The Hells Angels chapter of the province of Quebec has filed a lawsuit against the attorney general of Quebec, seeking more than $2 billion in potential loss of revenue that legalization of marijuana will cost the biker organization.
The illegal production and consumption of non-medical cannabis was worth about $400 million last year in the province of Quebec alone, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of the underground economy.
“We estimate that Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s radical action of legalizing marijuana could cost my client’s organization a potential loss of $2 billion dollars in the next decade,” acknowledged Hells Angels’ lawyer, Brandon Tuggs.
“From growing operations to trimming, packaging, transportation, and selling, this new legislation will threaten the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers” he warns.
“Many members of our organization fear they will lose their way of life if legalization is sustained,” said Quebec Hells Angels’ spokesman, Jean-Roch Fournier.
“I’ve been selling weed since I’m 12 years old” admits Gino Ouellet, 56, a Hells Angels member for the past 36 years.
“Do you think I’m going to want to go work at Walmart or McDonald’s at minimal wage? I don’t think so” he told reporters.
“Who’s going to want to give me a job? I’ve got tattoos all over my body and all over my face” asks another HA member, Gaetan ‘Lucky 3’ Leclerc, condemned in 1977 for triple homicide.
“It’s not the job of the federal government to regulate illegal drugs, they should take care of their own business and leave that to us” he argues.
Canada is the first country among developed nations to legalize marijuana.
In the United States, a number of states have currently legalized or decriminalized marijuana, but it is still illegal at the federal level.