Canada’s federal election will take place on October 19th. There will be a lot at stake, as there usually is during a federal election. But there will especially be a lot at stake when it comes to the future of marijuana reform in Canada. If Conservative Party candidate Stephen Harper is elected, he will surely do everything that he can to thwart reform efforts. He recently stated that marijuana is ‘infinitely worse’ than tobacco, which obviously flies in the face of scientific research. If Liberal Party candidate Justin Trudeau is elected, he claims that his party will get started on marijuana reform ‘right away.’
So what would the Liberal Party effort look like? Below is a new policy position that was released by the Liberal Party recently that outlines their vision:
We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.
Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.
To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.
We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.
We will create a federal/provincial/territorial task force, and with input from experts in public health, substance abuse, and law enforcement, will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied.
What do TWB readers think? Do you plan on voting for Justin Trudeau? If so, why? If not, why?