CANNABIS CULTURE – Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff made what may be his strongest and strangest anti-pot comments so far, saying “legalizing marijuana would create problems” with the United States and warning parents against smoking pot.
“If I had to tell you as a parent or as someone who has spent his whole life working with young people, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is smoking marijuana,” Ignatieff said at a town hall-style meeting on Monday, according to The Telegram. “I want you to be out there digging a well, digging a ditch, getting a job, raising a family … doing stuff, instead of parking your life on the end of a marijuana cigarette.”
I’m not really sure what he meant by that “digging a ditch” comment, but he continued: “Given the things we need to do together, that’s what I think.” and then said that legalizing pot would cause problems with the US because it would continue to remain illegal there.
The Telegram says the official opposition leader noted “he likes an occasional drink and having a good time” and “didn’t seem concerned if his anti-weed stance made him appear conservative.”
Ignatieff’s comments are no big surprise, as the Liberal leader and his party supported the governing Conservatives’ Bill C-15, which would give mandatory minimum prison terms to Canadians busted with even one pot plant.
He has made other semi-confusing comments about pot legalization before, once saying that “possession of small amounts of marijuana” shouldn’t be a criminal matter, and that “nobody should suffer consequences for personal recreational uses of marijuana,” but, according to the National Post, “that if someone was to ask him if he wanted to legalize it, he’d ‘say no.'”
Ignatieff comments come at a time when the marijuana issue is heating up in Canada. Marijuana questions dominated an online question/answer poll with Prime Minister Stephen Harper sponsored by YouTube, ranking #1, #2, #3, and #4.
On the same day Ignatieff made his comments, three MPs, including Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh, presented thousands of petitions in support of marijuana activist Marc Emery, who could be extradited to the United States to serve five years in prison for selling marijuana seeds on the Internet.
Some of Ignatieff’s fellow Liberal Party members might not agree with his comments, like star-candidate/snowboarding-pot-smoker Ross Rebagliati, who said “Prohibition didn’t work; this isn’t working”. But, sadly, according to the Globe & Mail “a code of silence” has been imposed “on Mr. Rebagliati by the federal Liberal Party” and he “will not bring up his pro-legalization stand”.