A 3rd eye on every corner . . .

October 13, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

At last, pot enthusiasts around the country will be able to relax in their favourite La-Z-boy recliner, spark up a doobie and stink up their homes with the pungent smell of marijuana smoke without the fear of a SWAT team bashing in their front door while screaming ‘search warrant!’

While legislation is in the works to make marijuana ‘legal’, it still won’t be a legal product in the strict sense.

You will be able to smoke it in your home, but you won’t be able to light up on the street, in a restaurant, in a marijuana bar, or while cruising with your friends in your convertible on a country drive. Nope, try that and you are suddenly into some murky territory again.

The path to legalization of course began years ago when people started to realize that hammering some 18-year-old with a life-altering, life-long criminal record because he got caught smoking pot in a park just didn’t make sense.

The crusade first started as a push to ‘decriminalize’ simple possession and has grown from there.

For some reason the police and the courts really hated people who smoke marijuana. Remember the old COPS reality television show? Maybe it’s still on the air somewhere, I haven’t seen it in years. They could catch someone who just robbed a convenience store, but if they found an ounce of pot in the car – look out… ‘those are drugs!”

I still remember watching a documentary in the 90’s about the war on drugs in the U.S.

As one person being interviewed said, “This is ridiculous. People are released from prison after five years for manslaughter, but there are still guys in prison in Texas for getting caught with a single joint in 1967.”

Some people just don’t like the thought of someone minding their own business and smoking weed.

Of course, those same pot-hating fear mongers who claimed pot is ruining lives and leads to society-altering drug addictions still thought nothing of going home and having an highball or martini, or three after dinner. Alcohol is still a drug, whether people like to admit it or not.

I don’t smoke pot, and I really don’t like being around people who are getting high, but pot smokers do make a decent case when they point out that you never see marijuana-fueled brawls spilling out onto the streets like you do at after-hours clubs or a bar when patrons have imbibed just a little too much.

So at long last the federal Liberal government is going to make it ‘legal’ to smoke marijuana.

But here’s the rub … if the Ottawa gang are going to make it ‘legal’, why is  Ontario’s Liberal government going to get involved in selling it?

We all know the answer to that – so they can create a monopoly and make millions from taxing it to death like they do with alcohol at the LCBO. There is no other reason for a government to be involved in selling a product.

Some argue that an LCBO-type arrangement is necessary to keep it out of the hands of minors. Well, the convenience stores do pretty well at that with cigarettes. They ask for ID and if they do sell cigarettes to a minor they are subject to a pretty hefty fine and can lose their license to sell tobacco products. Pretty simple stuff.

If possessing and smoking pot is going to be made legal, then it should be just another business run by legitimate business owners who find a source – pot farmers – buy the product at wholesale prices and sell it in their stores for a profitable mark-up – just like every other legitimate business.

If they find a market and sell at the right price they will be successful. If they over-price their product customers will go elsewhere – just like every other legal business.

Government control over marijuana won’t make illegal distribution go away. They will just mess it up by selling a product at a ridiculous price and pot smokers will continue to buy their weed from ‘their guy’ down the street at a better price.

It just creates a new situation similar to the problem with illegal cigarettes.

If they are going to make marijuana legal, then so be it.

Make it legal and keep government away from messing up what will most likely be a profitable private, but still a tax-paying business.

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