If you’re like most British Columbians, a year ago you probably thought that cannabis legalization would mean existing dispensaries would get to operate legally, possessing cannabis would no longer be a crime, and the government would get net revenues to help pay for schools, hospitals and so on.
Well, it hasn’t really worked out that way.
- Most of the dispensaries have closed their doors because the licensing process is too strict, expensive, or slow.
- Citizens can still be charged with a crime for possessing cannabis if it’s the “wrong” kind (from an unlicensed grower or seller, edibles, found in your car–even if you haven’t consumed any, etc.).
- The financial data isn’t in yet, but it appears that the government is actually losing money selling weed. Revenue is below projections because the supply of legal cannabis is so restricted, and the costs to set up a new enforcement bureaucracy and government run stores are so high.
So, we’ve started this campaign to call attention to how the government has created a heavily regulated, highly taxed cannabis regime that is self-defeating. If the goal is curtail the black market, squeeze out organized crime, and help the province’s bottom line, it’s failing badly.
We believe that cannabis shouldn’t be marketed or sold to kids. Beyond that, BC’s experience shows that a free market produces safe, abundant, high quality cannabis for adult consumers, and more government regulations are unlikely to help.
Take a photo or write a social media post and use the hashtag #FreeMyBud to show you support the freedom of responsible adult cannabis consumers, producers, and retailers to decide what’s best for them without government interference.