Illegal pot supply will continue
Re Lighting up the nanny narrative, Cohn, Sept. 12 Martin Regg Cohn argues a government-monopolized model is the best way to sell legal weed, as evidenced by the LCBO and the Beer Store. So here’s a thought: If the Beer Store is comprised of mega breweries, while under the watchful eye of the province, why not allow federally regulated pot producers to set up a retail network?
This would allow provincial oversight but also guarantee knowledgeable personnel manning the counters. Somehow, I just can’t trust a government employee to be product knowledgeable. If it’s going to function properly, treat weed with the same freedom as alcohol. Ross Reynolds, Halifax
Although I would prefer a wider storefront distribution scheme that includes private dispensaries, I am OK with the government’s initial plan for marijuana distribution. The coverage of the announcement mostly glosses over an important point: online sales will be immediate.
Online shopping is old hat to most people and buying marijuana online is easy. Existing sites that cater to medical marijuana smokers categorize marijuana by the ways you consume it, and then by strains, usually with detailed descriptions of the effects and potency. Most sites include helpful user reviews.
Ordering online also offers discretion and will give a needed boost to Canada Post. But the big benefit of online sales is that it makes marijuana available everywhere, not just where the province decides to open a dispensary. Colin Whitworth, Toronto
Silly me, I thought the province would seek as many sources of tax revenue for the sale of cannabis as legally possible. What they haven’t calculated, it seems, is the aversion many have to being cattled into a tiny government-controlled pot pen. Alas, most people I know will continue to support their current suppliers. And hey, what do you know, they don’t charge taxes. Oh well. We tried. Richard Kadziewicz, Scarborough Re Police urge feds to delay implementing legal
pot plan, Sept. 13 Canada’s police chiefs say they cannot police the limit of four pot plants per household. Do they currently police all households with respect to underage drinking? Of course they don’t. It’s impossible. There are some laws that cannot be fully enforced.
As for allowing “organized crime” to continue to be involved in pot sales for six months to a year, police have done little in the past 30 years to curtail the illegal sale of marijuana. So, if it continues for a while longer, nothing will really have changed.
But down the road, a year or two after implementation, things may actually become brighter and the legal control of marijuana may make illegal sales just not worthwhile. Surely it’s worth a try, since zero tolerance has been a dismal failure. Barry Green, Pickering
Re Big Weed will capitalize on cannabis at any
cost to society, Opinion, Sept. 12 The government and Health Canada should fix the issues of access within the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations first. It’s nothing short of pathetic that those previously licensed under the old regulations still don’t have access. The government and Health Canada also need to end their sanctioned consortiums’ profiteering off the backs of their clients. This has already cost Canadian veterans their coverage. Wayne Phillips, Hamilton
Although the LCBO doesn’t face a credible alternative (liquor is hard to bootleg in quantity), tobacco and marijuana do face credible illegal alternatives. Indeed, there is already a substantial (and capitalistic) criminal production and distribution network, which was one of the reasons the government decided to legalize marijuana.
The Ontario government’s plan will do little to dent that pipeline, as its price will likely be above the price criminals can offer. Any positive aspects of government distribution (quality, etc.) will be negated by the price.
Don’t forget, criminals have withstood decades of law enforcement when their product was illegal. Legalizing it will not change that fact. Alan McDonald, Trenton, Ont.
“The big benefit of online sales is that it makes marijuana available everywhere, not just where the province decides to open a dispensary.” COLIN WHITWORTH TORONTO