Article by Kristy Kirkup, Toronto Star
Marijuana is a “dangerous drug,” Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch said Tuesday as she promised to undo the Liberal government’s efforts to legalize it, should she become her party’s leader and eventually prime minister.
There are too many public health and safety concerns surrounding marijuana for it to be legal, Leitch told The Canadian Press as the government prepares to table legislation later this week to legalize and regulate its sale.
Political Ottawa has been buzzing for weeks about what will be in the bill, expected Thursday. One key task-force recommendation that the government could act on is imposing an age limit of 18 on those who seek to buy it.
“Look, I will be reviewing it, but I’m a pediatric orthopedic surgeon — I have personal views on this that I feel very strongly about,” Leitch said in a roundtable interview.
“I don’t think that we should be legalizing this drug; this is a dangerous drug and I don’t want it in the hands of children.”
Scientific evidence shows the drug can have damaging effects on the brains of those under the age of 25 and should only be available from pharmacies for patients with prescriptions, Leitch added.
“I have young people come to me as a physician and say ’You know, I don’t understand, Dr. Leitch — I’m told not to do drugs, but can I do this drug now?” she said. “These are the kinds of messages Canadian parents do not want portrayed to their kids.”