July 20, 2024
Why the Liberals can't get any political buzz out of legal weed
Legalization has brought jobs by the hundred to places that desperately need them. Yet many of those ridings are poised to vote Conservative.
Legalization has brought jobs by the hundred to places that desperately need them. Yet many of those ridings are poised to vote Conservative.

In 2018, the veteran Conservative MP Scott Reid was the only Tory who voted in favor of the Liberal government’s policy to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. After nearly two years, he has no regrets.

“The marijuana industry is currently the largest single private-sector employer in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston,” Reid says of his riding in eastern Ontario. “It did not make sense when alcohol was prohibited. It does not make sense for marijuana.”

A vivid illustration of what the business has done for Reid’s riding can be seen in the abandoned Hershey’s chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, which now is taken over by Canopy Growth and transformed to a sprawling marijuana grow-op and production facility. The company employs 1,300 people in the former manufacturing town about an hour’s drive southwest of Ottawa; it’s now the largest pot company in the world, with a market value of more than $11 billion.

In short, the Liberal government’s decision to push forward with legalization has proved a lifeline to the Smiths Falls, filling a void as manufacturers scaled back their workforces or picked up and left town. But if you thought the Liberals were about to reap votes in the region for their efforts, you’d be wrong. Poll averaging provided to Maclean’s by 338Canada.com suggests the riding is a virtual lock for Reid and the Conservatives, with just seven weeks to go before the election.

It’s a peculiar irony playing out across the country.

[…]

See Also:

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(2) Billboard company ‘appalled’ no one taking ownership of Bernier ads

(3) For a moment, I dared hope our climate policy debate would be less stupid

(4) Anti-Trudeau billboards land in Ontario

(5) Of course Liberals will increase the carbon tax if re-elected

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