Quebec’s Health Minister Thinks There’s Fentanyl in Weed

What Did Lucie Charlebois Have to Say About Privatization? Quebec’s Health Minister Thinks There’s Fentanyl in Weed

“Those who sell on the illegal market care very little about the health of their consumers and about the quality of their product… There are even people who told me that they (illegal sellers) had already started to incorporate fentanyl into cannabis. It’s really disturbing. I think people want a crown corporation that does not rely on profit, which is why they asked us not to go private.”
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The Context Behind The Comments

Many people… even within my native land of Canada might be unfamiliar with Lucie Charlebois (Quebec’s Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, and Public Health). Quite frankly, her statement sounds like that of a 50 something soccer mom who is clearly out of touch with reality.To give a little background, the federal government under Justin Trudeau has legalized recreational weed which will take place in October 2018. What will legalization in the great white north look like? The answer is greatly varied. In an exercise in provincial (our equivalent of states) rights, Canadian provinces will be allowed to decide for themselves exactly how cannabis will be distributed.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set legalization for October 2018 (image via Reuters)

The rest of the world should watch and take careful notes. A scientific, longitudinal study is unfolding in front of their eyes. Equipped with 13 lab rats (ten provinces and three territories) each exhibiting the costs and benefits of different kinds of Cannabis economies.Policymakers can decide based on the data which of these would work best for their society, and make modifications accordingly.

Soccer Mom Holding Ball
What Ms Charlebois sounded like in her statements about weed

Some like Ontario have opted for privatization. Quebec however (Canada’s Francophone province) has opted for some bizarre legislative red tape surrounding legalization. Within the year only 15 dispensaries will be set up in a province with 8.5 million people. Clearly, this will not be able to supply the province’s demand for Cannabis… Black market drug dealers are undoubtedly licking their lips.The above statement was defending the government’s position not to privatize.

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So Is There Fentanyl in Weed?

Before I attack her dubious fentanyl claim, let’s look at Lucie’s conflation of private sales and the black market.Remember your last visit to the grocery store? Let’s say you popped into Sobey’s. As you perused the poultry section you noticed that the black market chicken salesmen had contaminated your chicken breasts. Those sons of bitches sold you a soggy hen, now you’ve got salmonella. If this doesn’t sound familiar its because private enterprise and the black market are in fact two different things

A Grocer Stands Next to Produce
Ever hear a news story about seedy produce dealer selling people soggy black market chickens? I didn’t think so (image via Kudrinko’s)

Even within the private enterprise, the government is capable of setting regulatory standards that are enforced by law. If not met, the culprits can face stiff penalties of jail time, forced closure, hefty fines and the ire of the buying public. I can’t believe I’m actually explaining this…

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Regulatory bodies such as the FDA are the reason contaminated food is not a significant problem in North America. As a result, cost-cutting alcohol salesmen are not able to dilute their product with Windex or fentanyl. One can only assume private weed enterprise would function similarly under the watchful eye of government.There is nothing wrong with wanting to distribute Cannabis through the government. In fact, there are plenty of arguments to support this position. However, that’s not to say that the private model doesn’t come without its benefits as well.

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philipott debunks the claim that Quebec's Health Minister Thinks There's Fentanyl in Weed
Canadian Health Minister Jane Philipott debunks the weed laced with fentanyl myth (image via Lift News)

How Ms. Charlebois couldn’t draw this conclusion is frankly baffling. I trust that the public is intelligent enough not to allow it to dilute their view of private cannabis enterprise. However, her second statement regarding fentanyl is one that is as dangerous as it is false.It, therefore, merits a dissection.Quite simply this is a false claim which has been debunked. The risk of such a claim lies in its ability to cause a public health scare where there is none. Let’s look at a few of the implications if this statement was to be taken at face value.Hospital staff and first responders would have a frenzy every time someone called in because they got too high and thought they were going to die from lace weed. An immense amount of fear might be inspired in police officers who feel they might be risking their lives when dealing with simple calls for weed. Statements regarding fentanyl are not to be taken lightly.

By: Stefan Hosko
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