The federal Liberals’ legislation legalizing marijuana won’t keep pot away from kids, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod said today (April 13, 2017).
“This legislation won’t keep pot out of the hands of kids, it is a promise to pot smokers and not parents,” said McLeod. “Unlike the Liberals, the Conservative Party of Canada has adopted the same approach as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, to make minor marijuana possession a ticketable offence.”
Bills were introduced by the Liberals today that, once passed, would set up a framework for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot. It would be illegal to sell cannabis to youth. Adults 18 and older could legally buy and cultivate small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
“One of the main reasons the Liberals claim legalization is necessary is because Canada’s youth are smoking more pot than ever,” McLeod said. “This isn’t true. In fact, programs to encourage kids to stop using marijuana have been working. The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse says that for youth ages 15-24, marijuana use has dropped from 33 per cent to 24 per cent.”
“Further, the proposed age of possession of 18 goes against the Canadian Medical Association evidence which shows the brain is still undergoing major development up until the mid-twenties and marijuana can interfere with this development,” she stated.
The Liberals say their plan restricts access and increases public safety, including a robust drug-impaired driving regime. Marijuana would be tightly controlled like alcohol and tobacco, but not as widely available.
“But as usual, we know that the Conservative Party will do everything they can to stop real change, instead seeking to protect a failed status quo,” the Liberals said in an email to supporters.
McLeod said the list of unanswered questions grows as the legislation is studied:
- How will it make it safe for kids? How will it make it safe for motorists? How will it make it safe for workplaces?
- What are the costs of legalization? Does the federal government have a plan to work with municipalities and provinces, or will it just download all the responsibility for implementation and enforcement to them?
- How will the issue of roadside testing be addressed and what direction is being given to police forces across the country to deal with marijuana possession and driving?
- Is legalization really going to take the criminal element out of pot sales?
“I will continue to raise serious questions as Justin Trudeau’s plan to bring pot to corner stores across Canada moves forward,” said McLeod.