’s civil cannabis economy will be deemed criminal, while the state’s interference with private property is exalted to superior modes of organization.
Far from protecting the rights of Canadians through responsible government, Canada’s parliament has eroded and confused the notion of pre-political rights.
That is, Canadians are, by default, free and no politician has the right to tell you that you can’t grow, exchange, and smoke cannabis.
Canadians are under a self-imposed legislative siege by crony-capitalist and bureaucratic interests propelled by a run-away democracy where popularity contests are responsible for important decisions better left to the legal system.
The problem with cannabis prohibition is that politicians are denying your self-ownership as an adult human being. A temporary, superficial solution to prohibition is to elect the politician that pledges to legalize cannabis.
Imagine, after Oct. 19, Harper’s MMPR is inherited by Justin and the Liberals. New democratic regulations codify and create rules for the, now legal, recreational cannabis economy.
But if Harper’s Conservatives didn’t cater to free and fair markets, what makes you think this left-of-the-spectrum opposition will?
Democracy neglects the self-ownership issue, for it is a theory of power distribution, not a theory of freedom, liberty, or unity.
Don’t take my word for it. The Founders of Canada, including the provincial ratifiers who voted for confederation, were cautious of democracy. By 1867, the United States was already suffering from the democratic excesses that still plague the nation today.
And far from having a strong monarchical element in Canada – as was intended – we’ve repeated the mistakes of our southern neighbours, equating democracy with liberty and picking and choosing figureheads to lead the country into prosperity or ravages.
“The great want under the American form – the point they all admitted formed the great defect – was the absence of some respectable executive element. How was the head of the United States government chosen? Candidates came forward, and of course each one was abused and vilified as corrupt, ignore, incapable, and unworthy by the opposite party. One of them attained the presidential chair; but even while in that position he was not respected by those who had opposed his election, and who tried to make him appear the most corrupt and contemptible being in creation. Such a system could not produce an executive head who would command respect. Under the British system, ministers might be abused and assailed; but that abuse never reaches the sovereign.”
– George-Étienne Cartier
How much of that speech resonates with how our election campaign has unfolded, or how Canadian Prime Ministers are, for intents and purposes, the practical Head of State despite what the constitution says.
Here is Cartier again on the US having too much democracy:
“They [the Americans] had founded a federation for the purpose of carrying out and perpetuating democracy on this continent; but we, who had the benefit of being able to contemplate republicanism in action during a period of eighty years, saw its effects, and felt convinced that purely democratic institutions could not be conducive to the peace and prosperity of nations.”
“We were not now discussing the great problem presented to our consideration in order to propagate democratic principles. Our attempt was for the purpose of forming a federation with a view of perpetuating the monarchical element. The distinction therefore between ourselves and our neighbours was just this: in our federation the monarchical principle would form the leading feature, while on the other side of the lines, judging by the past history and present condition of the country, the ruling power was the will of the mob, the rule of the populace.”
Sir Richard John Cartwright, speaking to the Upper Canada legislative assembly on democratic tyranny:
“No fear here, Mr. Speaker, for many a day to come at least, of perils which await us from the tyranny of hereditary rulers, or the ambition of aristocratic oligarchies. No sir, no; and while it is true that here, as elsewhere, there are always dangers enough to retard our progress, I think that every true reformer, every real friend of liberty, will agree with me in saying that if we must erect safeguards, they should be rather for the security of the individual than of the mass, and that our chiefest care must be to train the majority to respect the rights of the minority, to prevent the claims of the few from being trampled under foot by the caprice or passion of the many.”
The Conservative-turned-Liberal career politician also said: “frankly I prefer British liberty to American equality.”
Cannabis prohibition wasn’t a bad mistake that got repeated for 92 years. Cannabis prohibition was, and still is, a concerted effort by individuals to deny other individuals their self-ownership.
Cannabis legalization through the democratic process isn’t a return to the natural rights of the British tradition, but more of the same American egalitarianism.
It’s true legalization will get some good people out of jail – one would hope – but it also will get your cannabis taxed while the state imposes restrictions on a market it has no business being in.