Monday, July 04, 2016

A Brief Note On Dope Regs: Make 'em Now Or Make 'em Never

 As you may know, I spent the last week and change  out on the Left Coast.  Probably the most interesting part was hanging with friends last Saturday at a beach BBQ, discussing the state of medical marijuana.  Half the table owned "green cards" or "compassion club" membership cards, and more than half of those were retired.  Trying to sound knowledgeable, I told them I knew a gal back in Ontario with chronic pain, who got a couple of vials of oil per month from the program.  And she'd told me the price of street weed, which she'd used previously to alleviate pain, had plunged during the last yearThey cackled at my simplicity and one little old lady said: "We know that, sonny."

So there you have it.  The elderlies have gone rogue.  So if the Trudeau government plans to get ahead of the issue, they should act soon.  Otherwise Canada will turn into B.C.  Questionably legal pot shops on every corner.  Downtown T.O. smelling sickly sweet with the herb, just like Vancouver.

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, other than its pretty clear organized crime has a toe in the business. There's an incentive: open a dispensary and you have a legal reason to be driving around with 30 kilos of weed in your trunk.  And some dispensary owners have responded to $250-a-day municipal fines for being open paying $250 a day.  This is suspicious behavior, in my opinion, and not something you would expect from a young hippy couple with shop-keeping ambitions.

And not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that either.  I'm sure there are many west coast bikers who, as they get older, would like to transition into selling a legal product.  Even tough guys dream of an easier life.  But if the federal government wants to shape the market rather than take what is there now,  they should move with more haste than they're currently displaying.   Some leeway seems to have already disappeared.  A too restrictive regime at this point will not supplant the status quo; it will be undermined by it.  Unless Justin Trudeau wants to start busting Vietnam vets, and maybe even his own mother.

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