Cannabis should never have been made illegal, but since it was, the Green Party supports good public policy to rectify the mistakes of the past.
The Green Party is pleased that Canadians will soon be able to access marijuana openly and safely — free from the threat of being criminally charged.
However, many thousands of Canadians who previously smoked or possessed cannabis, but were caught by police, will remain criminals in the eyes of the law. A disproportionate number of racialized Canadians have been charged, and all those convicted face serious obstacles applying for jobs and travelling abroad.
Join us in demanding the Liberal government provide amnesty for all Canadians convicted solely on charges of marijuana possession.
Prohibition focused on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages; however, exceptions were made for medicinal and religious uses. Alcohol consumption was never illegal under federal law. Nationwide Prohibition did not begin in the United States until January 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The 18th amendment was ratified in 1919, and was repealed in December, 1933, with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
Not only did it not stop otherwise law abiding people from consuming alcohol, the costs — to the economy, the justice system and society — were staggering.
Although the American Prohibition against alcohol never made drinking it illegal, the same was not true of cannabis prohibition in Canada, where users could be fined and imprisoned. As the 20th century wore on, the punishments became more severe, especially as Canada (again) followed the American lead.
The war on drugs is rooted in racist policies, and it’s failure has been as obvious as Prohibition.
During the 2015 election, the NDP talked about decriminalizing cannabis, but the Liberals said that wasn’t good enough; they would take a step further and legalize it.
Sadly voters again gave too much First Past The Post power to one of the same old parties promising “real change”. For real change, you have to vote smart– and different.
Although the Justin Trudeau Government says it will legalize cannabis, its about half way through its term and they keep arresting people.
The Green Party has better policy:
4.9 Ending the war on drugs
Between 2008 and 2011, according to the Department of Justice, Canada spent $311 million targeting illicit drugs, with a majority of that money going to law enforcement. Most of that was for the ‘war’ against cannabis (marijuana). Marijuana prohibition is also prohibitively costly in other ways, including criminalizing youth and fostering organized crime. Cannabis prohibition, which has gone on for decades, has utterly failed and has not led to reduced drug use in Canada.After analyzing the recommendation of the Canadian Senate’s 2002 Special Committee on Drugs and the examples of strategies used by some European countries, the Green Party of Canada has come to the conclusion that it is time to legalize the adult use of marijuana. Furthermore, the Greens believe that drug addictions should be treated as a health problem, not as criminal offences.
Green Party MPs will:
Legalize marijuana by removing marijuana from the drug schedule;
Create a regulatory framework for the safe production of marijuana by small, independent growers;
Develop a taxation rate for marijuana similar to that of tobacco;
Establish the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal or personal use through licensed distribution outlets;
Educate the public about the health threats of marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use;
Launch a public consultation on the decriminalization of illicit drugs, considering the current high costs of the law enforcement effort;
Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.
On September 8 of this year, Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, made the following comment regarding the proposed regulations for marijuana sales:
“This looks like another Liberal plan to say a lot and do very little, supporting big corporations and political insiders over local small businesses.
Having limited retail outlets across Ontario for legal marijuana will do virtually nothing to combat the huge illegal market.
The Green Party does not support the monopolization of marijuana. The marijuana industry should be like the craft brewery industry – helping build local businesses, creating local jobs and contributing tax dollars to local communities across the province.
The GPO supports strict regulations and controls for marijuana sales. The government can license retails outlets with strict rules focused on safety and health for small businesses.
This announcement at this time is a cynical ploy by the Liberals to divert attention from their ongoing legal scandals.”