Pubdate: Tue, 15 Dec 2015
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Christina Blizzard
Page: 5


Scandal after scandal, and now Wynne eyes weed at the LCBO?

Don't think of the legalization of marijuana as a progressive step forward.

Think of it as the nationalization of what now is a privately run industry.

Make no mistake: This is a state takeover of a privately run business.

Premier Kathleen Wynne mused Monday about the possibility of having 
the LCBO sell pot from its retail outlets.

"It makes sense to me that the liquor distribution mechanism that we 
have in place - the LCBO - is very well suited to putting in place 
the social responsibility aspects that would need to be in place," 
Wynne told reporters.

Yep, and it's the perfect n Pot is estimated to be the biggest cash 
crop in Niagara. n In the U.S., the number of drivers with marijuana 
in their systems during weekend nighttime hours grew by nearly 50% 
between 2007-14, from 8.6% in 2007 to 12.6% in 2014. n LCBO net sales 
and other income. n LCBO dividend transferred to government 
(excluding taxes). n Amount of HST transferred to the Government of 
Canada. place to grab your tax dollars.

"Using that distribution network of the LCBO - as has been talked 
about in other provinces, using their provincial institutions - I 
think that makes a lot of sense," she said. Oh, great. Just as we're 
getting the state out of other areas they shouldn't be in - such as 
casinos, gambling and the sale of beer and wine - they're getting 
into the sale of weed, which has previously been handled quite 
adequately by your local dealer.

You're going to have highly-paid unionized employees getting paid $20 
an hour to sell you a few joints.

Look, I adore Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) 
president Warren "Smokey" Thomas. He's my favourite union leader and 
a pragmatic, down-to-earth guy. (That endorsation alone is probably 
enough to get him unelected as union president.)

But do we really need a legion of unionized employees to sell us this 
stuff? Wouldn't a better quid pro quo for not getting beer and wine 
in corner stores be to give convenience stores the marijuana market? 
After all, they sell tobacco, which is also a regulated product.

Presumably, the rules around selling marijuana will be somewhat 
similar to those around selling cigarettes - and vaping. A new law 
taking effect Jan. 1 prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone 
under the age of 19 and bans vaping anywhere smoking is not allowed, 
such as on restaurant patios.

Will those same rules apply to pot? Or will you be allowed to smoke 
pot on a patio - but not vape?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has talked not just of decriminalizing 
marijuana, but of legalizing it. Before he does so, I hope he comes 
up with some way of figuring out how to catch drivers who may be 
driving under the influence of pot. The only way I've heard of so far 
is a blood test, which takes way too long to do.

How will cops crack down (so to speak) on people who are smoking pot 
and driving?

Think about this sensibly, folks - now, before we all fall under the 
influence of the evil weed and no one can make a sensible decision.

Do you want the government that brought you the $1-billion eHealth 
scandal, Ornge, scrapped the gas plants, screwed up the electricity 
system and couldn't clear the snow off the roads in winter selling you pot?

Look, I agree the present system of pot dealing may not be perfect - 
but it works.

Besides, think of all the politicians you know who got into that line 
of business by selling a bit of weed in high school.

No, no. This government has no place in the sale of pot. You'll have 
higher prices, staggering taxes and an inferior product.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom