WAYNE CARVER: The well-connected ready to cash in

Many involved in marijuana production are former civil servants; federal provincial politicians  

Published on September 12, 2017

In anticipation of the impending approval of the marijuana legislation at the federal level, the province is now soliciting suggestions on how best to implement the roll out procedure for the sale and distribution of marijuana in this province.  

How magnanimous is that gesture? The infrastructure is all in place, monies have been loaned, properties have been acquired and several government sponsored marijuana-growing operations are now in production.
In fact, many of those involved in the production of marijuana are former high-ranking civil servants, former members of legislative assemblies and even former members of parliament. It has been reported that the former chief financial officer to the Liberal Party of Canada during the last election, when Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana and regulate it, was indeed a co-founder of Tweed, a marijuana manufacturer in Ontario.
It seems that everything is ready to go. The market has been identified and shares are being traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)WEED. Licensed Producers AB Laboratories Inc., part of Invictus MD, JWC Ltd. and P.E.I.'s Canada's Island Garden are ready to sell distinct batch cannabis through Tweed Main St. of Smith Falls Ont., to 50,000 registered patients according to recent reports. All that remains is to convince the public that we need this, that it is a good thing and beneficial to society. To do this government is now soliciting the views of the general public on how we should distribute the product. How hypocritical. Just how hollow are we?
Most people realize and accept that there is a need for medicinal marijuana. To have our elected officials shove it down our throats because they might have the opportunity to enhance their own financial position is another matter. If there are only 50,000 registered patients nationally, then the tax windfall anticipated by many provinces will hardly be noticeable. To have greater tax revenues we need greater sales. Who will become the new consumers? Most citizens do not expect to send their Member of Parliament to Ottawa to have them initiate legislation that would allow their children access to mind altering drugs at any age. One questions whether or not there might be a conflict of interest here, as well as a sense of insider trading?
This is a prime example of top down governance. In the rush to get the legislation passed it seems we have overlooked the logistics of distribution as well as the costs associated with addiction, enforcement, rehabilitation and most importantly who will be in a position the authorize the use of cannabis and in what circumstances. The Canadian Medical Association has shown a reluctance to get involved in this matter from the beginning and has stated marijuana should not be used by anyone under the age of 25 years.
And all this is being done to keep the sale of marijuana out of the hands of organized crime? We need a rethink - don't you think?

- Wayne Carver of Long Creek is a supporter of electoral reform and comments frequently on other social issues