NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said his party would eventually fully legalize cannabis, but is promising decriminalization because that change can happen immediately upon taking office.

Mulcair made the statements at an Oct. 13 VICE forum in Toronto, where he implied Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s plan for legalization isn’t possible to achieve as soon as government is formed.

“I am going to start by immediately doing something that I know I can and will do overnight, which is to make sure that nobody ever has to face a charge for personal use or possession of marijuana and of course we are on track to full legalization, but it is more complicated than snapping your fingers,” said Mulcair.

Mulcair said it’s impossible to promise that cannabis will be sold at corner stores immediately, but that he can promise no one will be arrested for recreational cannabis use.

“We need to make sure people are going to understand we’re going to take our time to do it, but it’s going to get done” Mulcair said. “We’re getting more and more information that’s the type of thing that will be the way for the future.”

The NDP has proposed cannabis decriminalization since the early 1970s but the party’s policy does not currently propose full legalization with Mulcair previously having said the party will study the drug and plan from there.