During a Sept. 30 press conference in Surrey, BC, Trudeau told a CTV reporter that, “the Liberal Party is committed to legalizing and regulating marijuana.”
Later that afternoon, Conservative MP and retired police officer Julian Fantino issued a statement slamming the Liberal leader’s position and recommitting to his party’s stance on cannabis.
Fantino said Trudeau’s policy to allow the sale of cannabis products will put children at risk.
“Justin’s singular justice policy will make smoking marijuana a normal, everyday activity for Canadians and he wants to make marijuana available in storefront dispensaries and cornerstores just like alcohol and cigarettes,” Fantino said. “This is simply wrong, and puts the health and safety of our children and communities at risk.”
Trudeau told reporters in early September he doesn’t believe the drug should be sold at corner stores.
“My focus is on making it more difficult for young people to access it, and at this point I don’t think that corner stores necessarily are rigorous enough in checking ID to make me comfortable with that as an option,” Trudeau said.
Fantino said that the Harper government will work to stop the use of drugs by continuing their punishment approach for offences.
Trudeau accused Harper of creating a “failed system” around cannabis and that prohibition has only fostered a black-market to supply demand. According to Trudeau, only legalization will “remove the criminal element.”
“It is our intention to stop Mr. Harper’s failed approach on marijuana,” Trudeau said.
The Liberal Party hasn’t offered any framework for how or when they will exactly legalize and regulate the production and sale of cannabis products, but have continued to promise it will be a priority if they form government.
Trudeau has said it could take months, or years, before the system is fully in place.
Trudeau said this is due to the process needing additional research.
“We believe in being responsible and realistic in the costing of our plans,” Trudeau said. “We didn’t book for tax revenues for marijuana because we don’t yet know what rate we’re going to be taxing it.”