Thomas Mulcair says an NDP government would move to decriminalize marijuana "immediately"

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      Thomas Mulcair has said an NDP government wouldn’t wait to act on a promise to decriminalize marijuana.

      “The NDP’s position is decriminalization the minute we form government,” he told reporters at an August 20 campaign stop in Vancouver. “It is something that we can do right away.”

      Asked by the Straight why the NDP favours decriminalization versus legalizationthe option favour by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau—Mulcair didn’t answer the question but had this to say:

      “The NDP has had the same position for about 40 years,” he said. “Decriminalizing marijuana is the position of the NDP, it is my position, and it is something that we can do immediately. Mr. [Stephen] Harper’s plan has failed so we’ve got to start doing things differently. I am categorical that no person should ever face criminal charges or a criminal record for personal use of marijuana. That has always been my position.”

      In May 2015, Trudeau similarly said a Liberal government would move to reform federal marijuana laws “right away”.

      At an August 19 campaign stop in Vancouver, he went further, adding that after a Liberal government is elected and has reversed laws that criminalize marijuana, it would begin discussing what should happen with people who have been charged for transgressions that the country no longer considers criminal.

      On the matter of people previously charged with breaking marijuana laws, Mulcair said “That is a very important question.”

      “We’ll sit down and look at that,” he added.

      Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has consistently resisted calls for reform on marijuana laws.

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      10 Comments

      Natty

      Aug 20, 2015 at 1:34pm

      Better to legalize it ASAP and start cashing in on the mega taxes it's sure to generate.

      Well...

      Aug 20, 2015 at 2:05pm

      What does "decriminalization" mean? Some sort of traffic ticket, Big Brother still steals your pot? That's not really a solution. Sure, it's better to not have a criminal record, but the idea that law enforcement should be in the business of organized crime (robbery) is ridiculous.

      The fact is that, like on many issues last century, we took a wrong turn at Albequerque, as Bugs Bunny used to say, and from there on out we've been on the wrong path. Moving slightly this way or that way won't help; we need to go back to Albequerque, that is, the status quo before these silly federal statutes, and move forward from that point. That's how we get to where we want to go, which is a society of law, where people and their property are respected.

      At a minimum, if we're being "pragmatic" (read: unwilling to admit prohibition was part of the racist package of bad laws we had last century, designed to oppress certain minority groups) we need no more prohibition on possession, no more prohibition on trafficking and something like a 25 plant per residence limit. That's the minimum, anyone suggesting less than that is simply out to lunch.

      And we need criminal records expunged. And if there is any justice in the world, we need war crimes trials for the people who enacted the prohibition, which is obviously illegal. It isn't legal to pull flowers out of people's hands, just as it wasn't legal for Nazis to pull the gold out of jewish mouths, either, no matter what "enabling acts" they had.

      It's all fine and good but...

      Aug 20, 2015 at 2:38pm

      Either through decriminalization or legalization, will there be room for personal cultivation - or have the feds got too greedy with the licensed producers? I'm all for retail sales through dispensaries (for medicinal or recreation) - there should be provincial tax money that can go towards things like transit and education, but people that want to grow a plant *should* be able to grow a plant.

      P rick

      Aug 20, 2015 at 4:21pm

      I've never smoked it and don't really want to but I want to grow it myself to make cannabis oil which apparently is very good for your health, you ingest it. You need a lot of bud to make a small amount of oil so being able to grow it yourself would be very beneficial. Google 'Rick Simpson Oil' to find out more info, most people will probably become aware of this in the coming years and why there will be a push to be able to grow it yourself or at least to make the cost of bud cheaper so people can make the oil themselves. He was the one who discovered and came up with the method for extracting the beneficial oil from the cannabis plant.

      Mike H

      Aug 20, 2015 at 6:12pm

      Decriminalization is the worst option--it facilitates trafficking while failing to tackle the black market. The absence of legal recourse in dispute settlement means unnecessary violence that endangers everybody. Legalization is the only sensible solution

      @P rick

      Aug 20, 2015 at 6:53pm

      Well, you're right about oil being good for you, but not about Simpson having "discovered" it. Rick Simpson Oil is, essentially (other than his suggestion that you use lighter fluid instead of absolute ethanol, which is much less toxic) what William Brooke O'Shaugnessy developed in the late 1800s, 1843 by one article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2490264/

      And plenty of Heads have been making/eating hash oil for many, many years. In general, there are two broad types of people: those who do things quietly, and those who try to attach their name to everything.

      R D

      Aug 21, 2015 at 1:47pm

      Mulcair wants just decriminalization of possession no way decriminalization of growing. Idiots will think he means growing too, Trudeaus plan will allow plants he has already said you can make your own wine and that well look at Colorado's model. I asked him in person when he stopped at a French school near my house in South Ont. He said similar to united states probably 9 to 11 plants (doesn't want 100 plant grow ops/ safety risks at homes)

      Brian Kelly

      Aug 23, 2015 at 12:15am

      Don't be fooled by marijuana "decriminalization" because citizens are still going to be treated like common criminals for marijuana under it. This is what prohibitionists will settle for.

      Citizens will STILL be forced to the dangerous black market and a shady illegal street drug dealer to purchase their marijuana. Getting caught buying it is STILL a crime they will arrest and jail you for. Then, they will also most likely try to FORCE you to either mandatory community service and/or rehab, and if you don't comply, guess what? JAILTIME!

      They also fail to mention the additional huge cost of court costs which can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars on top of the relatively small ticket/fine.

      If you fail to pay these expensive court costs you will be in "the system" as a criminal. With a warrant out for your arrest and incarceration.

      No thanks!

      Also, we will still be wasting our tax dollars sending police around to ticket marijuana users and wasting police manpower and resources.

      Instead of allowing our police the time, manpower and resources to protect us all from real, dangerous criminals who actually commit crimes with victims and pose a real threat to society.

      Why else do you think some politicians are so EAGER to "decriminalize", instead of LEGALIZE?

      Don't Let'em Fool Us!!!

      If you can't purchase it legally, then it isn't legal.

      If you have to fear a monetary fine/ticket which if you don't pay and/or show up in court to handle, you then become a criminal with a warrant out for your arrest, and when convicted (yes convicted, as in crime.) you will then be forced into free manual labor and/or forced drug rehabilitation to be used as another statistic prohibitionists love to flaunt about supposed "marijuana addicts", then....No, it's not legal!

      This will not suffice! Getting caught purchasing marijuana is still considered a serious "drug deal" and you will be prosecuted for it!

      DEMAND FULL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION NATIONWIDE!

      Malcolm Kyle

      Aug 26, 2015 at 8:02am

      Thomas Mulcair can go straight to h*ll. Decriminalization is far too little and far too late.
      Drug-War trials would be a good start.

      SAM Canada

      Aug 26, 2015 at 2:20pm

      Who and how many are in prison in BC?
      Marijuana possession only cases cleared by a charge ( solved by ) in 2011
      249 cases 169 proceeded to court 42 convicted 7 resulted in a custody sentence
      Of the 7 4 one day in jail terms
      2 seven day jail term
      1 14 day jail term.
      Typical history of those convicted:
      Prior criminal history 90%
      Average length of criminal history 12 years
      Drug offenses 64%
      Criminal driving offenses 30%
      Property offenses 75%
      Violent offenses 64%
      Ten or more prior offenses 57%
      Not just a simple story.