*This post originally appeared at DankSpace.com on Dec. 8th 2016 by Joshua Scott Hotchkin*
As Colorado lawmakers and Governor Hickenlooper prepare to crack down on home cannabis growers, the term legal loses even more of it’s meaning.
John Hickenlooper says that a Trump presidency puts the states legal status at risk, and so their only hope is to get tough on homegrowers to show they are serious about maintaining law and order alongside their highly regulated marijuana allowances. But even with the most likely of scapegoats to color his propaganda with, the Colorado State Governor is using fear to wrestle his state back into a more prohibitive one.
As I mentioned a few days ago, using Trump to prop up alarmist claims is irrational. Not because I think Trump is an alright guy, but because the nature of bureaucracy and oligarchy just sort of work that way.
This has nothing to do with protecting or benefiting the people of Colorado. The three most likely reasons Hickenloper and lawmakers are back-stepping are these…
- Pressure from Colorado law enforcement agencies and unions whose Drug War Goose stopped laying Golden Eggs. They have continued to fight against legalization and as a concession it could be that they are being given more arrest-able offenses to boost their activities and funding.
- Pressure from special interests to drive marijuana production and sales into the established industry, an industry looking more and more like corporate America and less and less like local entrepreneurs and self-sufficiency.
- To force more marijuana into the taxable market. Along with all of the pay-to-play fees and other funds this puts in the hands of Colorado’s state government coffers. Government employees want their employers books stacked as well as possible for the same reason other employees do, in the hopes that some of that rolls down into their own pockets.
So while government, law enforcement and corporate cannabis will all thrive under the new restrictions – patients, caregivers and personal growers will all suffer. They are being recriminalized as they watch their government hand a monopoly on marijuana over to big business.
The same issues do and will exist in other “legal” states. There is nothing “legal” about “legalization”. It does nothing but change the terms of what constitutes a crime.
If I told you that you could only have a certain number of tomato plants, and that you had to have permission and pay fees in order to share or sell them, how legal would you consider tomatoes? If tomato grow inspectors roamed your streets and forced themselves into your home to inspect your gardening, how legal would you consider that? If your tomato growing activities did not complete the legal hokey pokey to complete satisfaction and you lost your home, were extorted and possibly imprisoned – or worse – would the term “legal tomatoes” have any meaning left to you?
Government cannot legalize anything, they can only make things illegal. Unfettered growth and use of cannabis would happen with no government interference. Even when they are calling their interference “regulation” rather than “illegal” it is the same thing. No amount of newspeak or jiggery pokery could change the facts. There is no such thing as legal marijuana in America, there are only lots of different ways in which it can be illegal.
That distinction means everything. Legalization seemed like a really cool giant horse when we let it into the city gates, but as we slept its true purpose crept out revealing its horrifying cargo. Corporate monopolies and government profits and growth. Beware an enemy bearing gifts, the state is never on your side.
The only legit marijuana legislation is complete and total decriminalization.