So, legalization continues to close in on us.
This is a really good thing for Canadians in many ways. We in this cause have fought and sacrificed for the Cannabis and Hemp industries for decades to achieve this. It hurts to have to criticize what could be an overwhelmingly positive accomplishment, but unfortunately legalization in Canada has failed to accomplish social justice or address the concerns of the middle class and climate change. Further, the quality of your Cannabis will be going down, and the price, up.
A few things none of the news articles talk about. First, the mammoth transfer of wealth from British Columbia to Ontario and from the middle class to corporations and the one percenters. Historically, BC created the Cannabis industry in North America, to a large degree. While the draft dodgers and hippies of the 60s started the industry primarily outdoors in California, draconian Drug Warriors chased these noble persons out of the USA and into Canada – primarily BC, where penalties for drug offenses were at least realistic and often non-existent.
Relentlessly pursued in California and throughout the USA by the leftovers of the Vietnam era military-industrial complex desperate for new targets, outdoors by helicopters and then by satelittes and high-altitude overflights with supercomputer infrared technology and such, indoor growing became popular in the 90s after being introduced in the 70s and 80s with pillaged gymnasium and stadium mercury vapour bulbs and ballasts. Those left behind in Nixon-Carter-Reagan-Bush’s Drug War, went to jail. Huge, huge outdoor grows were common throughout BC as growers came from throughout North America, and later the world, to grow Cannabis here.
Technology improved with the Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium and better flourescent bulbs enabling higher yields indoors. Concurrently, breeders produced strains that could pump out incredible THC levels indoors in a much shorter time than outdoors. Cannabis users today rarely experience quality potent outdoor cannabis, not realizing the most potent Cannabis will only ever be produced by the sun, but rarely is.
As rules relaxed in California the industry has returned there, and only now really, throughout the US we see reality finally taking effect and the relative end of the Cannabis drug war. This took a huge chunk out of the BC Cannabis export business, which by some estimates was as high as $10 billion yearly. The myths of cocaine trading straight across for BC Bud were true, for a time. The penalties for cocaine and marijuana were basically the same in the States, and almost nobody was growing indoors there. This was in the 80s-90s mostly, and early 2000s.
Now, fast forward to 2018. No Cannabis is exported from Canada to the USA, or very little. Domestic production will now be centered primarily in Ontario. No allowance has been made for small producers until very recently, which would have been pretty much all of rural BC. There was time when Cannabis represented 30-80% of the income of a typical BC small town, especially in Southern BC. Pruning jobs paid 20-25$ an hour or more, wages which would be impossible to get outside of the logging industry. Growers, while not generally getting rich, made enough to finance decent homes and eventually upgrade to better ones, hanging on long enough to benefit from rising property values and equity.
There really isn’t anything to replace this for small or medium town BC. It represents between 5-20 BILLION dollars a year shifted away from this province, maybe more if you count it in the exaggerated prices consumers will soon be paying for legal government cannabis.
I would also like to point out that Cannabis is a totally renewable resource. When grown properly it is environmentally friendly and beneficial in so many ways. BCs electricity is almost entirely renewably sourced, so growing Cannabis indoors here is crazy eco-friendly. Unlike Onterrible, where much electricity comes from Nuclear (yuck omg gross), Coal or Gas. With the brilliant (sic) new leadership there killing off renewable and alternative energy projects, you can imagine indoor Cannabis there comes with a huge carbon footprint and contributes to global warming in a significant way, something that BC Bud doesn’t do.
I don’t think I’ve heard that mentioned once. You would think supposedly middle-class loving, environmentally-sensitive leaders like Trudeau would clue in to the benefits of small business producing environmentally friendly Cannabis. Instead, we have huge companies growing overpriced substandard product, contributing to global warming, paying employees minimum wage and doubling the price to the consumer. It didn’t have to be that way.
Allow me to point out that Health Canada has censured these new licensed growers like Aurora for using banned chemicals and bad growing practices. No actual fines though, just a note on their file. And of course, the companies claimed to not know where these chemicals came from? Bizarre. Unskilled growers probably, forced to used industrial strength chemicals on a crop they are unfamiliar with. Or maybe they just don’t give a fuck and realize they can get away with whatever they want, after all, they’re worth $5 billion. Of course, one of the big reasons for legalization is to protect the public, right? From banned chemicals and the such? Hmmm.
Further, most of the Cannabis these new licensed producers are producing is low-grade greenhouse outdoor, which they will be charging you higher than the prices you now pay for high quality indoor. Have you noticed almost all of the pictures you see in the press are of greenhouses? This is smart ecologically and financially, of course, but you wont be getting a discount for less potent greenhouse weed, or even told that’s where its coming from. Classic grower trick, to sell outdoor or greenhouse as indoor.
This all sounds kind of dystopian but fits well in the Corporate model of the military-industrial complex. Ship the jobs somewhere else, pay everyone less, fuck the environment dont even talk about it, and charge everyone more for the product. Kind of like a collective fuck down of the working middle class as youve seen play out over the last few decades. Criminalize any sort of opposition, in this case financially, and force everyone to swallow it as a supposed improvement on the situation. Force small business to compete against mammoth corporations and exclude anybody who might have been involved in the illegal business.
Which brings us to another point, the collective amnesia surrounding the Cannabis industry. Listening to supposed leaders talk about it in the media, it is like this is all new stuff that hasn’t been around before — wow, cannabis is coming to Canada! A new culture in coming to our city they say! Wow, talk about out of touch. And we live in BC, the center of pot culture in Canada. There are more illegal dispensaries in Vancouver than there are Starbucks, yet somehow these leaders think cannabis is a new thing. People figured out a long time ago — like millenia — that Cannabis is beneficial. Its not a mystery, never has been. If you are ill-informed enough to think that Cannabis being legalized is introducing something new to our society, then you really are stupid, and not just ignorant. Maybe willfully blind. There aren’t any homeless people either, right?
This willful blindness is what allows discrimination to be perpetuated, against the Cannabis culture and all other cultures of any type. It isnt really there, it isnt really happening, so we dont have to worry about it. Like say, the porn industry, which seems still taboo to discuss but is one of the worlds biggests industries. Or, climate change deniers, who still denigrate scientists and environmentalists, while our climate is falling apart around us quite obviously. Delusional thinking is what perpetuates prohibitions and discrimination. Religion too, is carried by delusions. Always Waiting for Godot, it seems, who never shows up but is always on the way.