Inside Dope

|

The current issue of Forbes has an interesting story about Canada's marijuana business that's remarkable for its lack of anti-drug cant, especially given the views of the magazine's editor-in-chief. (During his 2000 presidential campaign, Steve Forbes declared that "drugs are wrong because they destroy the body, enslave the soul, and take away people's freedom to think and choose for themselves.") The online blurb for the story reads, "Canada's dirty, well-lit marijuana trade is rich, expanding–and unstoppable." The article ends by quoting the Vancouver police department's head of narcotics enforcement: "If it wasn't for U.S. pressure, we'd just regulate this….You could give me a hundred people, and it wouldn't make a difference."

[Thanks to Thomas Roberts for the link.]

Advertisement

NEXT: Is It Chilly, or Is It Me?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You know, I think the funniest part of this is the ho-to section at the end telling you how to grow good bud. I mean, the article is fairly tolerant in nature, but that really puts it over the edge!

  2. I like the guy who intends on making a million dollars. He knows its well within reach as long as he doesn’t get busted.

    On the other hand, those in the article are just too informative on how they smuggle MJ into the US. Now I am going to see longer lines at the borders when custom officials start shoveling horse shit out of the trailers! I wonder if once they are done, the driver will have to shovel the shit back in!

  3. Talking about Quebec would have ruined the upbeat, pro-entrepreneurial angle of the article. Pot in Quebec is ruthlessly centralized by a few major players, generally the various biker gangs (emphasis on gang, not bike). It would be extremely unwise to set up your own little operation like the fellow in the article, bent on making your million, let alone trying to distribute it yourself.

  4. Oddly, the latest studies indicate that for Canadian teens, marijuana use is now more popular than smoking.
    Canada has more stoners than smokers.

  5. I wonder if once they are done, the driver will have to shovel the shit back in!

    Yes. Customs agents generally do not reload vehicles after searches.

    Of course, one hopes that the interviewees were smart enough to put that one out as a red herring. I personally would laugh my ass off if I was able to “plant” this notion in a major publication.

  6. Would it be useful here to have a list of major publications favoring ending the war on drugs? I know the Economist is one.
    I noticed a column by Mary Anastasia O’Grady of the Wall ST Journal, yet, blaming the war on drugs for the latest problems in Bolivia.
    EVERY publication claiming to know diddly about economics should be so ashamed for not already producing a steady drumbeat calling for an end to the war.

  7. Ewan: I see you’ve bought the SQ’s line on the gangs controlling pot in Quebec. Let’s see, there is a “7 billion dollar” industry in BC that is all mom and pop and free enterprise – Quebec, on the other hand is ruthlessly controlled by the Hells. And the Hells are, either too stupid or too scared to drive west. Organized crime has its hands in every prohibited business there is, BC is no different. At the same time, plenty of growers in Quebec steer clear of the bikers – stop buying your bud on Ste Catherine – you’ll get better prices and you won’t be supporting Mom Boucher’s defence team.

  8. “Canada has more stoners than smokers.”

    Further proof to decriminalize because there are a shit ton of canadian smokers!

  9. Xray,

    Why buy on Ste-Cat’s when you can have it delivered to your home? If you’re going to support scum, you might as well at least be efficient about it. Hell, the fellows in the part across the street keep regular hours, and I think some of them may have cards.

    I spent a week in Van. this summer and read the papers and watched the TV news everyday. There was some drug related murder or violent death everyday, I think. It’s a seedy town, to be sure, and there are some gangsters about, but if you’re seriously comparing it to the scene in Montreal, I must disagree with your analysis.

    There are certainly other operations going, but to seriously argue that the bulk of the business isn’t run by the bikers, or that the bikers don’t actively harass anybody else they hear about is bizarre. And I certainly don’t get all my information about the drug trade from CFCF 12 or Le Journal de Mtl.

  10. R. C. Dean:

    I wouldn’t want a customs agent to reload my vehicle, particularly if it were stuffed with vacation gear. A good packing job requires a level of thought and skill far above that found in the typical Customs Dept. baboon.

  11. Ewan: We’ll just have to disagree. I know where I get mine (pot not info) ’cause I’ve been getting it for 15 years in this city. I’ve had it delivered but prefer to visit the “boutique” style dealers who offer a wider choice and have better quality scales for on the spot weighing. The only time I’ve had to deal with bikers is during hash droughts when the only place to score decent hash is the gay bars, otherwise Montreal has plenty of mom and pop set ups. I also have a relative who hunts in the Sorel area and if the bikers are controlling the all the crops in those fields and forests, we are in more trouble than even the SQ would have us believe. You are naive if you think Montreal has any more or less organized crime participation in the industry than any other part of the country.

  12. To add to Ruthless’ list of pubs favorable to legalization we can add National Review, at least with respect to weed. However, they go out of there way to stress that they don’t favor decrim for libertarian reasons.

  13. Let’s have more arguments between Canadians on these posts, they’re kind of cute even though I have no idea what they’re talking about.

  14. I also have a relative who hunts in the Sorel area

    Guess I’ll be booking my next hunting trip in Sorel.

  15. If I’m not mistaken, Ewan is actually a refugee from some southern country where talking about such topics can get one in trouble.

  16. “During his 2000 presidential campaign, Steve Forbes declared that “drugs are wrong because they destroy the body, enslave the soul, and take away people’s freedom to think and choose for themselves.””

    Yeah, but Steve ISN’t running for President this time around. Funny how a lack of electoral scrutiny from either the media or the voeters can affect your opinions.

  17. “During his 2000 presidential campaign, Steve Forbes declared that “drugs are wrong because they destroy the body, enslave the soul, and take away people’s freedom to think and choose for themselves.””

    Yeah, but Steve ISN’t running for President this time around. Funny how a lack of electoral scrutiny from either the media or the voters can affect your opinions.

  18. Nice to see positive business news. And they didn’t even mention Quebec Hydro.

  19. Yes, a wonderful article. Usually Forbes is relentelessly pro drug war. Two other things about Forbes bug me, though:

    (1) I don’t get my mailed copy until a week after the issue hits the newsstands.

    (2) they publish an occasional column by the former dictator of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew. I don’t understand why any magazine that obviously depends on freedom of the press would give editorial space to this guy who had his critics and political opponents fired from their jobs, arrested, fined, jailed, and driven into exile.

  20. Larry,

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    One Steve Forbes: perhaps he believes strongly in a drug war, but doesn’t think mj should be part of it.

  21. One of the (very few) downsides of Chretien stepping down is the fear that the marijuana decriminalization issue will die under the incoming Paul Martin regime. He’s under pressure from the right to cozy up to the States, which possibly means backing away from liberalized drug laws.

  22. “drugs are wrong because they destroy the body, enslave the soul, and take away people’s freedom to think and choose for themselves.”

    As opposed to putting people in prison for choosing to use them?

    Yeah, I know. That way lies madness.

  23. You know, I’m just a simpleton from Alabama, but I heard my wife and I wouldn’t even have to get our passports dusted off to visit up there.

    But I think BC would be on my list before Quebec. Those bastards get away with stuff that would get us crucified (Our language must be twice as large as any other on the banner…)

    -Robert

  24. Robert: Ontario or the Maritime provinces are a hell of a lot closer than B.C., and just as picturesque in their own way. Depending on where you are in Alabama, it’s about a 16-20 hout drive to the border. Flight times about 3-3 1/2 hours. Last time I crossed, photo I.D. is all you need so come on by. I’d even stand you to some real beer.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.