Waiting for Legalization: Conflict of Interest
I mentioned it before, but in Canada (and especially on the coast) there is a blind-eye policy being used towards marijuana. While provinces like Saskatchewan still have police taking a harder-than-necessary line of enforcement, by and large the casual weed-smoker will never get hassled by the police.
After Trudeau’s win with the promise of legalization we have seen a lot of motion down south: Bernie Sanders outlined a formal legalization policy, US states continue to decide yea or nay while exemplifying the American approach to contentious law (that is, one state at a time); and more significantly, the historic release of small-time drug offenders in the US.
It brings up a point most people would like to ignore: Who exactly stands to profit off of weed when it becomes truly legal?
Would I be insane to take pity on all the small time dealers and growers I’ve met looking to make ends meet? Does the government have any intention to approach or even acknowledge the well-entrenched Black Market that they themselves enforced with prohibition?
What traditional capitalists and anyone who likes paying taxes doesn’t want to admit is that Weed Dealers of Today are the most hardcore opportunistic capitalists in our country. The kid who sees 200 dollars, flips it on a bag of weed and doubles his money is the sort of story Dragon’s Den would salivate over; if only it were legal.
I posit a challenge then: as we move our perceptions on weed, let’s see if we can’t change the way we look at Canada’s Black Market. If the government wants to step in and bring this drug into a taxed, recreational setting we cannot simply forget all the people who have been making it happen — albeit illegally — in the background.