NDP Leadership Candidates Say Liberal Pot Pledge Going up in Smoke

Article by CBC News

NDP leadership candidates say Liberal pot pledge going up in smoke Second debate in the lengthy leadership race was focused on issues affecting youth. NDP leadership candidates, from left, Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Peter Julian discussed issues affecting youth at a debate in Montreal Sunday

The Liberal government’s plan to move ahead on marijuana legalization is up in smoke, NDP leadership candidates suggested during Sunday’s leadership debate in Montreal while they also addressed a range of issues affecting youth, including student debt and precarious employment.

B.C. MP Peter Julian, one of four contenders in the race to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP leader, said the federal government has failed to keep its 2015 campaign pledge to legalize and regulate pot for recreational purposes.

For its part, the government says it is working on crafting legislation on marijuana legalization set to be introduced this spring — a move that follows the work of a task force assigned to study the issue.

“I believe in legalization,” Julian said during the NDP’s second leadership debate. “I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that … we are still seeing, particularly young, Canadians being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana.”

Many young people opted to support the Liberals in the last election due to this promise, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton said.

The Liberals ran a cynical campaign in 2015, added Ontario MP Charlie Angus, suggesting the Liberals ticked all the right boxes, including on pot, with no intention of pursuing them.

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