Marijuana regulation lunacy

Posted on January 2, 2018
Filed Under Commentary, Economic & Political Philosophy | Leave a Comment

Accusation. Do politicians all go nuts once they win government and influence over large bureaucracies? It seems so. Recreational cannabis use becomes legal in Canada July 1. Governments have gone into a feeding frenzy launching claims for shares of the tax revenues that will result. Bureaucracies are setting up retailing operations and crying the blues and about the huge staff increases and large budgets they will need to detect and police marijuana consumption.
Marijuana use is not a new development in Canada or New Brunswick. When I was printing UNB and STU student publications in the early 1970s, dealers were in the elevators in co-op apartments. Delivery was just a phone call and minutes away. The Student Union Building included a cloud of smoke that increased month by month until the annual police sweep in February.
When medical marijuana became available in Canada, local dealers quickly matched and undercut the government price causing many patients to skip the paperwork and deal locally.
It is ridiculous to pretend to be gearing up for a huge new market. It has been here for decades and anyone who wants it gets it easily. Government is going into a market already efficiently served and planning to compete with (Can you believe it?) 11 government operated mall stores for New Brunswick.
That is just about as stupid a barrier to success as a bureaucracy could devise. With one store in Northumberland County, people in Escuminac and Doaktown are going to drive to Douglastown to pay more for pot?
Meanwhile, police are going to spend money to train officers to detect marijuana use and control the supply? Isn’t that what they have been attempting to do with spectacular lack of results for 50 years? One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Spend twice the money to do the same thing might qualify as criminal insanity.
Politicians and bureaucrats must know they cannot control marijuana use. Legalizing was a wise surrender by the federal government. Provincial and municipal politicians and bureaucrats seem to be deluding themselves that they can still legislate controls they have never been able to enforce and will be unable to now.
Marijuana is as close to a harmless drug as there is. It not addictive, permanent, progressive or irreversible. It will be a panacea for seniors with the attendant permanent aches and pains of age. They will be so much better off using cannabis instead of addictive and potentially deadly prescription drugs.
While politicians are drooling over the revenues they hope to pocket and empires they hope to build to deal with marijuana, North America is beset with an opioid epidemic that is the worst killer since AIDS.
At a time when it is essential that governments and bureaucracies must be concentrating their brains, staff, talents, energies and resources on an opioid massacre, they are marshalling an army against a non-existent problem.
The feds want to get the criminals out of the business although I suspect most pot sales are by mom and pop local growers, not international drug cartels or gangs. They want to also discourage pot use by minors which is a somewhat vain hope. Apparently cell phone social media and computer gaming are bigger deterrents to pot smoking than laws and enforcement.
What they might do is just hand the whole thing over to pharmacies or tobacco stores and turn their efforts to forcing the pharmaceutical industry to pay the costs of reducing opioid abuse.


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