Your Papers, Please!

I don’t care what you think of the “Ford Nation,” or Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party — anyone is better than Kathleen Wynne.

And with an election less than a month away, Ontario’s cannabis connoisseurs have a chance to voice their concerns with Wynne’s pot socialism.

Of course, elections do very little to change the fundamental status quo. Despite the theory that every new sitting parliament is fresh and unbound by previous governments, the reality is a perpetual bureaucracy keeps the machine chugging along toward all-around statism.

As Mises would say, “The cabinets come and go, but the bureaus remain.”

Nevertheless, PC Leader Doug Ford muses about a private retail model expected to run alongside the government monopoly.

He also tends to have more faith in markets than his supposed “Liberal” opponent.

Which is all well and good because so far every level of government (including here in BC) are botching legalization beyond repair.

As Ian Mulgrew wrote in the Vancouver Sun, “Two years after a federal election that promised legal reefer, all we’ve seen are former politicians, cops and bureaucrats cash in on pot stocks and those in government appear to think it is an excuse for a public-sector hiring spree…

“Where is there any grown-up discussion about nurturing this new green industry, promoting pot tourism, stimulating medical research, helping those involved in the black market come out of the shadows — isn’t that why we were doing this?”

Apparently not. And the latest money/power grab is cannabis accessories like bongs and rolling papers.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business worries that government-owned stores will force them out of the accessory market they’ve been a part of for years.

“The OCS [Ontario Cannabis Store], they’ve got their monopoly on the sale of cannabis,” Ryan Mallough, CFIB’s senior policy analyst for Ontario. “Less known is that they’re also going to be selling the products that you use to consume cannabis — the pipes, bongs, the rolling papers, that sort of thing – which encroaches on a fairly large and vibrant and longtime existing legitimate market.”

The CFIB also believes cannabis should be available through a “regulated, licensed private retail market.”

“The way we see it, it’s like the LCBO selling the wine glasses,” Mallough said. “It is immensely unfair to have to compete against a taxpayer-backed monopoly.”

But that’s just crazy, backward, prohibitionist “Ont-terrible,” right? 

No, things are just as dumb in British Columbia. 

Despite being a world capital for cannabis, Horgan’s minority NDP government decided to take the worst parts of alcohol and tobacco rules and apply them to cannabis.

And, yes, that includes “cannabis accessories,” where the General Manager of the new bureaucratic team will have the power to “impose terms and conditions related to the sale, supply, production, packaging, purchase and consumption of cannabis without limitation, including: … cannabis accessories.”

As well, the Lieutenant Governor in Council has the ability to define, regulate or restrict different kinds of cannabis accessories, including establishing different classes and making different regulations in relation to the different classes.

In other words – your papers, please!