Marijuana

Incoming Canadian Government Plans to Legalize Marijuana

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the next prime minister, promises to "get started on that right away."

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Flickr / Alex Guibord

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, Canada's next prime minister, ran on a promise to legalize marijuana. The Liberal platform includes this plank (italics added):

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.

"While U.S. states led the way by becoming the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2012," says Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell, "it looks like Canada could soon leapfrog ahead of us and become the first country in North America to legalize cannabis nationwide." Canada already allows medical use of marijuana, and last June the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that qualifying patients have a right to obtain not just dried buds but any form of cannabis they find useful. Now the Liberals intend to eliminate penalties for marijuana use and establish something like a Colorado-style system for licensing and regulating marijuana businesses serving the recreational market. "We're going to get started on that right away," Trudeau told CTV last month. 

Legalization is also supported by the New Democratic Party, which currently controls the second largest bloc in Parliament but fell to third place in yesterday's elections, as well as the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Marijuana Party. Bloc Québécois supports decriminalization of possession for personal use.

By contrast, the current prime minister, Tory Stephen Harper, is an unreconstructed drug warrior who recently called marijuana "infinitely worse" than tobacco, although he had trouble backing up that claim. Harper tried to use Trudeau's support for legalization against him, apparently with little success. The Liberals won 184 seats in the 338-member House of Commons (up from 34), compared to the Conservatives' 99 (down from 159). A recent CBC survey found that 56 percent of Canadians favor legalizing marijuana, while another 30 percent would eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana use. Although only 38 percent of Conservatives supported legalization, another 37 percent favored decriminalization, and just 26 percent wanted to maintain criminal penalties for users. 

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  1. 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.

    To be perfectly frank, this hardly strikes me as being much better, even marginally so.

    1. Should work out about as well as selling loosies in downtown NYC

    2. It strikes me as being much better if enacted. Marijuana will be sold to adults generally w/o either the buyer or the seller’s committing any crime or violation. How is that not much better than the status quo?

  2. We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.

    One of those things sounds good, one sounds shitty, and one is laughable. Is that about the normal ratio for this Canadian pinko idiot?

    1. Seems he talks the same ratio as his old man.

    2. Yes.

      This pinko idiot is that vapid.

      1. Howdy Rufus, been awhile.

  3. There was already an entire thread about Canada last night, and it was as weird and disgusting as you would expect.

    1. Yeah, what happened?

      I wake up and find out that Canada went Team Edward for prime minister.

      Whatevs.

  4. Right, is this going to be on the level of alcohol, or something much stricter?

    1. It is very easy to restrict access to alcohol.

  5. I mean, assuming Canada is similar to the United States it is probably extremely easy to buy pot most places in the country.

    But now you’re going to have to get it from government-sanctioned sources that are going to be heavily taxed, regulated and policed.

    We all know how the Mob government feels about competition so I imagine they’ll still be cracking down on illicit drug dealers who aren’t giving the state its cut.

    1. Weed is very easy to get in Canada, and I wouldn’t believe for a second that the black market is going to go away. The government already proved that it can’t do medical marijuana properly, so I don’t think people will line up to buy the overpriced and shitty weed that will no doubt come down the pipe.

      1. Removing criminal penalties for it is a step in the right direction. But “more severe” (!) penalties for people operating “outside of the new regulatory framework” puts us back to square one.

        If they fuck this up, it will be used as an example to discredit legalization elsewhere.

        1. How does it put anyone back to sq. 1? Worst case is, they’ll still operate legally as they do now. Best case is it won’t pay to operate illegally, because legal will be good. Avg. case would be somewhere in between. If people have the choice of legal or illegal, how is that not an advance?

  6. Gosh Darnitt Mr Sullum,

    “While only 38 percent of Conservatives supported legalization, another 37 percent favored legalization, ”

    You didn’t even allow a minute to do the edit to remove my pedant. I am left cold and pedantless.

  7. One of the first upskirt photos I remember seeing was of Maggie.

  8. He’s dreamy!

  9. American Thinker and ZeroHedge got some rants about Trudeau.

  10. Man, these fuckers just can’t even imagine just… letting something be, and exist unregulated.

    1. Vy. hard to imagine social norms changing so quickly as to go directly from prohibited to unregulated, for anything.

      1. Social norms have been changing slowly since the 90s, the way I see it. And as usual, the government is slow to catch up, thanks to the usual suspects (elderly-majority voting populace, unions/lobbyists/other special interests that profit from the status quo).

  11. It is so good to see Canada again taking the lead in defense of individual rights. Just as refreshing is seeing the word “liberal” used with its proper literate meaning, and not an an “n-word” euphemism by people too cowardly to come out and say socialist or looter. A Canadian Liberal more closely resembles a U.S. Libertarian than a Soviet Socialist or German National Socialist. Let’s hope Canada’s Liberals do not lose any votes on account of another influx of American refugees fleeing fanatical prohibition laws.

    1. What’s NOT fanatically prohibitive about these draconian restrictions on the cultivation and use of a natural plant?

      This Trudeau punk’s a fascist.

  12. “Let’s hope Canada’s Liberals do not lose any votes on account of another influx of American refugees fleeing fanatical prohibition laws.”

    Seems those Americans fleeing fanatical prohibition laws would support a party supports ending prohibition. So how could they lose votes?

  13. “While U.S. states led the way by becoming the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2012” Holland did that a long time ago. We are behind the curve.

  14. Laws controlling the cultivation and consumption of a plant that grows naturally almost anywhere prove yet again that the greatest pure evil on earth is government.

  15. I mean this is great and all, but premium tobacco eliquid is still illegal? That doesn’t make sense.

  16. This is, of course, very good news. – Let’s just hope the U.S. isn’t doing like they have done in the past with Canada’s intentions to reform marijuana law. They likely are, piling all the pressure they can on Trudeau to renege on his promise to legalize marijuana. – The big propaganda push in the media yesterday seems like it may be a part of that campaign.

    Kudos to Jacob Sullum for being one of the few critical thinkers to see through that onslaught and tear it to pieces. – 99 percent of the media just regurgitated it as ordered.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja…..buse-it/2/

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