Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mulcair needs to make up his mind on marijuana

Published in the Hill Times

A flip, a flop, a flip, and then another flop!

The NDP and leader Thomas Mulcair need to make up their mind when it comes to their policy on marijuana use.

First, a reminder on definitions:
To decriminalize is to take away the criminal offence element of marijuana use and possession. So instead of going to jail and being criminally charged, an offender would get a fine and maybe have their drugs seized.

To legalize is to make marijuana use legal.  It is a step beyond decriminalization, since not only is it no longer a criminal offence, but its use actually becomes regulated and controlled by the government.

Mulcair is surely aware of the differences between these definitions.

August 2013: Mulcair pledges to legalize marijuana:

April 2013: grassroots NDP members vote in favour of decriminalizing the use of marijuana.

April 2012: Mulcair (now elected NDP leader) rules out even the decriminalization of marijuana, saying that would be a mistake since "what's on the street is incredibly potent."

March 2012: Mulcair (the leadership candidate) supports the decriminalization of marijuana

(For what it's worth, the NDP's 2011 campaign platform doesn't mention marijuana, but Jack Layton was in favour of decriminalizing it.)

Please, Mr. Mulcair, stop reacting to what Justin Trudeau says and make up your mind of on which side of the issue you stand.