On Monday, our friends to the north elected Justin Trudeau as their new Prime Minister. Trudeau, who is the head of Canada’s Liberal Party, spoke openly about several topics, but the issue of marijuana legalization was the biggest hit.
He said, “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.” His stance on marijuana is aligned with Canada as a whole, as only 14% of citizens support marijuana prohibition.
Trudeau’s win ends an almost decade long era of Conservative rule in Canada, which openly stated that marijuana was “infinitely worse than tobacco,” and implemented harsh punishments for those who were convicted of marijuana-related offenses.
Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority said, “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.”
Canada’s move toward full legalization only means good things on the horizon for U.S. and international marijuana policy, as they could be the first North American country to really open the floodgates on a recreational standpoint. Either way, watch out maple syrup and Celine Dion, because legal weed could very quickly become the best thing to come out of Canada, eh?