Will Canada soon legalize recreational marijuana?

The ignorance of the Canadian Prime Minister

Marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco and its use should be widely discouraged in Canada, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, says. The remarks came during a recent federal leaders’ debate, in which Harper clashed with Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over the issue of legalization. The Prime minister is vehemently opposed to the idea, saying that regulating its sale in the same way as cigarettes or alcohol would do nothing to keep it out of the hands of kids.

The Liberals support legalization;  Trudeau, the Liberal leader, argued during the debate that if marijuana were legal and regulated, young people would be less able to easily get the drug than they are currently. When asked how the Conservatives square that position with the fact medicinal marijuana is currently used by thousands of Canadians to treat a variety of causes, Ignorant Harper said there’s overwhelming evidence about the drug’s long-term effects. Trudeau went on to accuse the Prime Minister of implementing  anti-marijuana policies that allow the drug to fund “criminal organizations, street gangs and gun-runners.“It is our intention to stop Mr. Harper’s failed approach on marijuana,” Trudeau added.

Canadian propaganda

Last year, Health Canada kicked off an anti-marijuana ad campaign saying the drug was responsible for lower IQs, a statement derived from two separate studies whose conclusions have since been challenged and debunked. The Prime Minister also often links  marijuana use to increased risks of mental health issues, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, but medical research on that is divided as well. Harper likened what the government is trying to do with marijuana to its tobacco control strategy. “We’ve spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the use of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success,” he said. “Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage — marijuana is infinitely worse and is something we do not want to encourage.” The Canadian Cancer Society notes that while 85 per cent of lung cancers can be directly linked to smoking, evidence is still needed to know whether there’s a similar cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana, at this point it is believed that marijuana is not a risk for lung cancer and their is no evidence as of yet that it is a risk. The health minister said that she was skeptical that the government can keep marijuana out of the hands of children. “We know that our experience with alcohol says otherwise,“. She also repeated the  oft-used claim that should the Liberal plan succeed, marijuana will be available for sale in corner stores. However, Trudeau said he was not “comfortable” with the idea”. “At this point, I don’t think corner stores necessarily are rigorous enough at checking ID to make me comfortable with that as an option,” he said. The Liberals will legalize marijuana and an elected Liberal government would begin working to legalize and regulate marijuana “right away,” Justin Trudeau says. “The Liberal Party is committed to legalizing and regulating marijuana,” Trudeau said, The Liberal Party Leader declined to set a firm timeline for legalization, but vowed to make it an early priority if elected on Oct. 19. He said legalizing marijuana would fix a “failed system” and help “remove the criminal element” linked to the drug. Trudeau said legalization could happen anywhere from a month to “a year or two” into a Liberal government, but he would make sure the process gets underway shortly after taking power. Trudeau has voiced his support for relaxing marijuana laws in the past, but he has largely stayed away from addressing the issue during the election campaign.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has said, in the past, that he supports decriminalizing marijuana. However, he has not committed to legalizing it.

How Marijuana became illegal in Canada

Cannabis was added to the Confidential Restricted List in 1923 under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill after a vague reference to a “new drug” during a late night session of the House of Commons on April 23, 1923. Historians usually point to the 1922 publication of Emily Murphy’s “The Black Candle” as the inspiration for the addition. Murphy was a member of the “Women’s right to vote movement” and police magistrate (justice of the peace) who wrote a series of articles in Maclean’s magazine under the pen-name “Janey Canuck,” which formed the basis of her book. She uses numerous anecdotes culled mostly from anti-drug reformers and police to make her arguments, which make strong links between drugs and race and the threat this poses to white women. One  chapter is entitled “Marahuana – A New Menace”, and makes the claim that the only ways out of cannabis addiction are insanity, death, or abandonment.

Medical marijuana in Canada

Since July 2001, Cannabis is legal to possess, consume, or grow for medicinal purposes under certain conditions within the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations issued by Health Canada. Canada was the first country in the world to legalize medical marijuana. The cultivation of the hemp plant of the genus Cannabis is currently legal in Canada for seed, grain and fiber production only under licenses issued by Health Canada.

Regarding the use of weed recreationally, in a country where alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar, and even personal beliefs are enshrined in law… marijuana has no business being  outlawed. Trudeau is showing that he has a new Canadian vision for the 21st century. The old days of religious driven ethics and policies are dying out with the 65+ generation and its about time. It is time to legalize and regulate pot. It would generate tons of revenue, create numerous small businesses and jobs and significantly reduce costs to the public. One Canadian citizen says, “I hate feeling like a criminal, because I enjoy relaxing after a hard days work. I have never enjoyed drinking, I don’t smoke cigarettes. I should be able to have a “Pause, for the Cause” once in a while, in the privacy of my own home. But the government would rather lock me up instead”.

Public Opinion

Since 2003, public opinion polls have found most Canadians agree with decriminalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes., “The use of marijuana should be decriminalized”. A 2015 poll conducted by Forum Research showed that 68% of Canadians are in favor of relaxing cannabis regulations.

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