Justin Trudeau: Liberal government would look at overturning convictions for marijuana crimes

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      Canadians sitting in prison or stuck with a criminal record for crimes related to marijuana have a reason to vote Liberal in this October’s federal election.

      At an August 19 campaign stop in Vancouver, prime ministerial hopeful Justin Trudeau reiterated a campaign promise to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. He then went one step further, adding that after a Liberal government is elected and has reversed laws that criminalize marijuana, it will begin discussing what should happen with people who have been charged for transgressions that the country no longer considers criminal.

      “That’s something that we’ll be looking into as we move forward,” he said, answering a question from the Georgia Straight. “There has been many situations over history when laws come in that overturn previous convictions and there will be a process for that that we will set up in a responsible way.”

      Trudeau initially took the question as an opportunity to criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government’s tough-on-crime record on marijuana.

      “One of the things that we’ve seen is that Mr. Harper’s approach on drugs is actually financing gun runners and street crimes,” he said. “Mr. Harper has failed in his drug policy. It is time that Canada regulated and controlled marijuana to protect our kids, to protect our communities, and to prevent the funds from flowing into the coffers of drug runners and street gangs. It is time that we did that. It is time that Canada adjusted to the reality that controlling and regulating marijuana is a way of both protecting our kids, protecting the public, and ensuring that we are not financing gangs to millions and millions of dollars. And that is what we are committed to and that’s what we’ll get cracking on when we form a government.”

      The federal NDP led by Thomas Mulcair has said it supports decriminalizing marijuana and, if elected, will consult with the provinces on the possibility of further reforms. 

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      Dennis MacMillan

      Aug 19, 2015 at 5:25pm

      It is about time. There have been hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed not by cannabis but because of unjust laws against a natural plant that is much less dangerous than alcohol which is legal to buy in any province in Canada.


      Aug 19, 2015 at 5:27pm

      If Harper isn't mature enough to discuss this issue sensibly, perhaps he has some growing up to do before he is ready to be a leader

      Argenta Luna

      Aug 19, 2015 at 5:57pm

      Talk about having NO BALLS.....really??
      "The federal NDP led by Thomas Mulcair has said it supports decriminalizing marijuana and, if elected, will consult with the provinces on the possibility of further reforms. "

      Just doesn't have the parts to stand up and say it like it is....but Mr Mulcair is willing to kiss ass the provinces later and MAYBE do something...maybe

      At least Trudeau has definite ideas and is not scared to make promises. CUT THE VAGUENESS NDPers. WishyWashy is so no one knows what the heck you stand for, so you have hopes of sneaking into leadership with confusion, then doing what you like as we haven't heard one solid promise that's worth voting for....yet.


      Aug 19, 2015 at 5:57pm

      "That’s something that we’ll be looking into as we move forward" is hardly a pledge to overturn convictions. Could just as easily mean they'll look at them and let them stand.

      John D. Martin

      Aug 19, 2015 at 6:09pm

      The voters had better elect Trudeau. If dictator Harper and his henchmen get elected in this country we will be going down a slippery slope to the con's building gulag's up North for pot smokers and growers. It just amazed me how a progressive country like Canada would ever elect such a dictator as PM.


      Aug 19, 2015 at 9:00pm

      I'd be ok with this for people convicted of simple possession. Production and trafficking, I'm not so sure about.

      I realize on the face of it that sounds a bit hypocritical, but I'm guessing (and it is just a guess if someone wants to invalidate this with actual facts) that a good portion of the production and trafficking charges are related to organized crime groups. Once it's legalized and the incentive for organized crime to be involved is taken off the table (or at least no more so than for alcohol and cigarettes), then those two categories aren't really an issue.


      Aug 19, 2015 at 9:39pm

      Justin Trudeau is awesome. He is the perfect example of what a "people person" looks and acts like". Having avoided politics like the plague, do the barrage of regular outright lies, misinformation, disinformation and the endless attempts of brainwashing 101 on the general public that has more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese, all of which constantly comes from Stephen Harper and his gang of right wing, religithugs is enough to barely be able to keep food down, let alone have the slightest desire to want to follow it on a daily basis only to be mistaken as suffering from bulimia as a result. Jack Layton was a good enough actor to even get me off the couch and vote for the first time in four decades, but their beady eyed, bi polar replacement of Tom Mulcair is a far cry from the man Jack was, and while Harper has to force fake his rare occasional smiles that only come in fleeting moments between looking as though he's either about to cry or the emotionless death stare that even the Grim Reaper would envy, Justin Trudeau has lit a fire under my ass that not only supports his ability to lead this great nation, but would it not be for a back injury and the daily pain and discomfort that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, would have me knocking on as many doors as humanly possible between now and Oct 19/2015 to get it through people's heads, that THIS is the dose of honesty, intelligence, common sense and empathy towards others that Canada is desperately in need of and all of which only Justin Trudeau can offer. Cannabis legalization will bring the same endless benefits now being enjoyed by the U.S. States which implemented them, the citizens that did what we must do here in 9 weeks, and voted for them, the sick and dying patients who rely on them and most of all, the end of a decades long genocide that in most places, is still ruining the lives of millions of human beings and the "collateral damage" tearing apart of their loving families and children. The end of caging human beings in a 6'x9' prison cell and all that comes with it...the loss of employment, and extremely limited possibilities for any decent future employment upon release, repossession by the bank and/or seizure by police of homes, vehicles & property for possessing even just a joint or two as justification, denying college grants, character assassination, social stigma etc. Vote Trudeau.

      SAM Canada

      Aug 19, 2015 at 10:08pm

      Marijuana : Who and how many are in prison in BC ?
      Cases involving only marijuana possession offenses
      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%

      Brian Kelly

      Aug 20, 2015 at 3:27am

      Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called "Addiction Specialists" who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, - Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don't have one.

      The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

      Legalize Nationwide!


      Aug 20, 2015 at 5:24am

      If marijuana becomes legal, that will pave the way for the blossoming of the hemp industry! That means a potential end to deforestation, and a greener alternative to concrete, plastic, and plywood.