Liberal Party Explores Legal Marijuana Framework in Draft Policy Paper

CANNABIS CULTURE – The Liberal Party of Canada has released a detailed draft policy paper exploring a possible framework for marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation on a national scale.

The 38-page document, prepared by a standing policy committee over the last year, was discussed at a policy paper presentation at the downtown Vancouver campus of Simon Fraser University on Wednesday.

One year ago (on January 15, 2012), voting delegates at the Liberal Party of Canada’s Biennial Convention overwhelmingly endorsed a policy resolution to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis. In October, the resolution was approved by the Federal Liberal Council of Riding Association Presidents.

The policy paper presented Wednesday attempts to answer an number of commonly asked policy questions about legalizing cannabis and takes an in-depth, though preliminary, look at the impacts of a legalized and regulated marijuana production and distribution system.

The paper, which was prepared in partnership with the Young Liberals of Canada, proposes legalizing possession of up to four ounces of dried marijuana, an undetermined number of “plants for personal use”, and an undetermined amount of “cannabis-infused goods”, for use by an adult consumer or “a non-licenced vendor or distributor … without obtaining a special permit”.

The study also looks at other potential ramifications of a new legal cannabis structure, such as economic impact, international response, changes to the legal system, and public health impacts.

A section of the document dedicated to “Logistics” includes an analysis of possible models of marijuana cultivation, distribution and sales; as well as how much marijuana will cost, where people will be able to buy it, and how it will be packaged. This section also speculates on how marijuana will be taxed and how the revenue generated will be shared between various levels of government.

Watch video of the policy paper presentation, recorded on January 23, 2013 at SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus:

Several Liberal Party leadership candidates, including Justin Trudeau, have spoken out in favour of legalizing and regulating marijuana.

Read the policy paper Legalization of Marijuana: Answering Questions and Developing a Framework (PDF).