Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jan 2018
Source: Telegram, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2018 The Telegram
Author: Brian Jones
Page: B4


Predictions and Top 10 lists are popular topics this time of year, but
never mind the other nine - let's talk dope and hypocrisy.

After half a century of pointless law enforcement and the demonstrably
insane "war on drugs," which Canada mindlessly followed the U.S.A.
into, 2018 will prove to be a historic year - come July, if the
federal Liberals follow through on their promise to legalize
marijuana, the hippies and stoners will be proven right, and the
politicians, police chiefs and conservative pundits will be proven

There has never been a justifiable reason why marijuana is illegal.
Counter-culture weirdoes have been saying so for two generations, but,
being counter-culture weirdoes, they always lost the argument. Guys in
tie-dyed T-shirts don't sound as authoritative as guys in suits or
police uniforms.

Well, 2018 is victory year for the weirdoes.

The suits and uniforms were wrong all along. Their legacy is 50-plus
years of an unnecessary prohibition that brought countless unjust
arrests, charges, jail terms and criminal records. This legacy is the
real "reefer madness."

I was an undergraduate in the 1970s when I first heard the argument -
posited by a smarter undergraduate - that the real reason marijuana is
illegal is because the state couldn't figure out a way to profit from

The supposedly evil and dangerous "weed" could be produced in ample
quantities simply by dropping seeds into dirt. It took little time or
effort, unlike, say, homemade wine or beer.

The easy production of pot would make it almost impossible for any
government to control and profit from - thus its illegality.

If you find the smart undergraduate's argument farfetched, consider
the news pages these days. As the date of state-sanctioned toking
draws closer, provincial governments have announced various rules and
laws regarding its production, distribution, sale, pricing, taxation,
etc. Their common concern is, "How do we profit from this?" - "we"
being, of course, the government.

Give a gold star to the smart undergraduate.

Some regulations are laughable, even without getting

Among the stupid laws is the Newfoundland government's stipulation
that a household will be allowed to grow a maximum of four marijuana

Why can't your family grow five marijuana plants? Or six? Because that
would cut into the government's profits.

The hypocrisy is thicker than the smoke at a Boy Scouts campout. There
has been no accompanying announcement that, henceforth, home brewers
will be limited to producing four bottles of beer, or do-it-yourself
vintners limited to making only four bottles of wine. And yet, logical
consistency in the law would require that exactly those limitations be

But then, marijuana laws have never been subject to the requirements
of logic, not in the 1970s and not even in this great, heralded year
of 2018. There is something about pot that makes politicians' minds go
fuzzy. All these years, they may as well have been stoned out of their
heads, for all the rationality they've applied to the subject.

Personally, I'm thinking about growing five marijuana plants this
summer. I hope enough people will do the same, so we can hire Ches
Crosbie to file a class-action lawsuit on our behalf. It should be
easily winnable after he becomes premier.

Another smart undergraduate once said the free market would do more to
destroy the illegal drug trade than all the cops and vice squads have
(not) done. In 2018, with legalization, organized crime would lose a
major stream of revenue as marijuana became widely and cheaply produced.

Politicians - the new drug lords - put a quick end to that notion.
Rather than simply declaring, "Go ahead. Grow it. Smoke it. Sell it,"
provincial governments have been busily handing out monopolies to
corporate pot producers. They tout competition and innovation, but
then opt for more hypocrisy by outlawing a free market. It makes you
wonder what they're smoking.
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