Article by Neil Macdonald, CBC News
“Too many Canadians,” declares the Liberal Party of Canada on its website, “end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts” of marijuana.
Enforcement of cannabis law, it continues, “traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses.”
Well said. Courageous, even. Huzzah.
So. What’s the government’s solution?
Well, it intends to continue arresting, prosecuting and criminalizing Canadians who commit this minor and non-violent offence, at least for another year or so. Young Canadians are particularly vulnerable to arrest.
Why keep criminalizing? Good question, and the CBC’s Carol Off asked it during an interview with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, after the government revealed its legislative plans last week.
In response, the minister delivered this clanging non-sequitur:
“Well, we’re working on delivering our campaign promise to legalize cannabis, strictly regulate and restrict access to it with the ultimate objective to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals. . . ”
So Off asked again: Why another year?
Wilson-Raybould’s reply: “Well, we first of all, I completely respect the parliamentary process and will certainly monitor this piece of legislation as it as it moves through.”
If that sounds like gibberish, it’s because it is.