Earlier this month, Washington and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. One week later, Liberal Party of Canada leadership contender Justin Trudeau announced to a high school audience in Prince Edward Island that he is “a huge supporter of decriminalization” of marijuana. It’s a fantastic declaration and fits with the Liberal Party’s official platform position endorsing marijuana legalization.
For some people in the Canadian cannabis law reform movement, this was a surprise to hear – but encouraging. In 2009, Justin Trudeau voted in favour of Bill C-15, mandatory minimum prison sentences for pot, and has even recently made anti-marijuana comments, leaving many confused about where he stood on the issue.
The Young Liberals and other party members worked hard in recent years to get legalization successfully accepted into the party platform, and have no doubt been educating Trudeau about marijuana and prohibition. His decision to publicly endorse decriminalization and even legalization is exciting for activists across Canada.
Because of the perceived flip-flop by the likely Liberal Party leader, Canada’s conservative news network Sun TV invited me to talk about his shifting position. Sun TV is certainly no fan of the young leadership hopeful and described him as “wobbly” on the legalization issue.
I explained that Trudeau, and even Stephen Harper, would be wise to embrace the anti-prohibition message because a large majority of Canadians want marijuana to be legalized. Almost three-quarters of people 55 and older, an important voting demographic, want legalization or decriminalization. The people have spoken, and our politicians should listen.
In many ways, politicians are listening – and talking, too. The current federal Liberal Party interim leader Bob Rae has repeatedly denounced the drug war and supports the party’s legalization platform. The New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair is mostly silent on the issue, but the party has been working to end prohibition for many years and Mulcair knows it’s an important issue to many NDP members. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has always supported legalization and will no doubt continue to do so.
– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.
Watch Jodie on Sun TV: