Canada's current government, a Liberal majority elected a few weeks ago, had the legalization of marijuana as a plank in their election platform.
This past week, the Prime Minister's Office released a letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to his cabinet ministers mandating goals for each government department. The Justice Minister is mandated to: "Along with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Health Minister Jane Philpott, Wilson-Raybould will also create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana." http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberal-crime-justice-reform-1.3317891
Here is my letter outlining my opposition to the legalization of cannabis that I emailed today to Canada's Justice Minister with a copy to my MP, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition. Please note: For my safety, I have redacted the names of the criminal gangs and identifiable groups that I mentioned in my letter to the Members of Parliament.
Subject: Opposition to cannabis legalization
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
My expertise lays in the area of gangs and the illicit drug trade. I am a volunteer with XXXXXX, a crime novelist and speaker, and a psychiatric nurse and journalist by training.
I feel compelled to jump into the fray on this issue because of my passion for youth and my desire to thwart the power of criminal gangs who prey on the vulnerable and make huge coin doing so.
In brief, here are my objections:
- Legalizing marijuana (pot) will be legalizing a major money-making product of dangerous and violent criminal gangs, most notably the XXXXXXXXX. It is not likely they will give up their hold on the production and distribution of this lucrative and ‘safe’ side of their business. Nor is it likely they will pay taxes on it, guarantee the safety of the product, or refrain from adulterating it with addictive substances (as our regular tobacco companies are known to have done.
- Unlike Prohibition where the violent gangs dissipated once alcohol again became legal, there are no legitimate businesses experienced in pot production and distribution able to take over the trade. The XXXXXXXXXare the experts in this and are well prepared, financed and set up to continue plying this product when it becomes legal. They would have no need to give it up. They would have little to no competition and they possess the full power necessary to stifle anyone who does want to compete. (Gang wars and gang violence—they do it now, legalizing the product won’t stop that!)
- The Okanagan, the Niagara Peninsula—former fruit orchards now taken over by vineyards as the wine industry took hold. We must consider if we want to see our wheat and canola fields replaced by lucrative hemp crops.
- How much money, time and resources do we want to spend to ensure Canadian citizens have a safe and secure supply of recreational pot? What makes sense here? If taxes on pot are expected to offset the expenses of monitoring and regulating the pot industry, we must consider how compliant we believe the gangs will be in submitting taxes due. Will private individuals growing pot feel compelled to monetarily contribute to the safety of the industry? How involved will XXXXXXXXX be in the production and distribution? XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX
- Hydroponic operations not done properly pose many risks, most notably electrical and mold issues. If pot is legal, will we be able to shut down unsafe production?
- Profits from pot will undoubtedly continue to be used by gangs to finance illicit activities (illegal arms trade, human trafficking, cocaine trade, computer crimes, etc.). With legalization of pot, we will have no way to interrupt this flow of dollars to the dark side which could result in an increase in these illegal and often violent activities.
- To provide Canadians a safe, secure, legal supply of recreational pot we will need to use tax dollars to finance:
- continuous and ongoing inspection of production to ensure it is being safely done.
- continuous and ongoing inspection of the product to ensure there are no harmful or addictive additives.
- enforcement of sales to ensure pot is not being sold to our youth.
- creating, enforcing, maintaining a system of taxation of pot.
- creating new laws to address issues such as sales to minors, the use of additives, safe production, acceptable marketing and distribution, taxation, impairment; and providing ongoing enforcement of such laws.
Once again I must ask, how many taxpayers’ dollars and how much time and resources does the Government of Canada want to invest in providing Canadians with a safe and secure supply of recreational marijuana?
When considering the legalization issue, I strongly recommend you collaborate with the RCMP's drug and criminal gang experts to ascertain the validity of the risks mentioned above and take their advice very seriously.
The XXXXXXXXX are an extremely powerful gang--don't underestimate its power.
Did you know...Cannabis generates more revenue for organized crime than cocaine does? Excerpt from the RCMP Report on the Illicit Drug Situation in Canada — 2009 "Cannabis continued to be the most commonly used illicit substance in Canada, with domestically-produced marihuana providing a source of considerable profit for Canadian based organized crime. Next to marihuana, cocaine generated the most revenue of the illicit drug commodities." http://publications.gc.ca/site/archivee-archived.html?url=http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/grc-rcmp/PS61-14-2009-eng.pdf
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