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Friday, September 03, 2004

The real enemies of entrepreneurship 

Another enterprising New Zealand business shut down, and its owner incarcerated at public expense, all because he ... grew the wrong plant:

Northland man jailed for cannabis growing

03.09.2004 5.00 am

A Northland man who grew cannabis in a cave and a buried shipping container has been jailed for two years and four months.

Robert Alexander Mason, 49, unemployed of Kaitaia, was sentenced in the High Court at Whangarei. Police estimated the value of the crop - had it reached maturity - at $69,000.

Yes, just as well the public is now protected from a man who was able to support himself by supplying the public with a product it demands. A dangerous person indeed, despite the conspicuous absence of any victims. And, let's face it, he employed some relatively ingenious business practices.

Marijuana production is absoutely central to the Northland economy, as it is elsewhere, most notably British Columbia, where a study by the right-wing Fraser Institute found (using, ahem, "conservative assumptions") ... BC’s Marijuana Crop Worth Over $7 Billion Annually.

Presumably a fair proportion of that value is due to the criminal status of the drug (the criminal grower's bonus), but you can read all about it. Some interesting details include the estimate that there are 17,500 grow-ops in BC, and that only 13% of offenders in BC are actually charged with growing cannabis, and only 55% of them serve any time.

So, word up Phil Goff, Tony Ryall, Peter Dunne, Greg O'Connor et al. Your support for prohibition is immoral and a drain on the economy. It's time to cut the red tape of prohibition and set business free from oppressive government regulation ... oh it's fun using the language of the right against their precious Drug War.


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