From busting drug users to legal cannabis suppliers. Talk about turnaround. When they can money, former high profile, staunch no supporters soon reassess to get in on the cash. From busting drug users, former top law enforcers have changed sides. They no longer see cannabis as a problem. They have gone into the pot business for themselves.
Law Enforcement Go From Busting People to Supplying CannabisSomething stinks and it is not pot. Well, it is, in a sense. Former law enforcers go from busting people to being among the new legal pot suppliers. How ironic. Among those is Toronto’s former police chief, MP and federal Conservative cabinet minister, tough-talking, macho Julian Fantino and former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar. Both have taken a hard line against cannabis legalisation. Yet are now set to make a lot of money from what they jailed people for. Fantino once said that legalising cannabis was like legalising murder.
First Clinic Opens in VaughanBut, Fantino and Souccar have opened their first clinic in a strip mall in Vaughan. The pair say the science and real-life stories are behind their change of heart. Their new business, Aleafia Total Health Network will work with researchers and producers. The intention is to connect their hundreds of patients with the best products for them. Cannabis is not kept on the business premises. Aleafia does assessments, make recommendations and provides treatments as part of its “health delivery system”.
Police Chief to Cannabis SupplierFantino is Aleafia’s executive director. It was once his mission to bust people for selling cannabis. Now, he is among the new legal suppliers. These days he talks all about its benefits. And, we are not talking about Canada legalising medical cannabis. This is already legal. Canada’s new laws to legalise cannabis for recreational use as from July in 2018. For one so dead against cannabis for any reason, Fantino has had a total philosophical turnaround. Let us take a look at his history. During his long law enforcement career, he was
- police chief in London from 1991 to 1998,
- police chief in York from 1998 to 2000
- police chief in Toronto from 2000 to 2005
- Ontario Provincial Police commissioner from 2006 to 2010
- a Vaughan MP from 2010 to 2015
- Minister for Veteran Affairs from 2013 to 2015.
- May 28, 2003. “The evidence clearly indicates that organized crime is heavily involved in grow operations and the distribution of marijuana.” and “I am also concerned about the apparent lack of scientific or medical certainty on the impact of marijuana use on humans and their activities.”
- December 24, 2003, Toronto Star. “My issue is not a morality issue.” and “To be frank about it, by making it easier to smoke pot we’re also increasing the profits and the activities of organized crime who are very much involved in the grow operations.’
- July 30, 2014, In a flyer from Fantino’s MP office. “Legalization is an irresponsible policy that only puts dangerous drugs on the streets and in our communities, and sends the wrong message to children that recreational drug use is okay.”
- September 30, 2015, Fantino’s Facebook Page. “Today, Justin (Trudeau) admitted that his top and urgent justice priority is to change the law to allow the sale of marijuana in corner stores, putting our children at risk. Justin’s singular justice policy will make smoking marijuana a normal, everyday activity for Canadians and he wants to make marijuana available in storefront dispensaries and corner stores just like alcohol and cigarettes. This is simply wrong, and puts the health and safety of our children and communities at risk.”
- October 15, 2015, Global News. “This is not like smoking cigarettes. This is also the type of drug that is mind-altering and does have an impact on cognitive ability.”
- October 16, 2015, Twitter. “I am completely opposed to the legalization of marijuana.”
Not Alone in Change of HeartA year ago, Fantino told the world he was completely opposed to legalising cannabis through Twitter. Yet, here he, is leading a new business, sprouting the virtues of cannabis. And, he is not alone in his change of heart. Quite an impressive line-up of former high-profile people previously against cannabis join Fantino:
- Former second in command of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Raf Souccar as president and chief executive officer.
- Toronto’s former fire chief William Stewart is a director.
- Former MP and minister of state Dr. Gary Goodyear is COO and vice-president of research
Ironic Canadian Cannabis LawsIt is a little ironic to see so many with such dramatic changes of attitude. Can it all be about money? With recreational cannabis due for legalisation in 2018, people are cashing in.
From Busting Drug Users to Legal Cannabis SuppliersFor 20 years, Canadians had access to medical cannabis, though under strict conditions. New legislation will change this. Now there is a new industry poised to take off, that positions Canada as world leaders.
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