Paul Martin promises pot decriminalization when pressed on issue: “Martin was responding to a question about whether a Liberal government would reintroduce a law to hand out fines – not criminal sentences – to people caught with 15 grams of pot or less. The legislation died last month when Parliament was dissolved for the federal election campaign.
‘I will bring back the legislation that died on the order paper,’ Martin replied during a news conference outside the day care where he spent part of the morning reading to toddlers.”
If the Liberals are re-elected to a fourth term, either in a majority government or minority situation, and Parliament is reconvened, it would mark the second time the legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession of up to 15 grams would be reintroduced. In November 2003, when former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien prorogued the fall session of Parliament because of the Liberal leadership convention that crowned Paul Martin the new Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (and eventually Prime Minister), any legislation left on the order paper died. When newly-minted Prime Minister Paul Martin opened a new session of Parliament in early February 2004, he reintroduced almost all of the Chrétien government bills that had died. Most of them passed by the time the 37th Parliament was dissolved upon the calling of a federal election campaign in late May, except for one on animal cruelty that would’ve seen animals declared as living, sentient beings instead of just property and the marijuana decriminalization bill.
Nonetheless, in my view, it’s excellent news that the Prime Minister has agreed to bring it back as it would surely be passed, even if the Liberals were forced to create a coalition government with the opposition New Democratic Party — namely because the NDP is a leftist, democratic socialist party that fully supports marijuana decrminalization. Heck, even the left-leaning, separatist Bloc Québecois supports it. The only party that doesn’t is the Conservative party.
And finally, on a more humourous note, I found this passage from the Canadian Press article particularly interesting:
Still standing in the playground, the prime minister replied with a joke when asked another inevitable campaign question about marijuana, and alluded to former U.S. president Bill Clinton’s claim that he never inhaled.
“Did I smoke it? No. Therefore I didn’t inhale. But there is a rumour going around that I’ve eaten brownies.”
The prime minister has previously told the story of how in the 1960s his wife, Sheila, once baked them both a batch of strange tasting brownies.