Police Raids in Toronto and the Problem with Canadian Legalization

Politics
Police Raids in Toronto and the Problem with Canadian Legalization

(Photo: Staff/Torstar News Service)

Activists in Canada are seething right now after raids were conducted against dozens of cannabis shops in Toronto last week. In all over 40 shops were hit and nearly 100 people were arrested.

Authorities say that the shops were unlicensed and allegedly selling cannabis to recreational customers, something that is still illegal in Canada. This has led some to say that these shops got what they deserved for operating outside the law, but these people are missing the bigger point.

The Trudeau government came to power promising recreational marijuana legalization nationwide. Those plans have been slowly moving forward with the culmination set for 2017. A cynical person would think that the government is clearing away the competition before instituting their own plans, which could include only certain people liked by the Liberal government getting licenses, or an even worse scenario could emerge: complete government control over the production and distribution of legal cannabis in Canada.

Liberals love regulations, especially in Canada. They believe that the government knows best, and if government knows best, then the more government regulations, the better. Trudeau has already foreshadowed this with constant references to using regulations to keep cannabis away from children.

But you don’t need heavy regulations to protect the children, oh please baby Jesus won’t someone think of the children?!? All you need is a licensing system based on licensees not selling to those under 21. If they get caught doing so they lose their license, fines are imposed, etc. That’s it. You’re done.

The license itself doesn’t even need to be that complicated. A list of rules, a price, a timeframe and the name of the government entity to write the check out to.

The tendency of any government is always going to be to make things way more complicated than they need to be. This must be limited as much as possible in the emerging cannabis industry in all countries, lest those industries be crippled before they can even get off the ground.