Last Tuesday, Stephen Harper and Google launched “Talk Canada” an online town hall in which Canadians were asked to submit questions to the Prime Minister. Much to the Prime Minister’s chagrin, the questions which dominated the voting demanded the legalization of marijuana.
“According to recent polls, marijuana legalization has almost double the support of the current Conservative government”, said Jacob Hunter, Policy Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, “Despite this, the Conservative government is pushing for mandatory minimum sentences of 6 months for growing a single marijuana plant; it should be no wonder Canadians are frustrated.”
Recently, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced he would again introduce mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences. The bill, numbered C-15 in the last session, was widely criticized by experts claiming there was no evidence to support the bill. Indeed, when confronted in the House, Nicholson was unable to provide any scientific evidence in support of the bill.
“Stephen Harper wanted to hear from ordinary Canadians, and they have responded loudly and clearly that they do not approve of his approach to marijuana”, Hunter said. “Will this Prime Minister now ignore the very Canadians he wanted to connect with? Or will this Prime Minister finally abide by the will of Canadians and end his failed war on marijuana?”
The Prime Minister has stated he will answer the most popular questions on Tuesday, March 16 at 7pm EST on YouTube.com. Details of the voting are included below.
Talk Canada Top 10 results (Includes For and Against votes)
“A majority of Canadians when polled say they believe marijuana should be legal for adults and taxes like alcohol. Why don’t you end the war on drugs and focus on violent criminals.”
Dan Grice, Langley
“When over 45% of Canadians admit to smoking cannabis at least once in their lives, as well as 14% using it monthly, isn’t it time to stop putting people in jail for victimless crimes and start to take the drug trade away from the black market?”
Francais McKellan, Edmonton, Alberta
“Why do you keep lying about the dangers of cannabis and giving countless millions of dollars to the police to enforce the worst laws in Canada? Why do you ignore the majority of adults who want this plant legalized?”
Greg W., Vancouver
“Cannabis is proven not physically addictive and less harmful than almost every legal drug. Since before Christ cannabis has been used without a single death, it is even openly used as a medical substance in Canada. Why isn’t it legal for recreation?”
“Sir, the US Government much larger yet they disclose much more information about contracts, grants and lobbyists. When will the Government of Canada disclosure more information to the taxpayers of Canada?”
“Crime has been dropping for almost 30 years. Why are you trying to impose a US-style, for-profit prison industry onto Canada with Bill C-15?”
RussLBarth, Nepean, ON
“When will your stance on crime shift from putting poor people in jail to incarcerating some of the white collar criminals who steal hundreds of millions of dollars from Canadians every year?”
“Since research has shown that mandatory minimum sentencing does not deter future crime, what makes you believe this is still an effective way of prosecuting criminals?”
“Oil prices are again skyrocketing. When will your government build more commuter trains and allow low speed electric vehicles to go 50km/hr (they currently aren’t allowed to go faster than 40km.hr) which keeps them off roads.”
Dan Grice, Langley
“It’s been a couple of months since the US asked Canada to deport Marc Emery, the prince of pot. This decision seems politically motivated. Will you hand him over to the US, even if you’re not allowed to deport someone for political opinion?”
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