Alleged former hash dealer Doug Ford, also known as the leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives, says he supports a free market for legal weed in the province.
Ford, who was minted leader of the PCs over the weekend, told CBC he’s open to a fair market for weed.
“I don't believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time. I believe in letting the market dictate,” he said on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning, adding he will consult with his caucus on the issue.
Kathleen Wynne’s government has announced a provincial monopoly for regulating and selling weed in the province, which will be operated by the LCBO.
The Liberals’ plan is to open 40 Ontario Cannabis Stores this summer, followed by 80 in 2019 and 150 by 2020. Many have pointed out that Toronto alone has at least 80 illegal pot shops right now. The system will also favour licensed producers, who will supply the legal cannabis, while likely cutting out people who have been a part of the underground weed industry for decades.
Ford was previously the subject of a 2013 Globe and Mail exposé in which the paper alleged he sold hash during the 1980s and that his brother Randy Ford was also involved in selling drugs.
The story alleged Ford supplied local Etobicoke dealers, who sold their product at “a hash drive-thru” at James Gardens. Ford has denied the allegations.
Ford’s other brother—Toronto’s former mayor Rob Ford—struggled publicly with substance abuse issues, and, after months of denying the existence of the infamous “crack tape” he admitted to smoking crack cocaine.
Somewhat ironically, Doug Ford said he thought Justin Trudeau was unfit to be prime minister because Trudeau had admitted to smoking weed.
“I know one thing, it wasn't Stephen Harper sitting around a table smoking a joint at a dinner party like Justin Trudeau was, so I find it pretty hypocritical,” he told CTV News at the time.
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