Pubdate: Thu, 21 Aug 2014
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Page: 6
Copyright: 2014 Sun Media
Author: Jessica Hume


NDP Leader Says It Doesn't Make Sense To Criminalize Marijuana

OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said he believes the decision to
smoke weed is a personal one and not something with which the Criminal
Code should concern itself.

Officially, the NDP's position is in favour of decriminalization,
though Mulcair says more stakeholder consultation is needed to
understand the implications of changing marijuana laws.

Speaking at the Canadian Medical Association's general meeting
Wednesday, Mulcair said it doesn't make sense to criminalize weed smokers.

"The NDP has been saying for 40 years that it makes no sense for
someone to have a criminal record for possession or personal use," he

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has made it clear he intends to legalize
marijuana if elected to power. But the party has yet to release
details on how that would work.

The Tories have launched an aggressive anti-marijuana campaign, trying
to sell Canadians on the idea that Trudeau's policy would all but put
the drug directly in the hands of Canadian youth.

With its principle priority on government-provided social programs,
the idea of legalizing marijuana so it can be regulated and taxed,
bringing in revenue for social programs, would make some sense as part
of an NDP platform.

Mulcair said, in his day, smoking marijuana was "part of the

Though it's become a much stronger drug over the years. Back then it
was barely "stronger than oregano," he said.

The idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug" has been long debunked,
Mulcair said.  
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