Originally published on Canlio

There are two languages being spoken in Canada these days, and they are not French and English. Ottawa is the capital city and the heart of the most populated province, and British Columbia the largest producer of cannabis, and the heart of marijuana culture. Their languages and perspectives are not easy to reconcile on the best of days, and it might only get worse, so the need for some translation is in order. The truth is they will need each other and will have to become friends in order for the rest of the country to truly benefit from the legalization of cannabis, or what I sometimes call the Free Range Unicorn.

Ottawa knows nothing about this mythical creature. All Ottawa knows is that a lot of people love the Unicorn. In British Columbia the Unicorn roams free, is wild, protected and revered. In Ottawa the Unicorn is not free, and is even a little feared. There, it is too wild a creature; it is mysterious, and who knows if its magical properties are even real. Just look at the pictures. Have you seen how powerful it appears? And look at that horn. “Danger, danger,” Ottawa screams.

Stories of the Unicorn have made their way across the country over time through the farming and gathering tribes. Now there are many believers in the Unicorn, and Ottawa is under pressure to give in to the people and allow the Unicorn to run free. People are speaking out about their belief in this wonderful part of their lives. British Columbia has fought long and hard to convince Ottawa that the Unicorn is not only real, but deserves the reverence that they have given it.

“But wait a minute. This is our Unicorn, so before we give what we think is ours to the rest of the country, we are going to tell you how we think you should let the Unicorn roam the rest of the country.”

Some of us know the Unicorn needs to be free range. If it is hindered in any way it will not comply with its new form of imprisonment. If it is walled in by heavy fortresses it will break free. It will jump the walls and head for the hills again. This would be a tragedy for the rest of the country because we have all come to love what the Unicorn could mean. It could mean that magic and fairy tales and dreams can come true. It could mean that when you believe in something you have the power to free the thing you love and share it.

In Ottawa there seems to be a feeling that free range would be too risky, even if it might be the right and most ethical thing to do. There are too many unknowns. What if the Unicorn is not as friendly as the people believe it is? If it is free range how will anyone make any money? And if there aren’t millions of dollars to be made in the regulated or the black market Unicorn industry, who would want to be in that business? The people in Ottawa are a little perplexed, and so there are many people, including the Black Market, Hyper-Regulators, and Venture Capitalists, trying to convince regulators to not let that wild beast roam free. They want Ottawa to keep the Unicorn as tightly regulated as possible.

The people who truly love the Unicorn will take care of it, whether there is money to be made or not…which is the way it should be. Anything less is just another form of prohibition, and we all know how well that went.

Republished with permission from Canlio.