The Liberal Party supports access to medical marijuana and was in fact the government that allowed for this access and for regulations that allowed patients to grow specific amounts for use.
Liberals also believe that legalization – not simply decriminalization – is the best way to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, prevent the proceeds from funding criminal activities, and reduce the negative health impacts.
As we know from a recent World Health Organization report, Canada has the highest teen usage of marijuana amongst the countries surveyed. The system is clearly broken. The Liberal solution is clear: If we pass smart laws that tax and strictly regulate marijuana, we can better protect our kids, while preventing millions of dollars from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs.
While overall this has less importance than the economy and the environment, it has great importance to the 800,000-plus Canadians who currently are burdened with a criminal record for simple possession, and stand to have this record expunged.
The status quo isn’t working. Let’s keep marijuana out of our kids’ hands.
Scientific research has determined that medical marijuana can be used safely and effectively for relief of a variety of health conditions and Canadian courts have ruled that it should be readily available for all who require it.
The Green Party has long supported the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, allowing its sale to adults for medicinal or personal use through licenced distribution outlets.We would like to see room for small, independent growers as well as large-scale producers such as Tilray. Marijuana production needs to be regulated to ensure that facilities are safe, secure and that products meet minimum standards.
Gaps in the current laws and regulations create confusion for the industry, municipalities and enforcement agencies. Legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana will eliminate the confusion and create tax revenues to fund education and health programs.
While courts in Canada have ruled that the government must provide access to marijuana when authorized by a physician, Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, and our government has put in place new regulations to better protect public health and safety.
I recently met with local operators and listened as they outlined their need for a clear federal framework for the regulation of medical marijuana.
We know, from listening to researchers, doctors and patients, that medical marijuana could help people suffering from a broad range of afflictions, from chronic pain and Multiple Sclerosis to post-traumatic stress disorder.
More in-depth research of medical marijuana is clearly needed.
It is time to modernize our marijuana laws, move to decriminalization, and base laws on scientific evidence and public health principles. An NDP government would seek to balance prevention, public health and well-being, harm reduction, community safety, and public education. We would also consult and work with provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous governments.
Tom Mulcair and the NDP will use science, not blind ideology, to inform decisions around medical marijuana.