Historic cannabis militants criticize the legalization of Canada | Society

The legalization of recreational cannabis, which came into force on October 17, It has not been an issue celebrated by all Canadians although 70% of the population supports the measure, according to the surveys. Deputies of the Conservative Party have criticized a law whose negative social impacts will be seen, according to them, in a short time. The Canadian medical association has referred to it as an uncontrolled experiment that puts the health of young people at risk. Activists who have asked for a change in the legal framework for decades have also joined this chorus of protests, although for different reasons.

Blair Longley is the leader of the Marijuana Party, a political group that obtained 0.01% of the votes in the last federal elections of 2015. The party was founded in the year 2000, but most of its members have decades of militancy to look for a change of laws and perceptions related to the plant. "The legalization of Trudeau It is a mixture of big economic interests with a prohibitionist vision that prevails. It will generate many dollars with a very restrictive framework for many people. He continues to present marijuana as a monster, "he says.

Longley does not hesitate to catalog the new legal framework as a "prohibition 2.0" and, coinciding with several experts, regrets that an oligopoly has been created under the protection of the authorities. "We estimate that the black market employs about 100,000 people. The conditions for incorporating them into the system were not provided, bearing in mind that one of the Government's arguments was to combat production outside the law. The legalization of the liberals benefits the big companies, but many will continue to cultivate in illegality, "he adds. Hugo St-Onge, spokesman for the Bloc Pot, the Procannabis party of the province of Quebec, says the shortage of legal marijuana found in Canada just days after the new regulatory framework came into force is not a surprise. "We had indicated it for months. The government does not want to see the reality about consumption, "he says. The formation of Quebec, founded in 1998, obtained 0.12% of the votes in the elections of last October.

St-Onge and Longley criticize, as do several opposition journalists and deputies, the close ties between ex-politicians of the Liberal Party and some firms that received federal licenses to produce the herb. Adam Miron, who served as national director and leader of the youth of that party, founded the company The Hydropothecary with another partner. Chuck Rifici, extesorero of that political group, was one of the promoters of the company Tweed. Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice in the Government of Jean Chrétien, is a member of DelShen's board of directors. In addition, there are other actors with a liberal past.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, participated on October 21 in the most watched talk show of French-speaking television in Canada. Trudeau responded: "There are also people from the Conservative Party. There's Brian Mulroney [primer ministro de 1984 a 1993] and Julian Fantino [exjefe de la policía de Toronto y diputado de 2010 a 2015]. It is a new industry and many people have been involved in it. I wish you good luck. There was a very rigorous and independent process to evaluate who could participate. They were not political decisions. There was no favoritism. "

Another white subject of critics on the legalization, on the part of the historical militants, has to do with the prohibition to smoke the grass in public places decreed by some municipal authorities and of districts. It should be noted that landlords have the right to dictate the same provision. "If you're rich, legalization is fine. You can buy shares of the producing companies, acquire the marijuana at the price that the authorized stores mark and consume it in the house of your property. It's not the case with everyone, "says Longley.

Various authorities have asked for a more open environment regarding consumption. Such was the case of Valérie Plante, mayor of Montreal, who noted days before the entry into force of the legalization that many individuals are tenants, so vetoing cannabis smoke in public places is not a realistic measure.

Two weeks ago since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada It came into force. Blair Longley comments that members of his party will continue to spread information about the reality of cannabis, but acknowledges that the efforts are more focused on ensuring their electoral existence. "I think the scenario is complicated by the resources of the Government and the companies to position their idea of ​​legalization," he says. However, Hugo St-Onge shows optimism. "The positive side that I see in Trudeau's law is that it allows us to at least speak directly about cannabis. The media addressed it very little for decades. We need to generate a serious debate that goes beyond simplistic opinions. It seems we are talking about dynamite and not a plant. Marijuana responds to another reality, "he says.

St-Onge, who has consistently appeared in Canadian media after legalization, says Trudeau did not steal the cause from long-standing pro-cannabis militants. "What he did nothing has to do with our proposals. I hope we copy several ideas. We want marijuana to no longer appear in the criminal code, that its cultivation be authorized for small and medium producers, that clubs can be opened for consumption. You have to think about cannabis as we do with craft beer, "says St-Onge. He adds: "Justin Trudeau has pointed out that legalization will serve to protect young people and fight organized crime. It's curious. I invite people to review the archives: they are the same reasons that the government gave for decades to justify the prohibition. "


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