Article by Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun
Pot legalization activists who are frustrated that Canadians — especially youth — are still getting arrested and stuck with criminal records for simple possession need to be patient, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The prime minister, who believes pot should be legal and has admitted he toked after being elected to Parliament, defended the Liberal government’s decision earlier this week to vote down an NDP motion to decriminalize simple marijuana possession.
Instead, he urged Canadians to wait until his government finishes extensive consultations, plus considers studies of other jurisdictions that have already legalized the drug, before drafting legislation expected in the first half of 2017.
That raises the possibility a new law won’t be in place until 2018.
“I understand the impatience of people who want to have it legalized right away, but we know we need to do this right,” Trudeau said in an exclusive interview while in Vancouver to announce transit funding and discuss the local housing affordability crisis.