Time to end prohibition on marijuana

Today in Vancouver, I spoke about how we can reform our marijuana laws to make Canada work better. It’s time for Ottawa to admit that the prohibition on marijuana has been a failure, and act to control cannabis products through taxation and regulation.

I don’t condone cannabis use in any way. But I also live in the real world.

Over 2 million Canadians have used marijuana. The decades-long effort pursuing them as criminals has failed. Real criminals and organized crime gangs control the cannabis trade, they sell marijuana to our children, and they make our streets unsafe.

It’s time to put an end to that.

If elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, I want to make marijuana products legal to consume for consenting adults, but in a controlled market overseen by the government. The production, sale and use of marijuana products would be taxed and regulated in Canada.

The funds raised from this new revenue stream would be invested in youth drug-prevention and anti-addiction programs. Just as importantly, our law-enforcement professionals would then be freed up to go after the real criminals.

The bottom line is that responsible, consenting adults would be free to consume cannabis products in their own home. At the same time, the criminals that currently control the marijuana trade would be driven out of business, and our youngsters would no longer have easy access to marijuana.

You can read more about how I plan to end decades of failure trying to control marijuana. Please see the press release or you can read my full remarks in Vancouver this morning.

I’m also happy to formally join the Stop the Violence B.C. coalition. The coalition has done incredible work researching the effects of marijuana prohibition and advocating responsible measures to reform our laws to make our streets safer.

One final note: I’m proud to be a candidate for the Liberal leadership because the Liberal Party of Canada is the only movement that believes Canada prospers when citizens have more rights, not less.

The Harper Conservatives are obsessed with controlling the behaviour of law-abiding citizens. I want to lead a government that empowers citizens with enhanced rights to make Canada work better.


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