Justin Trudeau says Stephen Harper is wrong on medical marijuana, offers alternatives

Justin Trudeau is unimpressed with the Harper government's approach to medical marijuana.

During an appearance at the University of Manitoba on Wednesday (October 9), he told the assembled crowd that he would like to see medical marijuana patients retain the ability to grow their own pot.

"The current approach is not working," the federal Liberal leader told the group after being asked what his stance was on medical marijuana and the rights of patients to grow their own supply.

Under the outgoing Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), a person must apply for a permit to possess marijuana. If approved, they then have the options of either producing their own product or purchasing it from a licensed grower or Health Canada. But as of April 1, 2014, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) will come into effect, and patients will only be able to obtain medical marijuana from licensed producers.

The federal government claims the MMPR will "provide access to quality-controlled marihuana for medical purposes, produced under secure and sanitary conditions". However, as it eliminates the ability for medical marijuana patients to grow their own pot, activist fear many people will no longer have access to specialized strains they have relied on. As well, dispensaries and many compassion clubs will have to close under the new rules, and there are fears the new system will increase prices.

"It's actually amazing to see the kinds of specialization and research that is beginning to be done into what strains actually address which problems very effectively in many, many cases," Trudeau said. "And our worries are that the current hypercontrolled approach around medical marijuana that actually removes from individuals the capacity to grow their own is not going in the right direction. It neither respects freedom or the kind of care that people need."

Trudeau advocated a legalization system similar to how alcohol is controlled in Canada. "If someone wants to brew their own beer or make their own wine, they're more than welcome to. But the vast majority of consumers are happy to go to a liquor store to purchase their alcohol because its of known quality. And the choices available to consumers and the knowledge of what it is that goes into what you're buying empowers consumers," he told the crowd.

"This is the kind of approach we need to take: one grounded in evidence, one grounded in science, one grounded in liberty."

While Trudeau stressed the need to protect the developing brains of teenagers from using marijuana ("like alcohol and cigarettes"), he reiterated that individuals should have freedom of choice when it comes to accessing medical marijuana.

"We don't need to be all nanny state about it the way Stephen Harper is with his prohibition," Trudeau said.

Comments (33) Add New Comment
Alex T
"We don't need to be all nanny state about it the way Stephen Harper is with his prohibition," Trudeau said.

I love that! Jab the Tories in their soft underbelly by accusing them (rightly!) for being a big-government nanny state. Too funny.
Rating: +88
Travis Watters
Trudeau nails it!
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bb54
Justin Trudeau views on marijuana are a bit of fresh air in 2013.Marijuana History in Canada being written right now.What so exciting appeared in 2013 on the marijuana scene ? Well It's the year Justin Trudeau made his political views on marijuana known to the public.
Better than nothing at all.
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Rating: +48
Brian S
Finally a liberal I can vote for.
This attitude on pot wins me over.
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Rating: +59
Mary J Wanna
he talks the talk...
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Foz
Justin Trudeau definitely has my vote!! I cannot fathom who in their right mind gave Stephen Harper a majority government so he could screw people over that by changing something that was working. He's been trying to change the medical marijuana policy since 2003. He has got to be one of the worst leaders of Canada that I have ever seen. He likes to bend the rules whenever he is in trouble(proroguing parliament....etc.). We should be able to get him out of office immediately before he does more damage.
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Rating: +32
mitch
What's thomas mulcair of the NDP stance on this issue?I voted for JACK LAYTON.NOW I'm not so sure about voting NDP.
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Rating: +26
BCBud
If this was the only issue facing Canada he would be good. Canada's memories of his father may prevent him from filling the position of our great nation. His father's rein was when I was a little Bud, very young. I do not personally remember any of it except for when he gave Canada the bird.

Meh. I might vote for him due to this but that image of his Dad's one fingered wave to a young kid like me is hard to shake. I know he was giving it to my family and contacts too, as well as yours but I took it personally.

Canada belongs to the people, get out and elect it back to us in the next election at every level! Run for office yourself if none of the candidates fit your impression of our shared future.

Vote to keep me out of office, I may run someday. The only requirements of government are citizenship, social standing / understanding. I am a legend in my own mind. My campaign would be totally concerned with legalizing Pot and encouraging Industrial Hemp cultivation in 2 percent of Canada's agriculture reserve.
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Rating: -21
Greg Weldon
The only real problem with cannabis (When will people learn that therm marijuana is politically incorrect) is that it can make things like cancer and bad government seem acceptable. I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure that when a Government implements legislation that imposes mandatory minimum sentences we have changed our judicial system from case law to statute law and I think it can be said quite honestly that Canada is now officially a Police State. It is now up to the police to decide who goes to jail.
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Rating: +33
missed opportunity
re-post from straight article:
Marijuana dispensaries may survive on the West Coast, Vancouver councillor says
by Travis Lupick on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

missed opportunity
Oct 3, 2013 at 9:28 am
If you had a collective of mom & pop stores or a small company that had grown to be a chain, the distribution is already set up, production is in full swing, the product is already being purchased and the collective or chain are attractive as an investment. To found a fully operational, mature business enterprise is a good thing. The government is destroying what took years to build. Again, the current dispensary system is in play BECAUSE of the mismanagement of the feds in their reluctance to comply with Supreme Court rulings. Ordinary citizens would be thrown in jail if they ignored a court order. A profitable, well run company is a desirable thing and greatly contributes to local economies. Shows the feds have absolutely no idea as to what constitutes good business practice. Shame on them for forcing supply into the hands of corporate entities. Government approved pot has already proven to be substandard. Why would anyone in their right minds give them a contract to continue to grow medicinal marijuana? Report card says FAIL. The whole thing stinks and it ain't the weed that is causing the bad smell. The industry will be driven underground where it cannot be regulated and while we're at it, WHY can't people grow their own?! Ridiculous rationale. I don't understand the argument that the current system is profiting illegal entities when our own federal government is full of senators, etc., being or have been investigated for their own illegal activities which have been to the detriment of Canadians across the country. I call foul. HEAVE STEVE!
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Rating: +14
Justin Flontek
Legalize the ganja!
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maze
You know not what you speak of! I live next door to a medical marijuana grow op and it is not good. There is a risk of fire, theft, etc.

I believe one of the reasons for the change is to remove the grow ops from residential neighbourhoods and prevent illegal grow ops from using permits to grow as a shield.

If you don't live next door to one you don't know what you are talking about. This is not about smoking and growing a few pot plants, but large scale growing is harmful to buildings and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Get educated. Let the individuals who want it grow a few plants legally and that should be good enough.
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Rating: -18
michael
they should make it so we whom use it to live a normal life . because jails are getting full with Innocent people , whom havent ever got in troble at all eather .
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Rating: +16
Pat Crowe
At the end of World War 2 the United States returned the Japanese American assets that had been seized during the war to the rightful owners. The Canadian government however, did not. Margeret Sinclairs father James was a Liberal M.P. representing Capilano at the end of the war and also was an advisor and assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury.
There's some creaky skeletons in that closet.
I like Justin. But he is his mothers son. Much more than his fathers. And what exactly besides the very divisive pot issue does he stand for? I'm sure he will get back to us on that. Standing by, Justin.
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Rating: -8
Diane
Yes......Heave Steve!!!!!
Thank You Justin!!!
If I can't grow how do I manage my pain and still be able
to work, feed my family, and pay my mortage?
Should I go on disability and not feed the kiddies?
Do I continue to grow? No peace for me// my PTSD is
taking a real kicking over this. Maybe jail time for growing pot will teach me a lesson! Then I can lose my job and kids//start drinking again after 26 yrs of being in AA......so many options! Maybe I can max out my finances, keep the kiddies out of sports basically turn my life upside down so Stevie can make money for his wife and kids and friends..........so very STRESSED over this, what about my friend that I grow for who has cancer///doesn't anybody care about her and her quality of life? Shame on you Steve Harper you are the biggest bully of all time!
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Rating: +18
Flashman
Dear Lord, a politico who shares my views exactly . . . never thought I'd see that!
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Reverend Ryan
The 2012 Liberal Party resolution and the 2013 DRAFT policy paper pretty well cover the bases. The conservative Senate Report of 2002 points out that prohibition is "a failure of good governance". This failed policy costs EVERY citizen hard earned tax dollars. Prohibitionist want to put your children in prison.... at your expense.
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Rating: +9
Theoriginalcool
Trudeau, and the Liberals have my vote this time around.
Hopefully he does decide to legalize and tax marijuana in Canada. Think about it this way - if the liberal government is making new tax dollars off of a huge industry, then they will have a bigger budget then the conservatives could possibly hope for without it.
Rating: -493
Justin Chan
I'm writing off Justin Trudeau. He doesn't have a brain. Encouraging grow ops? He's encouraging building damage, and stinky neighbourhoods. Justin is probably stupid due to his smoking of pot.
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Rating: -41
Miranda Nelson
Trudeau is not encouraging grow-ops at all. If you listen to what he's saying, he's stating that it doesn't make sense to prevent individuals from growing their own plants.

As well, if marijuana was legalized, there could be frameworks put in place to regulate larger-scale growing, which would completely negate the current illegal and often hazardous grow-op situation.
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Rating: +8

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