Conservative leaders in Canada hint at return to cannabis prohibition should they return to power
Three days into the repeal of prohibition in Canada and Conservative party leaders are already campaigning on ending the country’s grand expert with cannabis. On Thursday, Tory leader Andrew Scheer wouldn’t promise to keep marijuana legal in an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play, according to CTV News.
Conservatives are hoping to form a winning coalition to lead the Canadian government in next year’s elections.
“The Conservative Party will do our due diligence, examine the consequences of this decision, and we’ll examine the reality on the ground,” Scheer said Thursday, according to CTV News.
“We have to be realistic about what a change like this means for society and all the ramifications,” he added.
The Liberal government, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, legalized cannabis earlier this year, with the law going into effect this past Wednesday. Conservatives either abstained from the vote or voted against Bill C-45 except for one, Ontario MP Scott Reid.
Scheer brought up arguments typical of the “reefer madness” crowd, most notably that health experts had concerns about the minimum age of use and that there are still no good solutions for roadside testing for impaired drivers.
The Conservative leader previously admitted to using cannabis in his younger years on Radio-Canada's "Tout le Monde en Parle."
According to CTV News, Scheer isn’t the only Tory thinking about reinstating prohibition should his party regain power. Conservative Health Critic Marilyn Gladu refused to answer whether or not cannabis legalization was here to stay in Canada in an interview with Don Martin on Wednesday, according to CTV News.
“The Conservative government will take an action plan to protect public safety,” she said on CTV’s Power Play.
The party may find it difficult to put the genie back in the bottle, however. On Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation sold $660,000 worth of pot on the first day of legalization. Residents of Nova Scotia can only buy from 12 retail locations run by the province.
“We did run out of certain packages of a few strains yesterday but were able to offer customers comparable replacements,” a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation said, according to The Star. The retail outlet is still trying to determine which strains of cannabis will be most in demand with customers so they can better prepare for the future.
*Header Image: Andrew Scheer: By Andrew Scheer (Flickr) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons