Canada’s Liberal Party swept the country’s general parliamentary election on Monday, and its leader Justin Trudeau, Canada’s incoming prime minister, plans to legalize marijuana “right away.”
Trudeau’s victory means the end of nearly a decade of conservative power under Stephen Harper, who recently called cannabis “infinitely worse” than tobacco. Trudeau, on the other hand, ran on the Liberal platform, which included a promise to legalize the herb.
“We will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” their platform states. “Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.”
“To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana,” it continues. “We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework. We will create a federal/provincial/territorial task force, and with input from experts in public health, substance abuse, and law enforcement, will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied.”
Currently, Canada allows medical use of cannabis—but the Liberals intend to implement a Colorado-style system for serving the recreational market.
According to Reason, marijuana legalization is also supported by Canada’s New Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Marijuana Party.