Article by David Brown, Lift News
A Conservative leadership candidate and MP for the riding of Saskatoon—University in Saskatchewan, Brad Trost, has sponsored a petition to repeal the Cannabis Act, the Liberals’ marijuana legalization legislation tabled last month.
The petition to the House of Commons argues that legalization will make cannabis more available and socially acceptable, with “egregious consequences” on young people’s brains. It also argues that cannabis is a “gateway drug” with “enormous potential for addiction and abuse,” and that the proposed four plant limit on personal production will put marijuana in the hands of criminals.
As of press time, over 1,200 have signed the petition, with the majority of the signatures (666) currently coming from Ontario. The petition opened for signatures on May 8, 2017 and will be closed by September 5, 2017.
Trost is a longtime Saskatchewan MP, first elected in 2004 and currently running for leader of the party. He has made a name for himself as a vocal social conservative who says he does not believe climate change is a real thing, opposes transgender rights, gay marriage, and abortion, and has said he’ll never march in a gay pride parade. In the 2015 federal election, Trost was elected in the new urban riding of Saskatoon—University.
In 2011, he famously tried to force then-PM Stephen Harper to re-open the abortion debate. He was also recently the only member of parliament to vote against a bill for “gender equality week.” In 2012, he claimed “liberal elitists” wanted to amend the Safe Streets and Communities Act to not criminalize those who grow 20 cannabis plants or less.
Despite losing ground over the years, appeals to prohibition still hold sway in certain districts, and recent polls show about one quarter of the population is still opposed to legalization. Appeals to this demographic can help ensure politicians in traditionally socially conservative ridings are able to benefit from this opposition.