Police Chief Who Once Said Legalizing Pot is Like Legalizing Murder Launching Weed Related Company

Eight months before recreational marijuana is set to be legalized in Canada, two former high-ranking police officers have launched a new company that connects patients with medical pot. 

Former OPP commissioner, MP and federal Conservative cabinet minister Julian Fantino and former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar officially launched their new business on Tuesday. They welcomed  media to their first clinic, a storefront tucked into a strip mall in Vaughan.

Both men spent decades battling illegal drug use in their law enforcement careers, with Fantino going as far as equating legalizing marijuana to legalizing murder while serving as Toronto’s chief of police in 2004. 

The duo had a change of heart after being “persuaded by the science and by real life stories,” Souccar said.

Aleafia Total Health Network, as the business is called, will connect patients to the “most effective product” for them and will work with universities and producers to research medical applications of the drug, according to the website.

The key word there is connect. Aleafia, which already has hundreds of patients, according to a media spokesperson, will not actually have any marijuana on the company’s premises.

“The purpose of the clinic is to do the assessments,” and provide complementary treatments like physiotherapy, said Fantino on Tuesday. “We’re not in the marijuana business. We’re a health delivery system.”    

After being assessed, patients can go to “whatever licensed provider they choose” to buy weed, he said. 
Bad ‘optics’ for Souccar

Fantino, who took a notoriously hard line against marijuana legalization in his past roles, and Souccar, who served as member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s marijuana legalization task force, have faced some criticism for their new venture.  

British Columbia MP Don Davies, who serves as the federal NDP health critic, told CBC Toronto that Souccar’s new business created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“The optics of task force members, within a short period of time of their task force duties, going into that very business for personal profit… I think it’s problematic,” said Davies, arguing that there should be a required “cooling off” period after advising on policy in the future.

On Tuesday, Souccar said it was his time on the task force — and specifically hearing from patients who use marijuana as a treatment — that brought him around to medical marijuana.

“It was an opportunity I never had before, I was too busy enforcing the law. It brought about a huge change in me,” he said.

For the full story visit: http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/fantino-souccar-medical-marijuana-1.4401652

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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