Trudeau says he's not 'comfortable' with marijuana in corner stores
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:12PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:29PM EDT
Pressed during a campaign stop to elaborate on his plan for legalizing marijuana, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said he is not “comfortable” with seeing it sold in corner stores.
“My focus is on making it more difficult for young people to access it,” Trudeau told reporters in Quebec City on Wednesday.
“At this point, I don’t think corner stores necessarily are rigorous enough at checking ID to make me comfortable with that as an option,” he added.
Trudeau said his legalization model would be based on “best practices from around the world” and that he is “committed to an evidence-based approach.” He added he would learn from the experiences in “Colorado or elsewhere.”
The Liberal leader also said he would “work with the provinces to makes sure that the control and regulation of marijuana is done in a way that is responsible.”
“What is very clear right now is that Mr. Harper’s current approach is making marijuana too easy to access for our kids, and at the same time funding street crime, organized gangs and gun runners,” Trudeau said.
Conservative MPs have in the past accused Trudeau of planning to make marijuana available in corner stores, and therefore easier for children to get their hands on.
Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra said during a House of Commons debate in January that Liberal policies “such as the sale of marijuana at corner stores” are “quite frightening.”
Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon asserted in June that “the Liberal leader wants to make smoking marijuana a normal, everyday activity for kids and have it sold in stores just like cigarettes and alcohol.”
Lizon warned of “a marijuana store on every street corner.”
“Unlike the Liberal leader, we do not support making access to illegal drugs easier,” Lizon said in the House of Commons. “Marijuana is dangerous, and it is irresponsible for governments to communicate that it is somehow safe and normal for kids to smoke it.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has previously said he supports decriminalization of marijuana, but has not committed to legalization.
"The NDP for 40 years has believed that it makes no sense at all for a person to have a criminal record for possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana," Mulcair said last year.
In Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana sales as of Jan. 1, 2014, only licensed stores may sell cannabis and those stores are prohibited from selling most other products, including cigarettes, alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks.