Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trudeau Brings Liberals Up To Speed

If Justin Trudeau becomes Liberal leader, the party will finally return to sensibility on marijuana.  Further, Liberals will actually offer a truly progressive vision of ultimate legalization, never mind decriminalization.  Fact is, the Canadian public is way ahead of the politicians on marijuana, so both on liberal principles AND electoral upside, Trudeau makes complete sense:
“I think we have to recognize first and foremost that the war on drugs, as it exists right now, doesn’t work,” said Trudeau, adding that the current system puts criminal records on Canadians who consume the drug, while also allowing criminal organizations to profit from the prohibition.
“So I am a huge supporter of decriminalization.”
However, Trudeau added that the next step to look at would be legalization. This would take marijuana profits away from criminal organizations and allow the government to tax and regulate the drug.

Trudeau added that regulating the drug would mean keeping it away from children, since individuals would have to demonstrate ID before purchasing marijuana.

“(Because) you guys aren’t allowed to buy cigarettes or booze either. Because it’s not good for you,” he added.

The last national poll on marijuana found two thirds of Canadians support decriminalization of marijuana, highlighting that we are ready for the political conversation.  As well, when you consider where the Liberals need to "grow" to become relevant again, the fact that 75% of British Columbians support outright legalization, the same direction alluded to by Trudeau, you have a political home run.  Cynics will scoff that people won't vote based on marijuana, and while that may be true, a progressive stance does help give the Liberal Party shape, identity, not to mention ink.  Factor in a NDP lead Mulcair and their tentative position, I see opportunity, beyond the simple practicalities.

The public is ready, there is an economic/tax argument to be made, Trudeau's stance brings the Liberals up to speed.  With recent votes in the United States, there is the additional legitimacy that counters the usual fears of American reprisals.  It is nice to see Trudeau not only supporting decriminalization, but go further and make the argument that outright legalization is the practical end game.


CuJoYYC said...

"… allow the government to tax and regulate the drug."

My thoughts exactly since I was a young Liberal in the early 80s. Oddly enough, I barely tried it but thought it should be treated like alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Yes finally when Mr Justin Trudeau is PM of Canada we will be free form this regime that has suppressed the needy, elderly and those who are disadvantaged by race. Canada is an open and giving country with lots of space and wealth to care for all the worlds needy. Under a strong liberal government no Canadian will ever be forced to work and we can open our doors to those who want to come here and have a better life.
And those who suffer medical pain will finally find peace and comfort.

Koby said...

I see Kinsella came out against marijuana legalization on the grounds that it will anger the Yanks. In light of what happened in Washington State and Colorado, it is weird that he dusted off an argument from 2004 and pretends that nothing has changed Stateside. That said, irrespective of what is happening in the US, this is a remarkably cynical argument. I mean should we really be enforcing a set of laws that no one believes in for fear of angering the US? Support for prohibition has all but collapsed in BC. As you noted, support for legalization stands at 75%. However it is more than that. In BC in the last year 4 attorney generals, a large chunk of the medical establishment, a former police chief, the current major of Vancouver and 3 former Vancouver mayors came out in favor of legalization.