Article by Alex MacPherson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Almost 13,000 people have signed a petition sponsored by Saskatoon–University MP Brad Trost calling on Canadian lawmakers to revoke legislation that is expected to legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana next summer.
Presented to the House of Commons late last month, the petition describes cannabis as “a substance with very little benefit and an enormous potential for addiction and abuse” and argues that regulations proposed in Bill C-45 will make it difficult to control.
“Considering all of cannabis legalization’s negative aspects, cannabis legalization does not seem like the ideal step towards ensuring our nation’s brilliant future, especially if our youth are those who will take the hardest hit,” the petition states.
The federal Liberal government, which was elected in 2015 on a promise to legalize weed, has not yet submitted a response to the petitioners, the bulk of whom are from Ontario and British Columbia. It has 45 days from the time of filing to respond.
Trost, who was elected in 2004, is well known for espousing socially conservative views, including opposition to abortion. Earlier this year, his socially conservative supporters helped elect his fellow Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer to the Conservative leadership.
In an interview Wednesday, the veteran MP acknowledged that while marijuana is less damaging than drugs like heroin and cocaine, it remains a “harm-creating substance in some people’s lives” and that his job as a legislator is to prevent harm.