Buying Pot Directly From a Local Mom and Pop Grower Undermines Criminal Gangs' Profits

A couple of questions arrived in the inbox this morning about yesterday's Sensible BC post. The easiest to answer is about how pot possession in Canada is a federal offense. As Herb Couch says on The Nelson List, "It is true that marijuana is prohibited under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which is federal legislation. However, the provinces pay for policing and set police priorities. For instance, over the past few years, eight provinces refused to enforce the federal Firearms Act because they did not support the Long Gun Registry. The governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador all simply refused to enforce the federal law." 

All police in BC are under the authority of the Police Act, an act of the BC Legislature. This includes both RCMP and municipal police. As Herb mentions above, BC joined with seven other provinces in refusing to expend any resources enforcing the federal Firearms Act, because they did not support the Long Gun Registry. Sensible BC proposes an amendment to the Police Act, instructing police not to spend any time, money or resources on cases of simple possession of cannabis.

The feds Bill C-10, the so called “Safe Streets & Communities Act”, packages together such atrocious acts as violence against children, and human smuggling with the “serious” crime of growing 6 pot plants. That’s right, 6 tiny little plants growing in your closet is a crime as serious as child kidnapping in the eyes of Stephen Harper. Harper's law is designed to fill the prisons he wants his corporate donaters to build and profit from not serve the greater good of Canada or the vast majority of Canadians.

The second question is a bit more difficult to answer quickly, but here goes. Q.- Wouldn't legalizing pot simply turn it into just another commodity produced and profited from by large corporations, financed by large banks, and taxed to death by governments all of which would result in higher prices, lower quality and exported shareholder profits. A. - Yes.

The shortcomings of outright legalization are many, but decriminalization, like Sensible BC's proposal, avoids almost all of them. Decriminalization would keep small scale pot growers growing but would not allow bankers and corporations into the market because they'd be afraid of the feds coming down on them. The fact is that local small scale mom-and-pop pot growers cut into the profits of criminal gangs far more than prohibition laws do.

A 2005 study of seven years of marijuana cultivation arrests in British Columbia revealed that more than 80 per cent of the pot grown in BC was grown by small scale growers. The small scale local mom and pop pot industry is actually one of the only truly 'free markets' there is, you'd think real conservatives would use it as an example.. You'd think they'd point out that during the past 50 years, marijuana's potency has increased and its price has dropped. The price of smoking pot daily is cheaper than the price of daily use of alcohol or tobacco, even though pot is illegal. So, like any other fruit, veggie, commodity or service, buy local, you'll get the best quality at the best price and you'll keep the money circulating in your local community.