Trudeau Says Immediate Marijuana Decriminalization a “Bad Idea”

CANNABIS CULTURE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on a stop in Vancouver yesterday, told the press that marijuana decriminalization is a “bad idea.”

“Pot is still illegal in this country, and still will be until we bring in a strong regulatory framework to legalize, control, and make sure that we’re keeping it out of the hands of kids and make sure that we’re keeping it from generating tremendous profits for criminal organizations,” Trudeau told News 1130.

“I think decriminalization is a bad idea because it doesn’t do anything to make it more difficult for young people to access it and it doesn’t do anything in terms of keeping the black market and the criminal organizations from profiting from it. That’s why I believe in control and regulation that actually will do the protection of public safety and of minors that we need. In the meantime, it’s still illegal.”

The Liberals have come under fire in recent days from critics who say they are not moving fast enough to end marijuana arrests in Canada.

During the election campaign, Trudeau said he would move quickly to decriminalize marijuana if elected.

From The Georgia Straight:

In a March 15 interview with CKNW, the leader of the Liberal party told Gord MacDonald he would take immediate action to decriminalize the drug.

“Will you bring forth legislation to do that in the first session of Parliament when Justin Trudeau is prime minister?” MacDonald asked.

Trudeau’s response: “Yes, it is our intention to move on this in a very rapid fashion. I mean, there were some mistakes made south of the border that we can learn from about leaping before looking and thinking it through. But it is something we plan on moving on immediately.”

A chorus of voices including NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, activist Jodie Emery and even a Liberal MP have called for an immediate end to arrests for marijuana possession.

Green Party MP Elizabeth May is supporting an official petition to parliament asking for a moratorium on pot arrests.

Despite the outcry, it’s business as usual when it comes to pot for the Liberals.

Bill Blair, Liberal MP and former Toronto police chief overseeing marijuana legalization in Canada, told the press last week that police should continue to enforce marijuana laws until they have been changed, and that granting pardons to Canadians previously convicted of marijuana offences is “not currently under discussion.”

Watch the full interview with Trudeau on News 1130 or in the window below.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Cannabis Culture Chief of Operations and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.