"Can't wait to vote against Justin Trudeau. Did you know he wants to legalize pot?"
"Pot is nothing compared to some of the other stuff out there," says Mrs. Pops.
"There's a drug cartel in Port that's pedaling way more dangerous stuff than pot."
"Where have you been?"
"In Canada this drug causes more than 6,000 deaths a year. Eight per cent of all
deaths of folks under seventy. We are talking car crashes, suicides, murders, even
"And they sell it in Port?"
"Everyday you see Portsiders go in and out of this ugly crack-house type building."
"I would be ashamed to be seen going in and out of a drug den!"
"Get this. The stuff is trucked in. In broad daylight!"
"Then they sell it to your favorite restaurant. Or deliver it straight to your house
for a small fee." Where have I been?
"This particular drug cartel makes the most money of any business in Port."
"More than Mackies?"
"Does Mackies make a six billion a year profit, nationwide?"
"I think so."
"This drug is highly addictive."
"More addictive than Mackies' special sauce?"
"Absolutely! Eighty per cent of us are hooked on it. Even the folks who say "no"
to drugs say "yes" to this one!"
"You would think the Community Police would be doing something!"
"They're pretty busy setting up their Easter Egg Hunt."
"Too bad, since they have wiped out all other crime in Port. Wait until these drug
dealers have to face those Community Police bad asses!"
"Don't count on it. These cartels pay big bucks for protection."
"So who protects them, the Mafia?"
"Are you kidding? These guys get protection from the Government of Canada!"
"No wonder the cops' hands are tied!"
"In return this cartels pays the government of Ontario two billion a year out of
"I've never heard of this!"
"And how long have you lived in Ontario?"
"So our politicians are hooked on this drug? That would explain so much."
"Hooked on the revenue from it."
"Do you think Justin Trudeau is a user?
"I'm sure he is."
"Well that would explain his crazy pot ideas. I can't imagine Stephen Harper is."
"He says "No", but they have photos."
"Well, that explains it. The reason the Government of Canada doesn't care about
this is because the cartels are obviously using these photos to blackmail our Prime
Minister. That's despicable!"
"What's despicable is that governments are ignoring the $14 billion health and policing
cost of this drug in favor of taking payoffs from these cartels. It's like the casino
gambling thing. How many families have been ruined by that?"
"You just have to know your limit and play within it."
"Yeah, right. Good luck with that. Where are you going?
"I'm a little shook up by all this drug stuff, OK? Just a tiny bit depressed."
"Not your fault. I think we should stay home tonight just the two of us. Cheer ourselves
"Sounds interesting. So why are you leaving?"
"Just going to the Liquor Store for a bottle of wine is all. Be right back."
"Look, I'm talking about alcohol."
"Let's stay on topic and talk about drugs! Especially this scary drug that is being
pedaled about openly in Port. The one you were telling me about before. When I get
back we need to discuss what we should do to protect our neighborhood. Over a couple
drinks. O.K?" Then she gives me the look, like I'm some kind of dummy.
Editor's Note: Pops McKernan is the byline of writer Patrick Harding, author of Splendiferous.