Toronto – The President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling on the province to embrace public retailing of cannabis and create a new “Liquor and Cannabis Control Board of Ontario,” or LCCBO.
“When the LCBO was created, it was a revolutionary innovation designed to regulate the legal consumption of a problematic substance called alcohol,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today. “Now, 90 years later, we need a model to regulate, and hopefully limit, the legal consumption of a problematic substance called cannabis.
“From a public health perspective, there is no doubt that a public model is the best model for selling cannabis,” he said. “I intend to campaign hard for a Liquor and Cannabis Control Board of Ontario.”
Thomas will officially launch the LCCBO campaign this weekend during a panel discussion at the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.
While many Ontarians regularly consume cannabis in some form, its side effects can be serious, Thomas noted, from impaired driving to lower educational attainment.
“Legalizing cannabis cannot be about encouraging its use,” he said. “I agree with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health that a public retail system is the best way to neutralize the negative effects of cannabis consumption. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
OPSEU has produced an LCCBO logo to spark conversation about public cannabis retailing. Thomas says the logo will soon be “popping up like a weed” all over the province.
“With its recent Cannabis Act, the federal government has given full responsibility for regulating the sale of cannabis to the provinces,” he said. “I’m calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to make a commitment to public retailing, which she has leaned towards at times in the past, and start putting plans in place for the LCCBO.”
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931