Trudeau ignoring huge marijuana problems in rush to fulfil campaign promise
SUSAN MARTINUK Published on: April 2, 2018
The legalization of marijuana has implications. POSTMEDIA NEWS
When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most rewarding tasks as Canada’s new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.
Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45, to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his supposedly independent senators that their job description didn’t call for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.
Trudeau’s determination to push the bill through clearly exposes the problem with Bill C-45: It’s a watershed moment that covers public policy, health care and Canadian law. Yet, the Liberals refuse to see it as anything more than an election promise that must be in place by August; details be damned. Why else would they ignore the warnings of Americans who have already dealt with this?
When representatives from Colorado and Washington state testified before a parliamentary committee, their most ardent recommendations were to “slow down.” “Don’t rush the process.” “Take your time – even when the public is clamouring for access.”
A University of Denver law professor warned MPs that the black market doesn’t go away after legalization – it still controls 30 per cent of sales in Colorado. Another witness from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said the illegal production of marijuana increased “20-fold” after legalization. Sellers stand in front of legal venues and offer cut rates to customers. Edibles (such as gummies and lollipops) are openly distributed and have increased ER visits for children who have accidentally consumed them. Police find it difficult to prove impaired driving as it requires a trip to the hospital and a blood test.
As a result, Bill C-45 is sloppy, devoid of details and filled with gaping holes. It does little but reflect our PM’s empty dreams and some very funky smoke.