Although Canada is preparing to end marijuana prohibition across the entire nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants stoner society to know that this pending reform will not presently stop law enforcement from thumping the skulls of people who ignore the law.
“People are right now breaking the law,” a frustrated Trudeau said in a recent interview with the Star’s editorial board.
“We haven’t changed the laws. We haven’t legalized it yet,” he continued. “Yes, we got a clear mandate to do that. We’ve said we will. We’ve said we’re going to do it to protect our kids and to keep the money out of the pockets of criminals.”
It was revealed earlier this year by Canada’s Health Minister Jane Philpott that legislation would be introduced in the spring of 2017 intended to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. The announcement was made at the UNGASS 2016 meeting in April, giving the Canadian cannabis community some hope that the tyranny associated with the country’s previous anti-pot government was on its way out on a rail.
Still, several months later, the busts on some of the northern nation’s medical marijuana dispensaries have continued, mostly because the proprietors of these businesses have thrown caution to the wind and are selling weed to people who have not been approved to participate in Canada’s medical marijuana program.
“Why discriminate?" marijuana advocate Jodie Emery questioned on CBC Radio's Metro Morning back in May. "When we have legalization coming for all Canadian adults, why should I have to force someone to be sick or to pretend to be sick?"
But Trudeau says the mission to legalize marijuana has never been to generate tax revenue, and it certainly is not intended to cater to the desires of the cannabis industry. He says the plan has always been about protecting the nation’s children and pulling the revenue stream out of the black market.
“The promise we made around legalizing marijuana was done for two reasons … that I was very, very clear about: one, to better protect our kids from the easy access they have right now to marijuana; and, two, to remove the criminal elements that were profiting from marijuana,” he said. “We believe that a properly regulated, controlled system will achieve both of those measures. But we haven’t brought in that properly regulated, controlled system because it’s important that we do it right in order to achieve those two specific goals.”
The task force responsible for submitting regulatory recommendations to the Canadian government concerning marijuana legalization is reportedly complete and will be released to the public before the end of the month – a sign that it will likely be just a matter of months before nationwide legalization is passed.
But until this happens, Trudeau is adamant that “the current prohibition stands.”