Michael Ignatieff has smoked pot. The Liberal leader faced two questions Wednesday morning from high school students wanting to know what he would do about legalizing marijuana.
Ignatieff told the students he supports decriminalizing the possession of small amounts so young students are not penalized for a stupid mistake but that he won’t legalize weed.
When asked by a reporter, after his town-hall with the students, whether he had ever had a joint, Ignatieff said: “I have smoked pot as a young man, yes . . . and it’s one of the reasons why I urge young people not to repeat the experience. It did not ruin my life. I just think there are a lot more important and interesting things to do with your life, including a glass of wine after dinner.
“Hey, I mean, let’s all relax here.”
– Article from The Montreal Gazette.
Ignatieff: Just say no to pot
by By Alison Crawford, CBC
Today at St. Mary’s College, a Catholic high school in Sault Ste. Marie, students peppered Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff with questions about everything from affordable housing for aboriginal people to whether he thinks the price of natural gas will ever go down.
And then a student named Andrew approached the microphone. “I was wondering what your opinion is about the case in Southern Ontario about the potential legalization of marijuana?”
Ignatieff paused for a few seconds before answering and for the first time that morning, almost every teenager looked up to listen to the answer.
“What I think about this is I don’t wany any young person in this room to have their lives ruined with a criminal conviction for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Our government, when we were in government, committed to fix that. I don’t want your lives to start to get ruined by a stupid mistake but I’m opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I just think it gets us into problems we can’t manage. And so while I want to decriminalize the possession of small amounts I do not support legalization.”
A few seconds later, another student got up and asked for more clarification, “What do you mean by decriminalize and not legalize, like what do you mean?”
Ignatieff responded, “I just mean I don’t want to send you to jail if you’re caught with a couple of joints of pot in your pocket. But legalize marijuana I think takes us into a place which I just think may have some bad consequences. I want you folks going to school, getting a job, going to work. I don’t want you sitting around smoking pot all day. I’ll be frank with you. You’ve got better things to do with your time.”
And to complete the Ignatieff pot question trilogy, the natural follow-up question came at the post-townhall media availibility.
Ignatieff did not hesitate to reply in the affirmative. “I have smoked pot as a young man, yes. And it’s one of the reasons why I urge young people not to repeat the experience. It did not ruin my life but I just think there are a lot more important and interesting things to do with your life, including a glass of wine after dinner, eh? Let’s all relax here.”
– Article from CBC News.