The Canadian government, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to implement nationwide legalization sometime next year, has rejected a notion to decriminalize cannabis in the meantime, according to a CablePulse 24 report.
Decriminalization would maintain marijuana as an illegal substance, but would at least protect citizens from the life-long criminal record that currently accompanies a simple possession charge — distribution would remain a criminal offense.
Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould confirmed on Monday that the feds have zero plans for decriminalization prior to legalization.
“It would mean that marijuana would remain an illegal substance and that it would continue to be grown and distributed by organized crime networks,” said Wilson-Raybould. “Canadians, both adults and youth, would continue to purchase a product of unknown potency and quality while fueling the profits of organized crime.
Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith was turned onto the subject recently when a constituent came to him asking for help with a 7-gram possession charge. “I told him that we weren’t going to be able to do anything at the federal level in the interim based upon my government’s position,” said Erskine-Smith. “… Decriminalization is a half-measure, but a half-measure is better than no measure.”
According to Statistics Canada, more than 57,000 Canadians were charged with marijuana possession in 2014.
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