Our government is about to create a marihuana shortage. Here is how they will do it.
- Make it illegal for the 37,000 Canadians now receiving medical marihuana from growing or purchasing their own;
- Increase penalties and reduce allowances for the growing of marihuana for oneself, when 60% of medicinal pot use in Canada is grown by the users themselves;
- Maintain the requirement to obtain a doctor’s permission for being able to smoke;
- Make these rules effective April 1,2014;
- Licence new legal marihuana grow-ops in March, 2014.
Oh, and just in case you wondered, there is only on varietal available: what the government grows. So you choice of dope is restricted, as if the only wine legally available were cabernet-sauvignon.
The clear intention is to corporatize the industry as fast as possible. One of the chosen few who will receive a licence, an American with all the right business credentials, has declared that that Health Canada was worried about “the lack of sophistication” of more unlearned applicants, and their lack of capital. This translates into: “my potential rivals are being kept out of the market by government action, and I could not be more pleased that government will ensure regulated profits by suppressing my competition”.
Right now you can buy good weed for about $200 an ounce. You can get smoke that will allow you to operate heavy machinery, or dope that will cause you to sit in a chair and stare. You can get dope that is high, strong and clear, approaching the bottom end of the psychedelic, or you can get paralytic. It is as the market decides. It is as you the consumer wish.
Instead of marketizing the sale of marihuana, making it like food, we are attempting to put the production and sale into the domain of the medical . The “medical” fiction will allow government to try to do to it what it has done to cigarettes: simultaneously rake in tons of cash while stigmatizing the use of it.
It is my firm conviction that the market for marihuana will continue its illegal but socially tolerated existence, offering the Canadian public the choice of experience it has come to expect, at a price it can afford. Those who grow medical marihuana legally will be shouting for government regulation (policing) to defend their obscene profits. It will become like a marketing board. Consumers first, my ass.
Why create an oligopoly structure for the marihuana industry and simultaneously fight the oligopoly on behalf of consumers in cellular telephone service? Is the Minister of Industry going to talk to the Minister of Health? Is the Prime Minister going to pick up the phone and urge a little consistency of pro-consumer policy here?