Marijuana is the hot issue again. Legalize it or keep it
criminalized, that is, in the black market? Personally, I like the black
market idea. At least it remains untaxed and unregulated. Legalizing
marijuana would increase the government’s revenue and this option should
always be discouraged. It’s pretty unlikely that, if legalized, the
government wouldn’t tax and regulate the hell out if it. Seeing that
taxing and regulating every else in the economy has led to economic
fascism, this would likely be the outcome of legalization. When
governments decide what is right and wrong, they also decide who gets to
be right and wrong.
In marijuana legalization it may be the tobacco companies that reap
the rewards. Assuming that the government doesn’t contract out the
exclusive right to grow and sell the drug to “Big Tobacco,” these
companies would likely beat their black-market competitors to the
newly-minted legalized market. They have the capital, land and marketing
to pull off the mass production of weed cigarettes. And it’d be in the
government’s best interest to keep these guys on top. They’re already
regulated tooth and nail, imagine the bureaucratic job creation when
marijuana is legalized!
Legalizing marijuana may not be such a great thing, after all. But I don’t like its current illegality either. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
recently proposed a fine for those caught with 30 grams or less. I’m
concerned about the arbitrary amount of possession, but I like the idea.
Why stop at 30 grams? Why not just fine people who have been “caught”
with marijuana consumption, investment or production? Why even get the
provincial and federal governments involved? I wholeheartedly support
Canadian police keeping fine money for themselves. It’s better than some
bureaucrat in a far away office. Fining people for marijuana
involvement is like taxing people for engaging in commerce. If these
fines were going to the local police department, at least it’d help
drive home the message that cops aren’t using a legitimate business
Marijuana could exist in a limbo state where it remains illegal but
cops don’t target it unless urged by members of the local community.
Cops could issue fines for pot smokers if they are growing, selling or
smoking in areas other individuals in the community disapprove of. If
your a stoner living in a town of busy-body neighbours – perhaps it’s
time to leave. There are plenty of communities in Canada that adopt a
“to each his own” attitude. Whitehorse, Yukon is a good example. In
these places, nobody cares if you grow or smoke pot unless it interferes
with their legitimate (or perceived) property rights. Otherwise, the
cops have no reason to intervene.
In this limbo state, small-time marijuana producers have
opportunities to create some genuine wealth because: a) their enterprise
is not taxed and unregulated; b) the taboo on production, marketing and
commercial sales are ignored so small-time marijuana producers can
operate – more or less – like a normal business. And if legal
technicalities on tobacco companies producing marijuana arise, the
biggest competitors are barred from entering the field. This, c) changes
the short-term structure of production. Capital intensive machinery
would likely originate back to more labour intensive work, unaffected by
minimum wage laws.
It’s unlikely that this “limbo state” would ever occur, but real-life
scenarios cast an interesting picture. Vancouver is aptly nicknamed
Vansterdam due to lack of enforcement of federal pot laws. Perhaps
that’s all it takes – persuading the individuals of your local police
department to disobey orders.