Canadian Prime Minister Mandates Beginning Process To Legalize Pot

By McCarton Ackerman 11/18/15

But what are the mechanics of the process and how long will it take?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long-established himself as pot-friendly, but he’s about to take that to a new level by mandating that marijuana be legalized.

Trudeau recently outlined this plan in a letter issued to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Among several other mandates, he ordered them to work “with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health [and] create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana."

However, the mechanics of this process and how long it will take to become a reality is still unclear. Trudeau has previously indicated that legal marijuana in Canada would follow a model similar to that of Colorado.

It also appears that Trudeau’s move around marijuana is simply keeping in line with what the majority of Canadians want. A recent survey based out of Toronto found that 59% of Canadian adults polled would approve the country’s Liberal Party legalizing marijuana, up 7% from just three months ago.

The findings, released by market research firm Forum Research, also showed that 45% of respondents wanted a government agency to control how marijuana would be grown and sold in the country. Nearly 31% of voters confirmed that they would smoke marijuana themselves if it were legal.

While on the campaign trail earlier this year, Trudeau said that marijuana is “less addictive than many other [drugs].” He also addressed concerns around teen drug use and argued that the country’s current approach to pot “makes it easier for young people to access marijuana than it is for them to access beer or even cigarettes and ... is actually funding criminal organizations, street gangs and gun runners.”

Trudeau even took a page out of Obama’s book and said that he has previously smoked marijuana. However, he said in a 2013 interview that he is a rare user and that he had only smoked pot “five or six times in my life.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.