43-year old Justin told Canadians he would go to work to legalize cannabis “right away” and Oct. 19, Trudeau beat incumbent Stephen Harper handily grabbing 184 seats, and kicking out the 10-year anti-pot leader. Last month Harper told voters that marijuana was bad for them, saying MJ was “infinitely worse” than tobacco, but polls say 68% of the country favors legalization.
A national MMJ program is already operating in Canada, but the support of the Liberal Party, and its wider control of Parliament, means a strong potential for quick legalization. First elected to Parliament in 2008, Trudeau admitted to smoking MJ while a member. The son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (Canada’s leader from 1968 to 1984), Trudeau is likely to name former Toronto police chief Bill Blair(who also became a new member of Parliament) to head a Task Force to establish MJ rules, according to CTV News.
“With input form experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement, we will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes,” said a Liberal party release. Trudeau said law enforcement needs to be freed of dealing with an estimated annual 700,000 arrests involving low-level marijuana offenses. And he wants to see the millions flowing to the black market, re-directed to legal sales with
taxation. For the short term, however, Trudeau’s budget planners have not placed any possible revenue into their plans.
A national program for about 460,000 qualified Canadian patients was approved last summer, and the 16 licensed production/processing companies (which include major firms like Tweed/Bedrocan, Tilray, Aphria, Organigram and MedReleaf) are able to sell and ship direct to patients across the country. Canada is also a leading cannabis medicine partnered with Israeli researchers.
As for a national legislative vote, Trudeau’s lead over anti-pot conservatives is now 184 to 99, with the additional support of third party, National Democratic Party (with 34 seats) also in favor of legalization. A vote could come in 2016.