Article by James West, Midas Letter
Within the text of Bill C-45 The Cannabis Act are sown the seeds for the program’s potential failure. The Liberal Government has limited time to change course and avoid both a price war and a flood of constitutional challenges.
The legislation is built on what superficially could be interpreted as contradictory targeted outcomes, and faulty assumptions.
The summary of Bill C-45’s first reading states “The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality require- ments and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.”
That legislation alone can “prevent young persons from accessing cannabis” is a leading faulty assumption. Among the segment of society’s youth who are drawn to the hedonism and self-exploration associated with the consumption and use of drugs, marijuana is easily obtained, either from gang-associated criminal enterprise, or from non-accredited growers, who themselves can be youth. It’s a plant. Anyone can grow it.
Despite the grandiose representations from many growers that it is complex and difficult to grow, a handful of seeds thrown into any garden medium and watered will result in some measure of success. As kids, we grew a crop every summer. Usually it got swiped before we could harvest it, but occasionally, we would end up with a supply that would take us well into winter. But in this age of instant information access, even the complexities of genetics and selective hybridization are available for anybody – youth or older – to learn should they be so inclined.
The intent to “reduce the burden on the criminal justice system” can hardly be reconciled with “imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the framework”.
Where the failure occurs is, if the intent is to decriminalize marijuana, you can’t constitutionally do so (arguably) by using the law to discriminate between legitimate social segments as to who is qualified and who is not. Either the plant is legal, or it is not.
Decriminalization is the only outcome that will reduce the burden and flow of marijuana-related convictions in the courts, and the contradictory language of the Bill threatens to have the opposite effect. Especially since constitutional challenges are likely to proliferate on the back of such discrimination.
Marijuana has emerged into two primary legal types: medical and recreational.
The promulgators of either camp are very different while the consumers of either product are often the same.