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Current Events / Lifestyle PopWrapped | Current Events

Canada's Health Minister Announces 2017 Marijuana Bill On 4/20

Roxanne Powell | PopWrapped Author

Roxanne Powell

Staff Writer
@roxipowell
04/23/2016 7:14 am
PopWrapped | Current Events
Canada's Health Minister Announces 2017 Marijuana Bill On 4/20 | marijuana
Media Courtesy of HighTimes

On Wednesday, April 20, Canada's Health Minister, Jane Philpott, announced the plan for and reasoning behind the 2017 marijuana bill to the UN in a special General Assembly in New York.

"We will introduce legislation in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals. We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures. We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem."

The irony of when this announcement was made is not lost on anyone.

The UN's previous plan to prevent the unlawful distribution of drugs was implemented back in 2009. The delegates have said they will need to review this plan's progress before making any big decisions. These meetings, which will span three days, ended on Thursday (April 21). While this new policy will "challenge the status quo," as the health minister put it, the plan will ultimately serve to protect the youth of the world from being exposed to drugs and drug use.

"It's a great deal of work," Bill Blair, preliminary secretary to the justice minister, said before Tuesday's meeting. "It's important to do it right. And so, we're looking at regulations with respect to production, distribution, the retail and consumption of marijuana and we want to make sure that it's based on the best advice from experts."

If this policy becomes law, it would breach three "global treaties on illicit drug use" that were previously signed by former Canadian governments. Even with the world's youth as a baseline argument, some UN members still find the plans controversial.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair made his own opinions about Canada's plans quite clear, saying he believes it is just another broken promise made by the Liberal Party.

"There are thousands and thousands of mostly young people who will have criminal records for the rest of their lives because (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau did not respect his promise to legalize marijuana as soon as he took office," he said.

"It's a massive waste of time, effort and energy of our entire criminal justice system," he continued, referring to the Liberal Party taking on too much at once. He thinks they should just decriminalise marijuana altogether and worry about how it is supplied and to whom at a later time.

Other officials, like conservative MP Colin Carrie, believe the announcement of this new plan has only served to rattle the public. He does not believe marijuana legalisation is necessary.

"It's in their hands whenever they want to bring it forward, It's unfortunate though that they're causing so much chaos with parents in communities and police forces. At the end of the day what is important to us is about the kids. Mr. Trudeau said he is keeping it out of the hands of kids ... let's get him moving forward on that. If you look at the statistics that are out today, the status quo has been working. Marijuana smoking is down 23 per cent in the last few years. But he's brought this up, he's made it an issue let's see what his plan is."

Meanwhile, Philpott has assured CBC and other news reporters that it was never her intention to make the announcement on 4/20 and that the timing was merely a coincidence. However, the timing has caused the topic to gain further discussion.

"It's a day that we know people are going to be talking about marijuana and when we were aware of that fact we thought it was a great day for us to talk to people around the world about Canada's plans and our comprehensive approach to drug policy, including the legalization of and new regulations for marijuana," she said on CBC's Power & Politics.

Groups of demonstrators, several of whom were spotted smoking marijuana, grouped together on Parliament Hill and took photos with Muclair.

What do you think, PopStars? Should marijuana be legalised?


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