“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?” — MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky
Winnipeg (1 Aug. 2017) — The Government of Manitoba has announced that it has issued an expression of interest (EOI) to “determine options and possible participants” in the new cannabis industry. The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) thinks that this expression of interest should concern all Manitobans because it strongly suggests the likelihood of private distribution and sale of marijuana.
Public model for marijuana sales better for public health
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?”
Manitobans support public sales model
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.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE