Canadian flag flying against the sun.

Canadian Government Renews Commitment to Cannabis Legalization

Building on the campaign promises of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was elected in October, Gov. Gen. David Johnston delivered a speech on Friday mentioning the new Canadian Liberal government’s plan to regulate marijuana.

Legalization was one of the primary issues Trudeau ran on in his recent bid for Prime Minister. In the speech Friday, Gov. Gen. Johnston only said that the government will “restrict access” to marijuana. In his campaign, Trudeau argued that Canada should look to Colorado, Washington, and Oregon—states that have all recently legalized recreational cannabis—for guidance on crafting smart legalization policy.

Trudeau has called the current criminalization of cannabis “a failed system,” and hopes that legalizing it would remove the “criminal element.”

After winning the election in October, Trudeau submitted a letter to Canadian Minister of Health, Jane Philpott, asking her and other officials to work together in crafting a plan for legalization.

Philpott reiterated Trudeau’s concern that Canada’s existing model of criminalization doesn’t work. The task force is hard at work doing exploratory research, and generating a plan that could establish Canada as a model for the world in legalizing marijuana.

Photo Credit: Alex Indigo

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