One of Canada’s most prominent marijuana activists has taken aim at former police officers who have entered the country’s fledgling cannabis industry, saying it was “hard to stomach” that those who spent years sending people to jail for pot offences are now poised to profit as the country moves towards legalisation.
“It’s a mix of hypocrisy and pure profiteering,” Jodie Emery told the Guardian. “They made a living off tax dollars for trying to keep people out of the cannabis business and now they’re going to position themselves to cash in.”
Her remarks come as legislation aimed at legalising recreational marijuana by 1 July 2018 was passed in the House of Commons. The bill will now head to the Senate, paving the way for Canada to become the first country in the G7 to fully legalise the drug.
Former public servants, politicians and law enforcement officers have gravitated towards the sector, which analysts say could eventually be worth somewhere between C$5bn and C$10bn annually.
The most controversial of these would-be entrepreneurs is Julian Fantino, a former Toronto police chief who once likened the decriminalisation of marijuanato legalising murder and, just two years ago, declared his complete opposition to legalisation.