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Canada’s Liberals Sweep To Victory With A Marijuana Legalization Platform

Justin Trudeau canada liberal party marijuana cannabis

(image via wikipedia)

By Phillip Smith

Led by Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Liberal Party swept to a strong victory in Monday’s elections.

While results were still being tallied Monday night, it looks as if the party has won enough seats to form a majority government by itself. At press time, the Liberals had won 156 six seats in the lower house of parliament and were leading in 34 more. They only need 170 seats to form a majority in the 338-seat lower chamber.

The Liberal platform included, among other things, marijuana legalization:

“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” the platform states. Marijuana prohibition doesn’t prevent youth use, causes socially disruptive and expensive arrests, and supports organized crime, the statement adds. “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.”

But don’t expect it to happen overnight. The Liberals said they would create a task force with input from experts in public health, substance use, and law enforcement to design a new system of taxed and regulated marijuana sales. Once the task force has done its work, a bill will have to be crafted and then passed in Ottawa.

While marijuana was not the issue in the campaign, it was an issue. The Conservatives, who have resisted liberalizing drug laws throughout their nine-year run in power, attempted drug war-style scare ads, and outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper said marijuana was “infinitely worse than tobacco.”

But the Tories’ anti-pot stance didn’t fare too well in a country that is ready to leave marijuana prohibition behind. In a CBC Vote Compass poll last month, 56% of respondents wanted legalization, another 30% wanted decriminalization, and only 14% wanted the prohibitionist status quo.

Now, the voters should be about to get their wish.

Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority reacted from south of the border:

“While US states led the way by becoming the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2012, it looks like Canada could soon leapfrog ahead of us and become the first country in North America to legalize cannabis nationwide,” he said. “If that happens, it’s not only good news for Canadians who will be able to purchase marijuana from legal and regulated storefronts instead of being treated like criminals. It’s also likely to give reform efforts in the US a bit of a boost — not that we really needed it, but a little friendly competition is always a good motivator.”

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Johnny Green


  1. That slogan is a political one, to assuage the fear of people who aren’t experienced with marijuana (most people). – Even so, that will be FAR better than the current war on marijuana consumers.

    Marijuana reform is a process – not an event. This
    takes us 90 percent down the road to the ideal marijuana policy, which we WILL end up at.

    You don’t achieve a journey by dreaming about it, or wishing it were so. You’ve got to take the steps to get there.

  2. We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access

    Most people stop reading at legalize.

    No more taxed, regulated or restricted than tomatoes. Otherwise police will be raiding hemp farms.

  3. Right. I wouldn’t count too much on the Mexico supreme court, though. There are very few places left in Mexico where the fix isn’t in.

  4. saynotohypocrisy on

    We need the boost, and it’s a lot more than a bit of a boost. My sentiments exactly. More people live in Canada than in all the states that have legalized combined. This only ups the stakes in Ohio in 2 weeks. A victory in Ohio, and a favorable court decision in Mexico, I think I could deal with that.

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  6. >>>It’s also likely to give reform efforts in the US a bit of a boost — not that we really needed it,”

    We need it. It’s easy for us who fight for reform to get over-confident. But we still have 46 states to go, and a lot can happen. Another 9/11 incident could knock it all off the rails.

    Yes, this is a huge boost to marijuana reform everywhere! – Canada has traditionally been enlightened about marijuana, except for these last strange, ten years of the conservative government.

    Marijuana reform owes much to Canada, and Marc Emery and his collaborators in particular. Emery funded many U.S. reform groups in the 1990s and sent out the marijuana reform message brilliantly to the world with his ground-breaking Internet site, Pot TV.

    Young, good-looking Trudeau is about to become the rock-star of North American politics. – Things are getting very interesting!

  7. Good on ya Canadians. Show the way. Help pull the US governments foot out of the ass of the people of the United States. Your example will give heart to those of us being held down by Big Government, Big Tobacco, Big Booze, Big Pharma and so on.

  8. Anything that prevent the individual from becoming a criminal over the use of a plant and those can get their “meds”.. I’m for it! Right on Canada!

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