Legalization is quickly becoming a major point of contention in Canada’s political world. With the Conservatives arguing for increased mandatory minimums and spending and the Liberals arguing for legalization, future regulation and taxation of marijuana, it seems that the tables are set for the “weed wars” of Canada to occur. But who will come out on top?
The Conservative Position: No Thank You
The Conservatives have made it very clear that legalization and decriminalization are not and will not ever be part of their agenda. In the words of Prime Minister Harper, “No, it will not happen under our government. We’re very concerned about the spread of drugs in the country and the damage it’s doing.”
Another position of the Conservative’s Drug platform is that of enforcement and tougher sentencing. Under the Omnibus Crime Bill, a bill passed by the senate last June, more drug charges have mandatory minimums attached to them such as the growing and trafficking of marijuana.
Liberals Position: Let’s just legalize it.
Being the only political party who is currently advocating the full legalization of marijuana, the Liberal’s platform as stated by Justin Trudeau is to “Regulate and tax it. It’s one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids because the current war on drugs, the current model is not working. We have to use evidence and science to make sure we’re moving forward on that.”
The Liberal party is also calling for an end to the wasteful spending on drug enforcment, claiming that the Canadian government has wasted billions of dollars on a drug war that simply does not work.
NDP Position: It’s just complicated…
The NDP have made it very clear that there is a big difference between decriminalization and legalization. The party’s official platform is solely on decriminalization and it would appear that this will not change anytime soon. Megan Leslie, leader of the NDP stated that “Canada would have to consider what impact legalization would have in terms of health, our relationship with the United States, and the economy — especially if it creates tensions with U.S. officials on border security issues”.
Bloc Quebecois: Décriminalisation de la marijuana
The Bloc has taken a very similar stance as the NDP on marijuana calling for the decriminalization of marijuana. The party itself is hesitant to fully embrace legalization , a point made clear by a quote issued from the Bloc “The Bloc fears that the pure and simple legalization of the marijuana sends a message which standardizes the consumption of the marijuana.
Green Party: Ahead of the trend
The Green party has openly supported the legalization of marijuana for years. Their platform, according to the Party’s site is that the “Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, more than a criminal offence”.
Despite all of the conflicting views in regards to legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, one thing is clear: unless the Conservative government wins the 2015 election, we will see some serious changes to Canada’s current marihuana legislation.