A former police chief enters the cannabis market after years of being publicly against the legalization of marijuana. The former police chief of Toronto, Julian Fantino, who once compared legalizing weed to legalizing murder, is opening a medical marijuana business. Cannabis activists are furious at the hypocrisy of certain former politicians and police officers who actively opposed legalization and are now embracing its profitability.
Former Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino
I am completely opposed to the legalization of marijuana http://t.co/6xjeipzErR
— Julian Fantino (@JulianFantino) October 17, 2015
Fantino was recently put in the hot seat during an interview at Global News.
He was forced to explain his shift in perspective over the last few months. The former police chief claims that his attitude changed with the change in Canadian laws. As an officer and law-abiding citizen, he was not open to the use, cultivation or distribution of cannabis. In fact, Fantino voted for mandatory minimums for people growing six plants.
The former police chief once told the Toronto Sun, “I guess we can legalize murder too, and then we won’t have a murder case. We can’t go that way.”
Critics Point Out Hypocrisy
A former police chief enters the cannabis market—but not without some backlash.
Critics believe the only thing that has changed for Fantino is the huge opportunity for profit. In fact, pot activist Jodie Emery shared her strong feelings about Julian Fantino’s new business to Global Toronto.
She believes many police officers and politicians are “cashing in” on the cannabis industry while allowing “the government to shut down their competition.”
Jodie said they aren’t telling other officers to stop arresting people for marijuana, and they don’t apologize to the people they’ve arrested, illustrating a lack of remorse.
When asked if he was in favor of cannabis-related charges being dropped, Fantino refused to even comment. He emphasized the fact that his views were in line with current laws and that it would be up to the government to decide whether charges should be dropped.
When asked to compare his business to other people distributing pot, Fantino responded, “we’re not in the pot business.”
Instead, he called his company a family “medical delivery system business.”
Fantino said his network is attempting to help those suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, sleep deprivation and more. He also mentioned that his network of medical people is prescribing cannabis as an alternative to opiates.
The talking points Fantino uses, like providing an alternative to opiates, are the same ones advocates have been using for years. Judging by the above tweet from less than two years ago, it seems like this tactic only became apparent to him after he saw the potential for profit.
Jodie Emery says that it’s one thing to be an officer and uphold the law, but Fantino and others like him were firmly and publicly against legalization. That is until they began their own legal marijuana businesses.
Final Hit: Former Police Chief Enters The Cannabis Market
The same people that were happy to put people behind bars over cannabis are now on board with legalization. Most likely because they can profit legally while the competition remains behind bars.