The political debate over marijuana legalization in Canada could soon intensify, following a New York Times editorial that calls for the U.S. federal government to repeal its 44-year ban on pot.
The influential newspaper, which says the question of legalization should be left up to individual U.S. states, is running a six-day series on the issue, and has reignited a hot debate among Americans.
It concluded that the ban has inflicted “great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.”
The editorial comes as some U.S. states reform pot laws. Marijuana for recreational use went on sale in Colorado Jan. 1 and Washington followed suit this month. Oregon and Alaska will vote on the matter in November.
Nonetheless, because a federal ban on the drug is still on the books, those states that legalize it do so in direct contravention of federal law.
Here in Canada, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau favours a system of legalization that regulates the sale of pot and keeps it out of the hands of minors.
The Liberals argue it’s a “smarter” way to dealing with the issue because it would take away the pot market from organized crime and gangs, while also ensuring a better system of addressing the effects of marijuana use on individual health and communities.
– Read the entire article at Ottawa Citizen.