‘Prince of Pot’ Prepared to Support Ford if He Privatizes Pot in Ontario

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‘Prince of Pot’ prepared to support Ford if he privatizes pot in Ontario By Kyle Duggan. Cannabis activist Marc Emery hands over a bag of marijuana at Cannabis Culture in Montreal, Friday, December 16, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

High-profile pot activist Marc Emery says that if Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford is ready to privatize the province’s soon-to-be-legal recreational pot market, he’ll line up behind him and try to help the PCs win the upcoming Ontario election.

“I would love to give him money. I would run as a candidate. I would support him, endorse him, all those things – if he abandoned the idea of government retail shops,” he told iPolitics.

“To me, that’s the offensive step in the door that can’t be undone. The idea of government directly marketing to people after putting all their competition in jail, arresting them. It’s just too repugnant for me to ever accept.”

Emery said the degree of support would depend on how free market the plan is, he said, but Ford is so far “talking the right politics.”

The Ontario Liberals plan to only allow cannabis sales through the government’s Ontario Cannabis Store, managed by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, a crown corporation that sells alcohol in the province.

“Once those government stores are open … it’s going to be hard to repeal them, or repeal the LCBO’s control over the cannabis industry in Ontario,” Emery said. “It’ll be hard to undo.”

Ford hinted in an interview Tuesday that he might be open to allowing private pot shops in Ontario after the federal Liberals legalize recreational cannabis consumption this summer.

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