BC Libertarian Party Response to Cannabis Legalization 2018

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada “leaked” some information on their pending roll out of legalization in July 2018. Here are the main points that were addressed:

–        The Federal Government will be in charge of making sure Cannabis is “safe and secure”

–        4 Plants per household

–        Provinces will have the “right” to decide how to distribute & sell Cannabis and set prices

–        Ottawa will set minimum age of 18 but provinces may opt for a higher age limit

 

In light of this release the BC Libertarian Party would like to discuss its plan for legalization under these regulations as best we can. We understand that for the Cannabis community there has never been a more important election.

As a place to start in BC, we would promote the dispensary option as the way forward with general retail sales, but we would also like to include, bars, cafes, nightclubs, vapour lounges etc. in this model, as they would be high income generating business ventures, helping our tourism industry greatly. We have seen that the Licensed Producer / mail order model does not provide sufficient access to people who require Cannabis as a medicine. People deserve access to safe, quality medicine and the dispensary model has worked the best so far to provide that. We would also ensure that Craft Cannabis was included in our “rights” as a province to regulate. BC Cannabis is world renowned and we will not allow Ottawa to squeeze us out of the economic equation. This is, and always will be, OUR industry and the BC Libertarian Party will not stand aside and watch the economic benefits be taken away from us. We would accept 18 years old as “legal age” for recreational Cannabis use.

The last issue that was released was a rule that says we will only be allowed to grow 4 plants per household. This is a completely absurd, authoritarian rule that serves only one purpose: to ensure that people will continue to be consumers in this market. It is not acceptable and we would challenge it in court. People MUST be allowed to grow as much Cannabis as they require, either for medicinal, recreational or sustainable use. The next question that arises from this “law” is: “How do you enforce this?” What does the 4 plant per house street patrol cost? And how much authority will they have to make sure that people aren’t growing 6 plants in their garden? These are very disturbing questions to us that need to be answered.

There is still another issue left untouched in this discussion and it is the 800 pound elephant in the room. The federal government has refused to put a halt to the arrests of Canadians who are guilty of nothing more than possession of a plant. We cannot allow this to continue. One of the first orders of business for the Libertarians in Victoria would be to stop police from arresting people for Cannabis distribution, possession and consumption. We would then work with municipalities to set up legal a framework to allow the Craft industry to “come out of the closet” and flourish in a free market. This would be a huge economic boost to this province and would be a travesty if we let the federal government push us out of the production of this plant.

This election has become the most important election ever to the Cannabis community in B.C. Whoever we elect to Victoria this cycle will be in charge of rolling out legalization. Not one major party has been willing to go on the public record for whatever reason, but the B.C. Libertarian Party believes that the people of this province have spoken on this issue, the experts have given us their best advice and now it is time to end prohibition on this plant and allow the citizens of BC to enjoy its many uses. We feel that this plan prioritizes the needs of the people, not the wants of the politically connected businesses and greedy politicians.

Keith Komar
Board of Directors
Candidate Kootenay-East
British Columbia Libertarian Party