Public Health Model the Safest Road for Marijuana Sales
Jul 27, 2017
Today, the Government of Manitoba announced that it has issued an expression of interest (EOI) to “determine options and possible participants” in the new cannabis industry. This expression of interest should concern all Manitobans because it strongly suggests the likelihood of private distribution and sale of marijuana.
The MGEU has repeatedly advocated for a public model for sales and distribution because it's better for public health, as confirmed by organizations such as the Chief Medical Officers of Canada, MADD Canada, and researchers in the mental health and addictions communities.
“The government has been arguing of late that they do not have sufficient time to prepare for the legalization of marijuana,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “Why would we start from scratch like this when Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries already has the infrastructure, expertise and proven dedication to social responsibility as well as a track record of managing the sale of a controlled substance safely and responsibly?”
When asked recently in public opinion research, two-thirds of Manitobans said they wanted marijuana sold in stores owned and managed by government similar to Liquor Marts, rather than to have marijuana sold in private for-profit stores.
At a time when this government is cutting and privatizing front-line health services, they need to take any profits from marijuana sales and invest them in the front-line health care services that the Premier promised to protect in the provincial election campaign.
"There is a role for the private sector in the production of marijuana, but the sale and distribution should be public, accountable, and dedicated to safety," said Gawronsky.