Canada column for Sunday, April 16/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
The Liberal government – as promised during the 2015 election campaign – is moving ahead with legalizing recreational marijuana use for those 18 and older.
It’s being called a “bold and risky social experiment” by many and would include tough laws against illicit dealers and those who break them.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legalizing pot is the best way to keep the drug from being used by younger, impressionable children.
The law change would become effective in July of next year and end the prohibition on marijuana use that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said has been an “abject failure.”
Police forces are spending billions of dollars and countless resources dealing with drug use while dealers are profiting by up to $8 billion a year, he said.
Liberal politician Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief, said this will promote the “safe, socially responsible use” of marijuana while at the same time rigidly enforcing impaired driving whether by drugs or alcohol.
The Conservative party called the legalization a bad idea while the socialist New Democrats wanted it sooner.