Canada: On Marijuana, Harper's Politics Don't Match His Actions

The Tories say pot must stay illegal. They're also laying groundwork for legalization.

On marijuana, Conservatives are 'traveling both sides of the fence.' Photo: Cannabis Culture, Creative Commons licensed.

In politics, there's often a gap between what someone says and what they do. Federal Conservative Health Minister Rona Ambrose had strong words in April for Vancouver council's plan to regulate the more than 80 marijuana dispensaries across the city. Cannabis is "an illegal substance" with "serious health risks," she wrote to Mayor Gregor Robertson. Ambrose warned that Vancouver's proposed pot rules would end up "legitimizing and normalizing the use and sale of marijuana."

By that measure, Ambrose should be writing letters to her own ministry. For under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Health Canada has done far more to legitimize and normalize the use and sale of marijuana than Vancouver. Since 2000, court rulings have made it ...

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