Pubdate: Tue, 21 Oct 2014
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Giuseppe Valiante
Page: 20


Party may be consider legalization

OTTAWA - Decriminalize it, study it and then maybe legalize it, the
NDP says of marijuana.

That's the party's policy, which it will make official this week. An
NDP government would decriminalize the drug immediately and study the
health and societal side-effects, QMI Agency has learned.

The plan contrasts with that of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who said
he wants to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

The NDP's official policy will be published in a supplemental document
alongside a Commons health committee report, which is scheduled to be
tabled in the House Tuesday or Wednesday.

Conservatives have a majority on the health committee and its hearings
into marijuana were called "Marijuana's Health Risks and Harms," a
title that could only produce biased recommendations, NDP health
critic Libby Davies said back in June.

An NDP source said the committee's report is biased, doesn't reflect
the testimony of the witnesses and its recommendations are a
"Conservative pipe dream."

The NDP's minority report calls for a parliamentary study into a
possible regulatory framework that would consider community health and
safety. "We're taking the non-sexy position," an NDP source said.
"We're saying let's hear from the experts and then take a decision."

The Conservatives previously suggested they could support
decriminalizing pot, but they're still studying the issue.

Trudeau's spokesman, Kate Purchase, said Monday that experts say
decriminalization is a "half measure."
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