Kash Heed says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is increasing profits of organized crime with his absurd marijuana policy

Kash Heed when he was solicitor general.
Official photo

BY RATTAN MALL

 

FORMER solicitor general Kash Heed on Wednesday lashed out at Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s marijuana policy, saying that he’s “increasing profits of organized crime with this approach.”

Vancouver last week became the first municipality in the country to regulate medicinal marijuana dispensaries, evoking a sharp rebuke from federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose. The Conservative Government says that such dispensaries are illegal and they expect the police to enforce the law.

Heed pointed out the large market for marijuana. He said: “When you consider that 60 per cent of all illicit drug profits worldwide come from marijuana, you can see the great demand for the product.”

Referring to how some states in the U.S. – Colorado, Washington, District of Columbia, Oregon and Alaska – were dealing with this challenge, Heed added: “We have to learn from those particular approaches and see what’s good for Canada and what’s going to work for Canada because prohibition of marijuana continues to be a failure.”

He said Canada has to replace the current policy with “a realistic, practical approach that does not put proceeds in the pocket of organized crime and does not make it accessible to our youth.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

However, Heed rejected what the City of Vancouver’s approach. He noted: “I am very critical of what is taking place in Vancouver with the dispensary model. I think the City Council has completely taken a backward approach because the way the dispensary model is set up, the people that are supplying the dispensaries are from the illicit market and the illicit market is controlled by organized crime.”

He added: “There’s no other way you can get marijuana into these dispensaries without it coming from the illicit market because if you look at the medicinal marijuana guidelines in Canada, the legal source – of which there are 25 companies operating in Canada – can only send it to the patient by secured courier directly to their doorstep, which is a realistic way of getting the product to them.  The dispensary model, in my opinion and my experience, will only benefit those involved in the illicit drug enterprise and, of course, organized crime.”

Heed reiterated: “The only way you can get marijuana to these dispensaries is from the illicit market. You cannot get it from a legal producer here in Canada.  The regulations that are put in place only allow one way of distributing that product, which is a good way: Once they have confirmed that a prescription is from a legitimate health practitioner, it goes by secured courier straight to your doorstep. What other better way is there to distribute the product?”

He added: “And again, they are ensuring that the health practitioner that prescribes it is a legitimate one. Right now you can go into any one of the 94 dispensaries in Vancouver and walk out with marijuana without a prescription. The majority of the people that are purchasing from these dispensaries are purchasing it for recreational use only, not for medicinal purposes.”

Heed bluntly pointed out: “This absurd policy in Vancouver … is actually going to create more violence. It is going to create more problems than fix them.”

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Heed is going off the gasket here and representing a false view of the situation.

    We the people in British Columbia in a majority, some slim some large see these people growing marijuana as our fellow citizens and the ability to grow and get that product through a retail storefront for medical use is better than saying look at these people, they have done things we considered bad then but not know so let us make sure they always suffer and never make a living. NO!

    We want a peaceful, unified society, not one driven apart with half-truths and a narrow point of view.

    Allow these so-called criminals to have a legit business. They have supplied what the people of British Columbia has wanted for decades at great personal expense and harm.

    If we can bring these people into the fold and make them part of our society then that is something we need to hold most proud – not mindless us vs them polemics from a former police officer who day in and day out mostly only saw the bad in life, not the good nor medium, not balance to his point of view simply as a function of his duties. So with respect to the good work he has done for the people of the communities he has policed I salute you Mr. Heed, but on this issue I take great umbrage at your gross mischaracterizations and your attempt to create violent divisions within our body politic.

    This is the safest medical substance known to humanity period in all history.

    Enough with the fear-mongering and on with the society building.

  2. I like Kash Heed but this is ridiculous. Maybe his vision is clouded because he’s working for Licensed Producers now and so sees the dispensaries as cutting into his bottom line.

    All other things being equal, it’s better for cannabis to be sold from a licensed storefront than for it to be sold on the street corner. Of course we need to regulate the whole industry, but we need to start somewhere, and the storefronts is a fine place to begin this process.

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