Pubdate: Tue, 12 Dec 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Mark Bonokoski
Page: 13


So, pot czar Justin Trudeau, realizing his actual street dealers were
on the verge of a revolt, turned to his Mr. Big, Bill Morneau, and
told him to divvy up a more saleable split of the profits from
upcoming pot deals.

When profits are projected to be in the billions, honour among
thieves, and we say "thieves" with all due respect, begins to lose its

After all, it will be the street dealers who will be taking on the
majority of the risk, meaning all those premiers hypnotized by dollar
signs who will have to set up their own turf, build their own drug
outlets, collect the juice from the sales, and deal with law
enforcement should the criminal element invade their space.

A 50-50 split just wouldn't cut it.

That was the original Trudeau-Morneau plan.

Right down the middle. Bada bing, bada boom.

On Monday, however, the country's provincial finance ministers met in
Ottawa, much like mafia chieftains gathered back in 1957 at the home
of Joseph (Joe the Barber) Barbara in the sleepy hamlet of Apalachin,
N.Y., to discuss how to split up the illegal operations of the
recently-departed Albert Anastasia (via a barbershop hit) and proclaim
Vito Genovese as the capo dei capi.

While the Ottawa gathering was not raided by the coppers, the talk was
all about drugs, and the Liberal government's plan to legalize the
recreational use of marijuana by Canada Day of next year which, up
until then, is technically as illegal as the possession of
unprescribed opioids.

Judging by various media reports, the leader of the revolt by
street-level dealers was Manitoba Finance Minister Cameron Friesen,
who demanded a big share of the dividend because it was provincial
governments such as his that would be taking all the risks and doing
the majority of the heavy lifting.

Drug dealing is no easy task.

Up until July 1, 2018, people will still be going to jail for doing
what the Trudeau Liberals plan to make legal - for legitimate
government sales, that is, not the trafficking and sale of pot by
gangbangers, bikers and other low lifes.

So, how does 70-30 sound?

Forget 60-40. Let's not nickel and dime each other. Instead, let's cut
to the chase, shake hands, and call it a done deal.

Seventy per cent for the provinces; 30% for the feds.

Do we have a deal?

On second thought, let's make it 75% for the province, and 25% for the
feds. And, on top of that, says Morneau, the feds will also toss the
provinces any excess profit over $100 million for the first two years.

Just sign here.

The way Friesen saw it, provinces deserved a bigger slice for the
dividend because they shoulder most of the burden, as in the "risks
and responsibilities in areas like roadside policing and justice,
health and mental health regulations."

Ontario, of course, is desperate for new revenues, and is salivating
at the thought of the millions that will be reaped from the
legalization of marijuana, and hoping it will pay for new promises to
get them re-elected in the weeks before bongs are legally

Missing from Morneau's announcement, however, was any commitment to
the municipalities that will be epicentres for legal marijuana sales.

This means every major city in the country will have to go begging to
their provinces for their piece of the pot pie, even though they own
all the street corners and have to pay for the majority of the policing.

So, another turf war looms - with only six months to go before the
advent of legal dope smoking.

Look up the word snafu.
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MAP posted-by: Matt